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Not a shock...rule 1, Moffat lies. Still, The Name of the Doctor (TV story) seemed disappointing in that hardly anything was resolved. We found out why there are multiple Clara's, but that was it. No secret was revealed. The whisper men were severely dissappointing. I had a feeling it would be continued, but watched it anyway. Sigh...I guess I'll have to wait and see what happens in Novemember. Still, it makes me upset to be promised a great secret revealed and then...nothing... Thoughts? Whosethebestwho 12:12, May 19, 2013 (UTC)


In addition I think River has been resolved and ended. Also we've basically been told there was another version of the person we know as the Doctor somewhere in his timeline, and it's some sort of Bizarro World Doctor. Also, and this moves more into theory than what we've actually been told, but Clara saw all of the versions in the Doctor's timeline. That's the eleven and the mystery figure. Throw in Handy Doctor to be number 13 and I think we're out of regenerations. Until they make something up obviously. --Laserbeak 13:31, May 19, 2013 (UTC)

Lots of things were resolved. The Trenzalore prophecy was fulfilled, Clara's mystery was solved, and the Doctor's greatest secret was revealed. That's quite a lot for one episode. Ensephylon 07:28, May 20, 2013 (UTC)

The trenzelore prophecy was not fulfilled. The Doctor did not reveal his name and silence did not fall. Moffat left us hanging on that one...again. The Doctor's greatest secret is his name and it was not revealed, not to any of the characters. River already knew it at this point, and she did not reveal it either. Moffat lied...again. As I said, the only thing resolved was Clara's secret. Also, the River Song arc was not resolved either. How did the Doctor see her? How was she still communicating when Clara was torn to bits? "Spoilers" that's how. Whosethebestwho 08:50, May 20, 2013 (UTC)

I agree that the prophecy was not fulfilled. Dorium said that Trenzalore was a place "no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer," yet the Doctor failed to answer the question when the Intelligence demanded the answer. I think that this quality of forced truthfulness may have some role in the Doctor's last battle on Trenzalore. If so, that is one heck of a set up for something down the line (presuming the Doctor's seeing it hasn't changed the outcome). However, I don't think the title "The Name of "the Doctor" is as misleading as you might think. The Doctor's secret is the Doctor unworthy of the name of "The Doctor". By interweaving the various Doctors, Moffat is establishing what name "the Doctor" means: compassion, saving people, love, making them better. In doing so, he may be setting up Hurt's Doctor as the antithesis of those qualities. Memnarc 10:02, May 20, 2013 (UTC)
No, the prophecy was fulfilled. "Silence will/must fall when the Question is asked" is not a part of the prophecy, it's the core belief of the Silence, and it was already explained in "The Wedding Of River Song" as referring to the Doctor's "silence" which the Silence wants to ensure will fall when the Question is asked by killing the Doctor before he reaches Trenzalore (because if he is dead, then the Question can only answered with his silence, since he won't be able to answer it). The actual prophecy is "on the fields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the eleventh, where no living creatue can speak falsely or fail to answer, a question will be asked; a question that must never, ever be answered." There is no mention of silence "falling" in that prophecy, and thus "silence will fall" is not something that has to be fulfilled. If anything, "silence will fall" is the Silence's response to the original prophecy. They know that the Question can never be answered on Trenzalore, so what do they do to make sure it won't be? They kill the Doctor before he gets there, so that when the Question is asked, there will be only silence. Furthermore, the Doctor outright stated that his real name doesn't matter, and that it isn't his "greatest secret." His "greatest secret" is the not-Doctor played by John Hurt, as he is the Doctor that went against the very meaning of his chosen name; his "promise." As for the Doctor being able to see River, the Doctor is a low-level telepath so it isn't very hard to believe that he was merely "picking up" on the psychic conversation that Clara was actively having right in front of him, and River was still connected at the end because Clara was still alive. That's why she said "if Clara's dead, how can I still be here?" Well the simple answer is because she isn't dead, which is why the Doctor was able to save her. Ensephylon 15:47, May 20, 2013 (UTC)
Everything you said is pure speculation. The Silence is a religious order. they were not in the episode. As far as we know there is no connection between them and The Great Intelligence (at least none has been seen yet). Also, we don't know how the doctor was able to see River Song. All she said as "spoilers." That means we will probably find out later on. Basically, the only point to this episode was to lead in to the the 50th Anniversary Special. I had suspected as much, but watched it anyway. It wasn't a bad episode in its own right, it just did not live up to the promises of its producer, and that is where my disappointment lies. Whosethebestwho 03:22, May 21, 2013 (UTC)
The stuff about the Silence wanting to prevent the Doctor from reaching Trenzalore isn't speculation. It's confirmed in "The Wedding of River Song." They believe that silence must fall when the Question is asked on Trenzalore; that it is absolutely imperative that the Doctor never makes it there, and they intend to ensure that outcome by killing him. This is what Series 6 was all about. Whether or not they knew that the Great Intelligence specifically would be the one to ask the Question is debatable, but the prophecy did say that the Question must never be answered. The Silence must have taken that warning to heart, seeing as how they built up an entire religion around it. So either way, whether they know about the GI's involvement or not, it doesn't matter, because their ultimate goal is to kill the Doctor before he gets to Trenzalore in order to make sure that his silence falls when the Question is asked, and thus it will remain unanswered as the prophecy demands. Furthermore, it is not speculation that John Hurt is what the Doctor's secret refers to. He said it outright in the episode: "My name, my real name, that's not the point... he's my secret," which is perfectly in line with what Moffat said would be revealed in the episode (the Doctor's greatest secret). The other two things may not be confirmed, but I'd say they're pretty likely considering that a) we do know for a fact that the Doctor is telepathic, and b) Clara turned out to be alive at the end of the episode (albeit within the Doctor's time tunnel), and River's statement implied that her connection was predicated upon Clara being alive. Since she was, in fact, alive, the persistent connection is justified. Ensephylon 03:41, May 21, 2013 (UTC)
You are correct about Hurt's doctor (but not "the doctor") being the greatest secret. However you are not correct about the silence. The reason the silence wanted to kill the doctor is because THEY would fall when the question was answered. We did not see the fall and we did not see the question answered. It does happen at trenzalore and that might well be what the huge battle was over (though this is just speculation on my part), but we did not see the question get answered and we did not see the fall of the silence. Those are still unresolved issues. The only issue resolved in this episode was the "impossible girl." Whosethebestwho 04:46, May 21, 2013 (UTC)
Rewatch "The Wedding of River Song". You may pick up on these two explanations:
Dorium: 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.
Doctor: Silence will fall when the question is asked.
Dorium: Silence must fall would be a better translation. The Silence are determined the question will never be answered. That the Doctor will never reach Trenzalore.
This proves that the Silence's ultimate goal is to kill the Doctor and to prevent him from reaching Trenzalore and answering the Question.
Churchill: But what was the question? Why did it mean your death?
Doctor: Suppose there was a man who knew a secret. A terrible, dangerous secret that must never be told. How would you erase that secret from the world? Destroy it forever, before it can be spoken.
Churchill: If I had to, I'd destroy the man.
Doctor: And silence would fall. All the times I've heard those words, I never realised it was my silence, my death. The Doctor will fall.
This quote proves that "silence must fall" does indeed refer to the Doctor's silence, which, if he is killed before he gets to Trenzalore, will fall in response to the Question when it is asked, because he will be dead and unable to answer it. The Silence will have succeeded in their goal. Now, I've provided quotes from the show itself to back up what I'm saying. If anything is speculation, it's your assertion that "silence will fall" refers to the defeat of the religious order, which is in no way supported by the show. And lastly, we did see the fulfillment of the prophecy. Eleven and Clara fell onto Trenzalore when the Doctor turned off the antigrav system (when Clara says "how do we get down; do we jump?", the Doctor explicitly corrects her by saying, "no, we fall.") The Question (Doctor Who?) was answered by River. Just because we didn't hear the answer doesn't mean it wasn't answered. Ensephylon 05:19, May 21, 2013 (UTC)
Ensephylon: That quote doesn't prove that "silence must fall" refers to the Doctor's silence. What it proves is that the Doctor thinks that's what it refers to. He may be right, of course, but quoting him doesn't (& can't) prove he is. I could quote Neville Chamberlain saying that Hitler's signature on a piece of paper meant "peace in our time" but that doesn't prove it did mean peace; quite notoriously, it meant nothing of the kind.
It's the quote from Dorium that's the better evidence, here. At the very least, it shows that the Doctor's silence is what the Silence intend. -- to me 07:44, May 21, 2013 (UTC)
You make a good point, but the dialogue is there for a reason. The Doctor is explaining the situation that the Silence has put him in to Churchill (consider him an audience surrogate in this instance). Churchill wanted to know why the Question meant the Doctor had to die, and the Doctor outlined the Silence's logic for him. If there was a man (the Doctor) who knew a dangerous secret (the answer to the Question), how would you erase that secret from the world before it could be spoken? You'd kill him (by a lakeside), and, as the Doctor explains, silence would fall. The man's silence. Plus, the Doctor has come to a realization after being told what the Question is by Dorium. He may have never realized what those words meant before, but now that he knows what the Question is and that the Silence want him dead so that he can't answer it, he understands the meaning of the phrase. "Silence must fall when the Question is asked," and he knows that the Silence want him dead so that he cannot answer the Question. The logical conclusion is that the silence that must fall is his own; that he must be dead by the time the Question is asked. Ensephylon 08:12, May 21, 2013 (UTC)
You're right enough about the purpose of the dialogue & it does put the situation across clearly for anyone who's not quite got the message by that stage. It's just that Dorium's statement is the better evidence, even if it's not the clearer exposition -- a bit like witness testimony that's followed by a lawyer explaining to the jury what the testimony means. -- to me 10:05, May 21, 2013 (UTC)

I am sorry but you are both wrong. Dorium said, "when no living creature can speak falsely, or fail to answer, a question will be asked." Guess what? The Doctor failed to answer. Furthermore the Doctor was not silent. he was pleading with GI the whole time. Finally, he did not die. None of the interpretations you have speculated on have been seen. The prophecy has not been resolved. That being said, I will grant the "fall of the eleventh" could refer to the doctor falling to trenzelore. It could also refer to his fall at the major battle that the GI alluded to. Frankly, it is the former, then Moffat needs to be fired,but that's just my opnion. Either way, the prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. Whosethebestwho 09:45, May 22, 2013 (UTC)

There's a lot of discussion about the "fail to answer" clause, but no one is talking about the restriction "living" placed on the subject of both "can speak" and "can fail to answer." In The Name of the Doctor (TV story), River ended up (apparently) speaking the Doctor's name, and she's supposedly a data echo saved in the Library (Forest of the Dead (TV story)), not a "living creature." to me 18:29, June 4, 2013 (UTC)
It's in my slowly progressing response to many arguments made on this thread. I will acknowledge that I hadn't considered the fact that River would hardly count as a living being that's certainly interesting, thank you.DCT 12:36, June 5, 2013 (UTC)
98 has spotted something that's likely to be significant. It'd certainly explain why Moffat made River's appearance in this episode her first (&, so far, only) post mortem appearance. All her other appearances since Forest of the Dead have been earlier in her timeline. It would have been easy for Moffat to make this one the same, yet he chose to make it later in her timeline. -- to me 18:20, June 5, 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure I'd go that far. That factor is more easily explained by the fact in enables River to say the Doctor's name, and thus move the plot forward, without anyone having to hear it.DCT 15:23, June 6, 2013 (UTC)
I ought to point out that we don't actually know she did say his name. The Doctor said that that was how the TARDIS could be made to open & River said that she'd said his name -- but nobody else heard her do so & both of them are well known to lie. We know that River does know the Doctor's name but we also know that the TARDIS will cooperate with her anyway (as in Let's Kill Hitler, when River was surprised that the TARDIS helped her). Moffat has left plenty of room for doubt & he could turn round later on & tell us River didn't say the Doctor's name. -- to me 16:20, June 6, 2013 (UTC)
Who is River supposed to be lying to? She was answering the Doctor's question but she genuinely didn't believe he could hear her. Therefore her response is basically an aside. She said it for our benefit but not with the awareness of our presence. Lying for our benefit is a fourth wall violation and there's no evidence of that.DCT 14:23, June 7, 2013 (UTC)
River knew Clara could hear her & had been relaying what she said to the Doctor. That was how they found the secret entrance, earlier on. -- to me 15:22, June 7, 2013 (UTC)
There was no evidence from the show that Clara was paying attention to River at that point or even heard what she said. The episode strongly suggested that this is the end for River. We may see her again because she had more adventures with the Doctor in her past but currently it seems we're meant to understand what just happened as her death. Which would make it difficult to resolve her reasons for lying.DCT 12:59, June 8, 2013 (UTC)
Even if Clara wasn't paying attention to River, how could River be sure of that? In any case, River's reasons for lying are usually that she knows something (having learned it in her past) that's still in the future of those she is talking to. She may not now have a future but they still do. It's their future, not her own, that she's protecting. -- to me 14:09, June 8, 2013 (UTC)
That's not the point. This conversation begun with the observation that River doesn't qualify as a "creature" as defined by Dorium's warning. It requires the assumption that this is what The Silence was trying to prevent. That isn't at all proved but if it is so River must have said the Doctor's name. If there is any other way to get that door to open it defeats the whole point of the story. If it's not the resolution of the prophecy, something which is very likely, it still doesn't change anything because it remains that if the Doctor's name is the only thing that can open that door, than that is the only thing it should be. Otherwise its a pointless secret in context.DCT 15:52, June 8, 2013 (UTC)
I've not said that River didn't say the Doctor's name. I've only pointed out that we don't know for sure that she did.
"If there is any other way to get that door to open it defeats the whole point of the story." It doesn't. It would only defeat the point of the story if the Silence (or the GI) knew there was another way.
"Otherwise its a pointless secret in context." Of course it is -- but only if you assume you have it in the right context. You may not.
Why is the Doctor's name a secret? Because it's the password to his tomb? Probably not. Much more likely is that it was used as the password because it was secret. That is, it was already a secret that almost nobody either knew or could discover, for some other reason that we still don't know about. When you choose a password, you choose (or ought to choose) something you're sure that others don't know & can't find out. You don't (if you've any sense) pick something that others do know & then try to turn it into a secret. The secrecy comes first. -- to me 18:14, June 8, 2013 (UTC)
"I've not said that River didn't say the Doctor's name. I've only pointed out that we don't know for sure that she did." Ah, good a position of reasoning from which to start. We know what she said. Yes, she could have been lying but as I recall her tone was her slightly smug "I know better than you" tone. She was addressing the Doctor if the excited belief he couldn't hear and reprimand her, it's her tone that tells us she's not saying it for Clara to relay to the Doctor.
Yes, she could be lying. But so could the Doctor when he says he can always see her. Her "sudden" visibility could just as easily be due to her being connected to Clara and Clara being lost in the Doctor's time stream but that's not what we're told. Arguing that characters might be lying is such a prevalent possibility we can tie ourselves in knots arguing that one. There needs to be means by which we can identify what is and isn't, or might not be true, so we can fairly assess most of the information we are given. I'm hoping to discuss the complexities of this further in the long response that I started but have yet to finish but in this case the cues that River should probably be taken as telling the truth are her delivery of the line and the fact that the story tells us that his name was his chosen "password" to get into his tomb. Yes, I agree it probably isn't the sole reason he protects his name, though it may be for many renegade Time Lords, nevertheless if we believe that he chose it for that reason, ie to make it virtually impossible to access his tomb, then it would be very silly to have an alternative means to get in. The importance of protecting his time stream tells against that.DCT 13:55, June 10, 2013 (UTC)

"Furthermore the Doctor was not silent": He was silent on the thing that mattered. The word "silent" is very often used to mean something other than a literal lack of sound, or even of speech. He kept silent about his name by babbling away about something else. As you say, "The Doctor failed to answer."

Anyway, what Dorium's words showed was, as I said, that the Doctor's silence is what the Silence intended. It was why they tried to kill him. They failed to put their intention into effect but that doesn't change the fact that it was their intention.

On the "fall of the eleventh": Yes, it could refer to the Doctor falling to Trenzalore. Like you, though, I think that would be too much of a cheat -- far too much! It could also refer to his death. But it could mean something else: a moral fall, a fall from dignity, &c. There's no shortage of possible meanings.

The thing hasn't been resolved. The episode ended with "To be continued", so we've no excuse for not knowing it ain't over yet. It could be resolved (for all we currently know) by the prophecy being falsified, rather than fulfilled. (I was 89 earlier.) -- to me 10:58, May 22, 2013 (UTC)

i thought it could possibly be taken from the epoisode that the prophecy will be fullfilled at the actuall battle of trenzalore when the doctor dies. obviously we dpont know who is was fighting or the circumstances of his death. and in the end even though the river song arc seem to be finished she still needs to be told his name......and i know !! dismisssed his names importance but 10 sure did make a big deal about isnt finished with and i think the prophency will be revisited at the return to trenzalore.

maybe next series we will see 'the fall of the 11th ' at trenzalore he will fight in a batttle and loose the prophecy will be fullfilled and he will die...this causes the emergence of the Hurt doctor and the Change in doctor who that moffat has been talking about87.83.10.218talk to me 09:47, May 23, 2013 (UTC)

" the fall of the Eleventh..." I think the lines, "So, how do we get down there? Jump?", "Don't be silly. We fall," were written as such explicitly to connect to the "fall" in the prophecy. Ancient prophecies can easily make big deals about the subtlest of details. And before someone says that, counting Hurt, Smith is the 12th, I think "the Eleventh" means the "11th Doctor", meaning only those who go by the name "the Doctor", meaning not Hurt, who "broke the promise" of the name "Doctor". —BioniclesaurKing4t2 - "Hello, I'm the Doctor. Basically, . . . run." 23:33, May 25, 2013 (UTC)

One thing that I thought after watching this was that "I'm in my own time line, and it's collapsing in on itself." could mean that A) John Hurt might be a pre-First Doctor (body age seems unrelated to length of existence - borne out in a number of regenerations), and B) that this might cause the entirety of the series to be relegated to alternate timeline, and allow the series to start over from scratch (alleviating the pressure of running out of regenerations in the process.... MOFFAT!!!!)

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I agree that the Silence prophesy seems to be fulfilled, but I also share the confusion that River evidently was called post-"death", but how could Vastra have possibly pulled that off. Send a message to the library and communicate with a digital personality? Maybe. Accomplish the soporific and/or otherwise contact her in her "dreams"? Much more difficult. Much less the fact that getting a message to Clara was a matter of a couple of hundred years on one planet, but getting a time-sensitive message to River called for unknown thousands of years and planets or galaxies away... Whatever those "spoilers" are, they are pretty hardcore. (Also, on the matter of River being a continuing recurring character, we also have not seen her meet the Doctor for the first time - remember that their time lines run opposite, making her first meeting his last - much less the fact that technically she has been "dead" since the first time we saw her.)

Moffat is a mad genius, and he never ceases to amaze. He blew my mind again with The Name of the Doctor, and I'm sure that there is something even more mind blowing on the horizon.

Also, I would love to see a collection of all the poetry used in these episodes, especially since the Whisper Men were spouting stuff all over the place... to me 07:49, May 31, 2013 (UTC)

50, "River ... we also have not seen her meet the Doctor for the first time": We probably have. We saw her as a young girl (played by Sydney Wade) in The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon & that seems likely to have been their first meeting in her timeline. We've also seen, in Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, their first meeting in his timeline. (I was 89 & then 2 earlier.) -- to me 09:57, May 31, 2013 (UTC)

To expand on 89/2/78's response, we've also seen the Alex Kingston River's first meeting with the Doctor, when she regenerated. River said they meet back to front, but I think that stopped being the case by Let's Kill Hitler. However, that doesn't mean she can't reappear at some point for a random adventure with the Doctor. Shambala108 16:00, May 31, 2013 (UTC)
I hope we see more of River Song. She's Moffat's creation so we know he likes writing for her. But he also likes exploring new ideas and characters so The Name of the Doctor (TV story) might have been intended to be her swan song. I hope not though as I think she brings out a great, playful, flirty side of the Doctor.
@50, I have seen all of the Whispermen's verses written out somewhere but I'm not sure it was on this wiki. It could be or another site that has recaps.
Personally, I don't think that the prophecy has been fulfilled. There are too many loose ends, too many pieces that don't fit. I think when (if) it is fulfilled, it will drop like an anvil, it won't be in question. For example, why would the Silence want to avoid that moment so bad that they went to such great lengths to try to kill off the Doctor? They don't seem to be at all affected by events in The Name of the Doctor. Why did the Silence want to blow up the TARDIS, creating cracks in the entire universe? And if it wasn't the Silence, who was it?
I think Moffat can sometimes just rewrite history, create direct lines between events and people that seem unconnected, raise more questions than he answers. But when his story arcs do come to an end (like the Doctor's apparent death, like who is Melody Pond and what happened to her), they are resolved! Fans may not like the resolution, they might find it implausible. But it is over and done with. He moves on. I don't think we have reached The Fall of the Eleventh and I think that it will happen whenever the Doctor reaches his next regeneration. Badwolff 19:26, May 31, 2013 (UTC)
Under that reasoning the Series 5 story line is over and we are not going to find out why the TARDIS exploded though we'd think it a very important issue. I don't think the fall of the eleventh has anything to do with the regeneration of the current Doctor. It's too obvious and it runs the risk of the audience getting fed up of waiting or Stephen Moffat going before Matt Smith does or numerous other possibilities that could scupper the story because Moffat is hinging it on other people's decisions. It's more or at least as likely that the fall of the eleventh, at least in our universe, means the end of November and the question will be asked at the 50th Anniversary whether Matt Smith is leaving or not.DCT 14:27, June 1, 2013 (UTC)

Well, this is just me, but I truly believe that at Trenzalore, The Doctor answered and spoke truthfully. He just did not answer the Question posed to him three times by the GI directly. Instead, he truthfully pleaded to have his friends left alone. It is still an answer and we have seen SM split hairs before.Boss MD 02:21, June 2, 2013 (UTC)

And even then, the Question was asked at Trenzalore, just as the prophecy foretold. Wouldn't going to Trenzalore twice to do the same thing be redundant? Ensephylon 05:18, June 2, 2013 (UTC)

You are right that "Let's Kill Hitler" marked their first meeting, but I don't think River would have gotten away with another "Spoilers..." unless there was still more to reveal of her time line. As for the prophesy being fulfilled or not, the Doctor has rewritten lots of events, so it is possible that he has changed the timeline enough that this is what the fulfillment looks like. On the other hand, I can totally see Moffat pull a double entendre with the "fall of the eleventh" also meaning the end of November.

Ultimately, though, I have to agree with Badwolff that when Moffat wants something finished, there is no question. All these issues right now just mean he isn't finished yet. I can't wait for November...Doram baramour 05:51, June 2, 2013 (UTC)

With recent cast developments, I see a return to Trenzalore for this epic battle that the Doctor was involved in (so much for light-hearted Christmas specials). The "question being asked that must be answered truthfully" only occurred at the moment of the Fall of the Eleventh. And I don't think we saw that in The Name of the Doctor. I understand that you disagree. That's fine by me. Just sharing my opinion. Badwolff 19:35, June 2, 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, the recent cast developments aren't too surprising given Matt Smith's recent evasiveness about anything past Christmas. I reference to this they simply add more to suspicions I've developed recently but don't really want to voice before the 50th. My reasons for doubting the meaning of The Fall Of The Eleventh are touched on elsewhere and also the subject of a response to earlier statements in this thread that I'm slowly working on.DCT 12:07, June 3, 2013 (UTC)

We dont know what exactly the Silence were trying to avoid, only that the Prophecy said the question should never be answered. GI asks the question in order to get into the Tomb, and gain his revenge on the Doctor. Vastra explains that because The Doctor has saved so many people, GI rewriting his history would be catastrophic. SO Clara does the Impossible, and avoids the catastrophe. If this is the catastrophe the Silence were unkowingly trying to avoid, then the Prophecy seems to have been dealt with. And while you may feel cheated that we did not hear the answer to the Question, it was Clara doing the Impossible who actually defeated the Prophecy, not the Doctor not answering the Question.And Clara & The Doctor are still on Trenzalore, so there is room for more on the Prophecy as well.Phil Stone 07:52, June 3, 2013 (UTC)

I don't care what the Doctor's name is. I just find it implausible that the Silence were trying (multiple ways) to kill The Doctor to prevent The Great Intelligence from interfering with his timeline. That goes to the question that prompoted another thread. What is the connection between the GI and the Silence? How would the Silence even know that the GI had this plan to interfere with the Doctor's timeline? And foreseen this encounter millennia earlier? Badwolff 21:10, June 7, 2013 (UTC)
Who says that the Silence even knew that the GI would be the one to ask the Question? To me, that doesn't seem very likely, and it certainly isn't supported by the show. I think that the Silence were simply heeding the prophecy's warning that the Question must never be answered, and so they chose to kill the Doctor in order to make sure that he couldn't answer it (because really, it doesn't matter if the GI or Davros or the Rani or the Kandyman asks it, because they could all cause the same kind of destruction if it were to be answered). Ensephylon 09:11, June 8, 2013 (UTC)
Ensephylon: I agree the Silence probably had no idea who'd ask the question. They seem to have been acting on incomplete information & (quite likely) treating the worst that could happen as being what will happen. As I've said elsewhere, if the Silence had known about the GI, their sensible course of action would have been to ally themselves with the Doctor against the GI. The Silence are supposed to have studied the Doctor. Something that ought to be very clear from his history is that helping him to defeat an enemy stands an excellent chance of working but becoming his enemy is a recipe for disaster. -- to me 10:45, June 8, 2013 (UTC)
The thing is, The Silence would probably have trouble communicating with the Doctor effectively enough to be his ally given the fact you usually can't remember them. As we saw in Day Of The Moon, the Doctor finds the concept of The Silence wholly distasteful and unless they can explain to him exactly what the danger is - difficult since they don't know - they seem like the sort of beings that the Doctor would be loath to ally himself with.DCT 12:59, June 8, 2013 (UTC)

The Silence seems willing to use people like Madame Kovarian as their Ambassadors to form alliances. They could try to make a deal with the Doctor, if they wanted to do so without giving away their position on earth. (Did we ever get an explanation as to why the future doctor who summoned his friends to watch him (appear) to die at Lake Silencio also sent them to Canton Everett Delaware III in 1969? What clue led him there?)

The whole Silence/Silents/Headless Monks/Marines/Church business seems to turn on the question of who created the prophecy, how did they convince the Silence, and their allies of its accuracy, and what where The Prophet's real motives. The callousness with which the Silent in the White House despatches Joy suggests even the motives of the Silence in this war are not altruistic. Madame Kovarian's reference to a long running war suggests something beyond the struggle to create a weapon to destroy the Doctor just to upset the prophecy.And if the war just refers to the Silence being kicked off Earth (thanks to the Doctor) then why would the Church ally with them? The Silence could use their hypnotic powers I suppose, but on who that they had not already told to kill them on sight? At the same time, it would seem that Kovarian must be refering to a war involving her alliance, rather than involving the prophet's themselves. Otherwise the long war suggests both the Daleks, give the Time war and the "Long Game" which 9 upset, and the Cybermen, another perrenial enemy whose military moves the Doctor traditionally upsets. If the Prophet's have ulterior motives, they may know the Doctor well enough to know that you cannot beat him (easily) with an army. A different sort of attack is required.Phil Stone 05:22, June 9, 2013 (UTC)

Phil Stone: I'm not going to respond in detail now. There seems to be a lot of sense in what you say & I definitely need time to think about it.

In the meantime, you ask about Canton: As far as I'm aware, no explanation has been given. It looked as if Canton got involved only because he happened to be there in 1969 & the future Doctor included older Canton in the Lake Silencio "party" because he had been involved in 1969. For Amy & Rory, the events of 1969 were (at that point) still in their personal futures. For both older Canton & future Doctor, those events were already in their personal pasts. The future Doctor had confided in older Canton, telling him to bring the petrol (sorry, gasoline) & so on, because older Canton was the one for whom information about the events of 1969 wouldn't be "spoilers". The future Doctor could talk more freely to older Canton. Even for River, some of those events were still in her future. In any case, the Doctor's often as unsure about River's timeline as we are, so he needs to be cautious about "spoilers".

The possibility always exists, though, that there's something going on that we don't know about or that we just haven't yet noticed. Especially with Moffat doing the writing, that's a constant hazard. -- to me 22:15, June 9, 2013 (UTC)

P.S. Since older Canton was the one in whom the future Doctor could most readily confide, it's certainly significant that it was older Canton who assured the others that the body really was the Doctor & really was dead, shutting off the speculation & doubt (a clone? a copy?) that might have led them to discover that it was the Teselecta in the form of the Doctor. At minimum, older Canton must have been warned to squash anything that might lead to a close examination of the body or raise doubts about its authenticity. -- to me 22:41, June 9, 2013 (UTC)

It may have just been intended to tie the end to the beginning, but when the Doctor is taking leave of President Nixon & Canton at the end of "Day of the Moon," he mentions to Canton that he will see him after the millenium, or something like that. It suggests that this Doctor, who will apparently "run" for over one hundred years before taking his friends to Lake Silencio, is already planning something.

What you said about River's timeline is interesting, since we have a scene where she compares diaries with the Doctor to find out "when" they are with respect to one another. It serves the obvious purpose of allowing the two different Doctors to differentiate themselves based on what they have experianced with River, as well as by stated age. But it may also be that the Doctor wanted to be sure that he got a particular "version" of River, who he could trust to follow his plan, (and may even been briefed in advance.)

One more thought: We see the scene of the Doctor's apparent death many times in this series. In one view we see him say to the Astronaut, Its ok, I know who you are. That is of course something that the Doctor with the special straw could not have said, because he is just learning Amy is pregnant, and its connection to River is long away. The solution is a second, older Doctor, who has learned the truth about his executioner. And while River shooting an objectionable hat threatens to become a habit, from the Doctor's perspective, its been more than a century since she shot the fez.Phil Stone 03:39, June 10, 2013 (UTC)

Phil Stone: "from the Doctor's perspective, its been more than a century since she shot the fez" & we don't know how long it was for River, though presumably less than that.

To go back to your earlier points:

"The Silence seems willing to use people like Madame Kovarian as their Ambassadors to form alliances." Their attitude to Kovarian & co suggests the Silents see them more as disposable "front-(wo)men" than ambassadors. What we learned of them from Day of the Moon makes it seem that this is their normal attitude to all other races, except (presumably) any that pose a real threat to them.

"who created the prophecy, how did they convince the Silence, and their allies of its accuracy, and what were The Prophet's real motives[?]": Almost all discussions, including those about The Name of the Doctor, seem to take it for granted that the prophecy must be literally accurate, even if not yet correctly interpreted. To confuse the discussions further, the response of the Silence to the prophecy gets tangled up with the prophecy itself. The bit about "Silence will fall" (or "must fall") seems to me to be the response. It's what the Silence intend to do about it, not part of the actual prophecy.

The prophecy seems to say that allowing the question to be answered will produce some kind of catastrophe, of which the Silence is afraid. We still don't know what kind of catastrophe or for whom it would be a catastrophe. The Silence obviously believe that the "for whom" includes them but we don't know if they believe it includes anyone else. We certainly don't know that it does include anyone else.

If (say) allowing the question to be answered would result in the Silence failing to take control of the universe, they might regard that as a catastrophe but those they intended to subjugate would not.

We also don't know if whoever created the prophecy convinced anyone except the Silence that it was accurate. It's possible that the originator(s) of the prophecy convinced only the Silence & that the Silence then convinced others. What's more, the Silence could have distorted the prophecy in order to do that. Their callous attitude to others & their propensity for using others as their tools would make it natural for them to deceive their allies into acting against those allies' own interests, if that was in the interests of the Silence.

To sum up, so far:

  • "who created the prophecy"? Unknown.
  • "how did they convince the Silence"? Unknown.
  • "and their allies"? We don't even know the originator(s) of the prophecy did that. The Silence might have done it, once they were convinced.
  • Is the prophecy accurate? Unknown.
  • What does the prophecy actually foretell? Unknown.
  • "what were the Prophet's real motives"? Unknown.

There seems to be a radical shortage of reliable information. -- to me 13:38, June 10, 2013 (UTC)

To continue:

"Madame Kovarian's reference to a long running war suggests something beyond the struggle to create a weapon...": Yes. What she said was that the "endless, bitter war ... against you, Doctor" was the reason for creating the weapon (Melody/River).

The thing that struck me most at the time (A Good Man Goes to War) was that that was the first the Doctor had heard of the "endless, bitter war" against him. Either 1. the Silence had been so brilliantly effective at concealing their role in events (& at concealing that many events were connected in a campaign) that even the Doctor had never become suspicious or 2. they were so hopelessly ineffective that he hadn't even noticed he was being attacked. The alternative possibility is that most of the events of the war take place in the Doctor's future & creating the weapon was an attempt to go back into his personal past & to stop him before the events of the war could happen.

It obviously is a time war (lower case) but that needn't mean a connection with the Last Great Time War (upper case), beyond the fact that both involve the Doctor.

The other very obvious fact is that the Silence behaved as if they were desperate -- as if, in fact, they were losing the war & losing it badly. -- to me 14:05, June 10, 2013 (UTC)

I didn't assume the prophecy was legitimate, it might be a way to manipulate the Silence, or it might be a self fulfilling prophecy, in that because the Silence think the DOctor must die, as he said, it was his silence that must fall. The fact that there is a legitimate reason for the Doctor to not go to Trenzalore makes it easier to see why anyone might think the Prophecy applies to the Doctor. (It occurs to me that the John Hurt Doctor may actually be the one they do not want to get to Trenzalore, and the question to be avoided is along the lines of how many innocent lives can be sacrificed to save some number of others.) Context means so much, and everyone in the Doctor's world seems to know more than we do about what is/was/will be going on.

Its speculation, but if it is the future war to which Kovarian is refering, perhaps that is part of how she was persuaded to work for the Silence. I suspect that it may be important that the Silence have been on Earth as long as they have, but did not interfere with the Doctor till "now." And given the Silence have time travel access, it might be that they could act in the past before 1969 to protect some part of their influence on Earth. And I still suspect that John Hurt was the one for whom Porridge felt sorry, who ended the Cyber war at such great cost. I suspect this all ties together. Perhaps the systems that were destroyed were the home of the Silence, or where they would flee after 1969. Or perhaps they were just conned. While wars are plentful in history, bringing too many into one story is a little confusing. The point of doing would seem to be to either point out similarities or contrasts between the wars, or to eventually make it clear they are the same war. Which is perhaps why so many are speculating that this is all about the Time War.(It would be pretty sneaky for the Daleks to plant the Silence on Earth to use as a weapon thousands of years later. But not thousands of years for the Time Travelling Daleks who planted them.)Phil Stone 14:52, June 10, 2013 (UTC)

"I didn't assume the prophecy was legitimate": No. You didn't. That's why I said "almost all" instead of "all" seem to take it as if it has to be. I was aware I was agreeing with you in questioning that -- even if I didn't make it clear enough that I was aware of it.

It may be because of a wish for "poetic justice" but I find the possibility that the very manipulative Silence might themselves be being manipulated a very attractive idea.

Also attractive is the idea of an invented prophecy that's designed to be self-fulfilling.

I have reservations about the Daleks being the ultimate culprits but those reservations are because they've already appeared so often, which is really an out-of-universe consideration. In terms of in-universe logic, the Daleks do have a record of trying to cause wars between others, in order to weaken those others & give the Daleks an easier conquest afterwards. They did it, for example, in Frontier in Space & used the Master as their agent (not entirely successfully). -- to me 17:00, June 10, 2013 (UTC)

Oh, my brain hurts! This conversation has moved so far from where it was a few days ago.
I had never even considered the source of the prophecy. On a TV show, where there is a limited amount of time and space for backstory, there is a lot of short hand and so I just took it on faith that the prophecy was a legitimate thing.
Thinking about Lake Silencio, it's still hard to wrap my mind around the fact that River's timeline goes "The Wedding of River Song" > "The Impossible Astronaut" and Series 6 (well, except for "Let's Kill Hitler)...because it's only after Wedding that River goes ahead and shoots the Teleselecta Doctor that we see in Astronaut. So, she has to pretend for all of that time that she doesn't know about the Doctor's plan and go through the motions of searching for herself as a little girl. And knowing all of the time that Rory & Amy were her parents but not saying anything until "A Good Man Goes to War." It's stunning the amount of secrets "Spoilers" covers. Badwolff 19:07, June 10, 2013 (UTC)
Badwolff, "Oh, my brain hurts!": Welcome to the club!
"Spoilers!" does cover quite a lot. And what did River say, just before she faded out in "The Name of the Doctor"? -- "Spoilers!" :)
"On a TV show, where there is a limited amount of time and space for backstory...": Moffat uses that. More specifically, he uses the fact that viewers won't enquire too much about backstory that's been omitted. He did it a lot with River but not only with her. It allows him to put stuff in without explaining. Then, later on -- sometimes much later on -- he can pick up on the bits that are useful to whatever new idea he's developing & ignore the rest.
To be fair, he's not the first to do that. Ian Briggs did it in 1987 - 1989 with Ace. In Dragonfire, he simply had a 16-year-old girl from 20th-century Perivale living on the planet Svartos about two thousand million years in the future (has to be then, as Glitz was also there), because she'd been taken there by a "time storm". Briggs knew that was improbable & unexplained but left it that way. Two years later, when he wrote The Curse of Fenric, he picked up on that "time storm", mixed it with a few incidentals (like chess sets) from other stories that had been aired in the interim, & finally told us why & by whom Ace had been dumped on Svartos. He even took what had only been a minor touch of humour -- Ace beating the Doctor at chess when they were relaxing in the closing scene of a story -- & made that significant.
With River, Moffat has (eventually) explained what it suited him to explain & has kept open the option of leaving the rest unexplained by establishing that she & the Doctor have met many times that we've not seen -- we still know almost nothing about "Jim the Fish", for example.
With the prophecy, if he wants it to be a genuine prophecy, he can leave matters pretty much as they stand. He doesn't need to tell us where it came from &c. If, on the other hand, he wants to tell a story about how the Silence have been manipulated, he has the hooks on which to hang that story. Or, perhaps, some other writer in 40-odd years time will come back to it & explain it. That, after all, is exactly what Moffat did with the Great Intelligence. Until The Snowmen, we'd no idea of where the behind-the-scenes villain of 2 stories in 1967-8 had come from, nor why that villain had tried attacking the London Underground, of all places. -- to me 00:22, June 11, 2013 (UTC)
Your head hurts? Imagine how mine feels. I seem to have posted the innocculous comment that started the conversation and then haven't found time to return to qualify what I said. I should point I qualify my claim to instigating the conversation by the speed this seems to have grown since I posted, I am aware that it's not the first post in the chain.
So to qualify what I said, I am aware that The Silence employ ambassadors such as Madam Kovarian to form alliances but the principle stands: The Doctor is no fool and will need convincing.
The story is written in such a way that even when it is right in front of us we tend to forget that the Doctor is a cladestine individual who is innately suspicious and doesn't trust others easily and he knows how to spot lies. And The Silence deal in lies.
You talk of the killing of Joy in the bathroom, but but we only know her namer because the "Silent" who killed her gave it to Amy. Amy asked why she had to die, the "Silent" said: "Joy". It's clever writing. you think we're being told the woman died for the pleasure of the "Silent but then learn the "Silent" is just interested in Amy learnint the name of said woman. A clue to something, it certain shows the "Silent" to at least have an interest in the identity of its victims. A clue to what exactly?
The so-called "war" is a different matter. It's one of those times where Doctor Who suggests that other species have a different opinion of the Doctor than many of the ones we see. Madame Kovarian talks of the Doctor as a villain and a great enemy who The Silence have tried to kill many times but the effort involved in creating the fixed point tells against this.
Madame Kovarian's explaination seems to be to "official" version of eventsbut after many years of searching the Doctor goes to Dorium and is told something else, something has nothing to do with the Doctor's enemies.
The point is the the Doctor and The Silence are not so different both being highly clandestine by nature. We heard in The Wedding Of River Song how Kovarion boasted on the wisdom of The "Silents" when the eye-drives turned and then pleaded with then when hers turned too. Madame K thought she was privelidged with The "Silents" and she wasn't. The Silence is run by The "Silents"; they share their secrets with nobody and only they know the true purpose of The Silence. Which is why they can't forge an allience with the Doctor.DCT 13:28, June 11, 2013 (UTC)
"the Doctor is a cladestine individual who is innately suspicious and doesn't trust others easily": He doesn't behave at all as if he's like that. He takes on companions without spending much time getting to know them & he does trust them. Only in rare cases, when a companion has behaved in an untrustworthy manner, does he withdraw that trust.
How does merely learning the name of a victim remove (or even reduce) the callousness & evil of killing that victim -- out of hand & for no very strong reason?
Kovarian believed she was privileged because the Silents had falsely led her to believe she was. She served them loyally, then they simply disposed of her -- painfully. She was a fool, certainly, but they behaved in a thoroughly callous & evil way.
"they share their secrets with nobody and only they know the true purpose of The Silence. Which is why they can't forge an allience with the Doctor": No. It isn't. It may be why they won't attempt an alliance with him. They're not unable to, they choose not to. That's an important difference. -- to me 14:28, June 11, 2013 (UTC)
That was probably for dramatic purposes. In this case "won't" and "can't" have the same weight something which isn't something that can be said about all terms under discussion. As fot the Doctor's trust issues part of those objections are due to Moffat's attempt to retcon the story. In the past their was a lot less "soft mystery" companions tended only to go forward with the Doctor "home" stories were virtually non-exist due to the "disobedience" of the TARDIS. These days the story is different and in the Moffat era we also have things like the four envelopes numbered, apparently, according to the Doctor's level of trust and look who's number one. We have Madame Vastra pointing out to Clara how little she knows him.
It's not some original theory I'm propagating it's the way Steven Moffat's presenting him these days. The fact that he takes humans with him at the drop of a hat doesn't mean he specifically trusts his companions it just means he doesn't find them particularly threatening. The ideas aren't mutually exclusive.DCT 16:01, June 11, 2013 (UTC)
Oops, I neglected to answer some of those points you made. I was also glossing slightly so what I said will probably not be universally suited to all circumstances. I'll now try to do better.
Why does The "Silent" revealing Joy's name diminish the act of murder. It doesn't, obviously. But The "Silent" in question will have had a reason for doing it and a reason it answered Amy as it did. We just don't know what those reasons are. At one point I did wonder it there was a danger that Joy might ask "the question" and was killed to prevent it but the subsequent discovery that what the "Silent" fear is connected to the question only in a specific circumstance somewhat diminished that idea.
Further on the companion matter which is pertinent to my argument you seem to think I'm implying that the Doctor doesn't at all trust his companions. Not at all but trust is relative not absolute. The Doctor may not take long choosing his companions but nor does he just drag them in off the streets most of them have shared at least one adventure with him and begun to prove their worth in someway before they get invited to journey with him and then as the rare evidence demonstrates it's only an unofficial probationary.
The Doctor always has to take the initiative, remember he is an older, superior man from an older, superior species; and he knows it. There are certain things that Doctor can trust and that is that anyone who comes with him is basically dependent on him for their needs. They don't have any specific designs on him, they aren't connected enough to come up with any, and they aren't likely to ask questions about things they aren't going to under. The Doctor can give his companions initial trust by assuming basic dependable factors that will restrict their actions.
Nevertheless he's still inclined to suspicion and needs to be in charge to protect himself. We saw how unnerved he got when River whispered his name (not too surprising, he didn't know River) and when Wilfred Mott "found" him (slightly more surprising, he semed to really like Wilfred). These sort of things make him wary and suspicious. People trying to use him for their own ends, who want to deal with him on their own terms make him suspicious. His human companions generally can't do this because they are in the weaker position as long as they are travelling with him.
That said it is fair to qualify my above statement that might suggest I see the Doctor as just a one man version of The "Silents", I don't. The Doctor certain can trust and his trust can be earned and many his of his companions spend much of their journey doing just that. This is because the Doctor is an individual being and can can put his secrets in a box and the almost never have to come up, he can live his life without them. This isn't true for the "Silents".
The secrets of The "Silents" explain what they do and define what they are, they can no more ignore them then we can ignore our need to breath oxygen.
And so we've arrive back at the start of the argument I made above. The Silence cannot engage with others honestly without divulging their secrets because that is he nature of their business. The Doctor can because he is more than his. But at the same time the possibility of others trying to use him for his skills or his secrets makes him wary if they approach him on their terms. If they try to deceive him and he spots it he will swiftly sever relations and this is the difficulty that The Silence have in forging a relationship with the Doctor.DCT 16:08, June 12, 2013 (UTC)
You know, I was told that The Howling was of the lowest importance on this wiki but I learn more from reading everyone's comments and thoughts here (even when there is much disagreement) than I do reading over episode recaps or character profiles. For example, I really thought the Silent said that killing people brought them did you conclude it was the woman's name? Badwolff 19:41, June 12, 2013 (UTC)
DCT: The Doctor was disturbed when Wilf found him so quickly because, on top of that being unusual, he was already worried that someone/something was manipulating events. He'd been summoned by the Ood, which is itself unusual. He'd found that something had accelerated their development: "That's far too fast!" The Ood had warned him about the Master, about things from the past affecting the future & about "It is returning." He was distrustful of events that showed signs of manipulation. He wasn't distrustful of Wilf; he trusted & confided in him. Look at the café scene.
In the Library, he was astonished by discovering that a woman he'd never met was someone to whom, in her past but in his future, he'd tell his name. He wasn't "unnerved"; he was simply surprised by something extremely unusual in his life.
"People trying to use him for their own ends... make him suspicious." Anyone with any sense gets suspicious when others try to use them. The ones who don't get suspicious in those circumstances are generally known as "mugs".
I'm afraid you're trying to make the evidence fit your theory, instead of the other way round. That distorts things. In this case, it has given you a badly distorted view of the Doctor. He does have secrets, of course. For the most part they're secrets because revealing them would harm others.
From the way he was introduced, the John Hurt incarnation (whatever he turns out to be) might be an exception to this. However, he's been introduced in that way by Moffat, who loves to misdirect & mislead the audience, so it's possible -- if not likely -- that this secret, too, is being kept by the Doctor to protect others, rather than himself. (I was 89 earlier.) -- to me 19:47, June 12, 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, RTD never really explained that bit about the fast evolving Ood culture did he? I wonder why that line was even written into the script? Something to mention and never touch on again? Badwolff 20:06, June 12, 2013 (UTC)
From the context (& only from the context), I think it was intended to be understood as a consequence of the disruption of time caused by the Time Lords' attempt to break out of the time lock. As you say, it was never actually explained. Neither, of course, was the Woman's ability to appear to Wilf -- & apparently only to him -- before the Master had established the link that threatened to let the Time Lords & Gallifrey break out. -- to me 22:20, June 12, 2013 (UTC)
That's probably because I don't remember the episode that well. In the RTD era series arcs tended to be self-contained, it wasn't necessary to know one series to discuss speculation about the next. It reduced the need to rush to return to them. I do remember things that strongly impressed on me though such s those reactions from the Doctor. And the Doctor must be someone alarmed when River tells him his name. He says there's only one circumstance he'd tell her that, if he's right that's a big spoiler. I don't intend to say that the Doctor didn't trust Wilf anymore, he clearly does. I don't need to watch the cafe scene again for that the whole story tells against that. Nevertheless he didn't seem to be talking of his meeting with Wilf in the respect to the current circumstances. He seemed to be reconsidering the entire history of their relationship. I don't thinking he really suspected Wilf of anything but he must have entertained the notion at least fleeting that Wilf might no longer be what he seemed. He'd be a "mug" not to. That doesn't really harm my main argument though, The Silence are likely the most manipulative beings in the history of the show, if the Doctor has a radar for that sort of thing, and it sounds like he may, then meeting the Silence would send it rocketing to unprecedented heights however they dress their approach.
But I do entirely agree that many of his secrets are kept to protect others rather than himself, however I imagine it may be that his biggest secrets are kept to protect both.DCT 16:02, June 13, 2013 (UTC)

Badwolf-Amy asked why he killed her, he answered "Joy." Amy said "what?" or something to that effect, and he answered,"Joy, her name was Joy. And your name is Amelia Pond..." As a Silent who hangs around the White House, its not surprising he would have heard her name. Why is never explained as even Amy will forget about the death. Perhaps he was being ironic and did enjoy killing her. or perhaps her recognition that she was repreating herself exposed a weakness oi the Silence. But why did he force Amy to draw the Doctor's attention to her pregnancy.?Phil Stone 03:34, June 13, 2013 (UTC)

That was what happened but the "Silents" are strange beings. For the sake of simplicity I'm going to accept that they did actually kill Joy. I don't absolutely know that they did, there wasn't must left of her and she may have been a flesh avatar for all I know, "killed" to unnerve Amy. I can't understand why her repeating herself would show a weakness of the Silence as you suggest. It seems more to suggest a weakness of her as unlike Amy she was unable to recognize she'd seen the "Silent" before and comprehend as Amy did what was happening. This may need some thought...DCT 16:02, June 13, 2013 (UTC)

When I wrote that I thought it suggested a weakness, I had forgotten she was still aware of the Silence in The Ladies Room. So I thought that too much exposure to a Silent might lead a person to recognize the hole in their memory it was creating.

But Another thought on that scene: Joy was distracting the Silent's purpose, to command Amy to tell the Doctor she was pregnant. Whether or not it has an effect on their powers of suggestion, I think the Silence likes to intimidate, and so destroyed Joy to regain control of the situation. Letting Joy leave unmolested would not have been so dramatic or terrifying. But they may be like the person who just has to have the last word. They think of Earth as their's & its people their's to use as they like. The scene made clear that this was not a symbiotic relationship.

We see this when the Doctor rescues Amy. He points out that he is not intimidated by not only remarking on his own cool demeanor, but mocks the Silence themselves. They cannot retake the initiative by speaking, because no one can out talk the Doctor, and they dont want to give away that the Doctor has not really rescued Amy. But they cannot stand for The Doctor to win the confrontation, even though they probably know that they are a decoy in a plan to destroy him.Phil Stone 20:32, June 13, 2013 (UTC)

More thought hasn't yielded too many more ideas although the line was, in the main a means for me to wind down a message I had no longer the time to continue writing. I was trying to explain that the "Silents" are strange beings who apparently killed Joy though may not fear death themselves.
Why they killed Joy we do not know (or it the Silent we saw may not have been acting with the endorsement of its fellows), maybe her repetition suggested a level of stupidity that it couldn't abide, maybe it found her xenophobia offensive maybe it was trying to scare Amy or maybe it was trying to prevent the possibility of her asking the question which it considers a secret of The Silence and won't have other people articulating.
Is this possible? Well, it had come with a message for Amy and while apparently Amy is presumed to understand what the Doctor both "must" and "must never" know without explanation, if that message was said in Joy's presence she might be tempted to ask for qualification of the subject. Not likely perhaps, but it's one way in which the scene could unfold.
You speculated that the Silent (I'm going to stop using air quotes after the first reference in posts now to avoid tedium) didn't explain it's action because even Amy would not remember the encounter yet it allowed her to take its photo on her camera and it must have known why she was doing that and that she would remember the whole encounter when she eventually did what she was hoping she would do. Did the Silent kill Joy before of after the photo was taken, it was before wasn't it?
It's a shame we don't get to see that play out but I suppose it stops Steven Moffat having to reveal what Amy does and doesn't tell everyone about her discovery.
Nevertheless Amy leaves the bathroom and the story plays out to the point that you described above. This is what starts to be strange about the Silents, they actually seem to be prepared to sacrifice their lives trying to deceive the Doctor that he's rescued Amy so they can slip their flesh avatar in. Either that or they've dispatched soon lesser level Silents who were genuinely briefed that they were guarding Amy. That actually seems he less likely somehow. The double standard of the Silents seems to be between themselves and other species not themselves and lesser Silents.
But sacrifice themselves they do not, ultimately, because the Doctor gets too close to Amy but because he has them have the humans turn on them - apparently.
The thing is, that the Silents may actually be the most matched adversaries the Doctor has ever had. The fact is they successfully take Amy and then they successfully take Melody and the only thing that stops them ensure the Doctor's death by creating a fixed point out of it is him ingeniusly changing the parameters of the point.
How effective was the Doctor's last gambit really. Certainly it stops the Silents ordering any more humans around but how often did they actually do that anyway? They said they'd been there since the wheel and fire but whether they were taking credit for that is unclear.
You argued that Joy may have exposed a weakness in the Silents but Amy seemed to do better at that. In just two encounters she was able to work out the nature of the Silents and think about how to warn the Doctor about them. If that's not an exception rather than a rule then Silents can't really appear o the same person too much without risking giving themselves away.
That aside how much danger are the Silents really in from humans? It's unclear that they exist exactly the same space-time dimension we do They vanish very fast when people look away, even from places they look like their territory. They return just as fast as well. That sort of thing makes it hard to accept that just because you can't see the Silents anymore it follows that they're actually not there.DCT 15:03, June 14, 2013 (UTC)
The Silents don't actually vanish/phase out when people look away; the people who look at them just can't remember that they were there. We see this in "The Impossible Astronaut" when Joy looks away from the Silent in the washroom and it continues to stand behind her. We also know that they are strictly physical in form, as Canton and Amy were able to shoot and injure them in "Day of the Moon" and "The Wedding of River Song", respectively. Ensephylon 21:33, June 16, 2013 (UTC)
What happens in the washroom really isn't a good example to argue against this position for the following two reasons. The first reason is that even when Joy wasn't looking at the "Silent" Amy was which would kind of defeat that point. The second reason was the the Silent in question had come with the express purpose of communicating with Amy, it wasn't going to leave until it had done so.
On other occasions we've seen Silents come and go very suddenly. The first one that we see and that Amy sees, is a case in point. The Silent is watching them she sees, she goes to tell everyone else then she forgets and it's gone. Did it really just stop doing whatever it came to do, that seems unlikely unless what it came to do was plant it's self in Amy's head.
Similarly when River and Rory enter the "deserted" space ship which at first isn't deserted, then is, then isn't again, where did those Silents go to and return from, where were they hiding and why? Why did they return again afterwards? What effect were they trying to create?DCT 15:44, June 17, 2013 (UTC)

My best guess of the Silents vanishing when River and Rory where exploring the TARDIS lookalike was that it was a similar technique used when Amy was in the orphaanage. The scenes where we don't see the Silents are from the perspective of river and Rory. Since they can't remember the Silents they think they are in an empty hallway and so that is what we see. to me 18:17, June 17, 2013 (UTC)

82: Your "best guess" is spot on. What was shown kept switching from the "objective" view -- Silents visible even when not being looked at by characters -- to the "subjective" view -- what the characters themselves were seeing (or thought they were seeing). It's a fairly standard visual story-telling technique, especially when the characters are hallucinating or are being deceived by illusions or are, for some other reason, just not seeing what's really there. It was used in Frontier in Space, episode 6, for example, when the Third Doctor used the "hypnosound" to make an Ogron see him as the Gold Dalek. -- to me 19:14, June 17, 2013 (UTC)

I can't really see what distinction you are trying to draw. In The Impossible Astronaut the "view" we are shown is this: River enters the mystery spaceship. She see's a corridor full of "Silents" so do we, so that would be her "subjective view" according to you. She gets scared and flees. River's a brave woman, such a reaction suggests a previous "suggestion" from the Silents.
River leaves the ship and then tells Rory it's all clear. They return to the ship again, now the corridor appears to be empty to us (objective view) and to River and Rory (subjective view) or they would never have continued down the corridor. Nevertheless they do proceed and arrive at the "bridge" where they are suddenly cornered by those Silents that we all thought had vanished. We don't find out whatever happens next because the episodes ends and resumes three months later when they have miraculously escaped.
I can't see how your argument work here, we're principally watching in subjective view because that explains River and Rory's behavior. River and Rory's perception may have been manipulated but the story still doesn't explain how.
The orphanage scene is not entirely comparable, a lot of strange things happen in the orphanage. Most of the time the Silents were on the ceiling, that corridor seemed a bit small for that here and it certainly wasn't possible at the picnic. No, on evidence, if the Silents were still in that corridor then River and Rory would have kept seeing them, in the same way Joy kept seeing the one in the washroom. No, they were either hiding or gone. Neither possibility has been elucidated and either would protect them from weak humans trying to kill them on sight.DCT 13:24, June 18, 2013 (UTC)
Then they were probably hiding, which would still accomplish what the Doctor was trying to do, which was to create a hostile environment for the Silents. If they have to stay in hiding because any human who sees them will try to kill them, then they can't really go walking around. They'd have to either leave in one of their ships or stay in hiding. Either way, humans won't be manipulated by the Silents anymore. Ensephylon 16:42, June 18, 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, when I said hiding I didn't mean behind a convenient wall of other obstruction: there weren't any. I'll try and explain this with further reference to the orphanage scenes which I've given further consideration since I last posted. It's worth noting also that even the fact of "Silents" on th ceiling is a difficult example because a lot of this is done for dramatic - and misleading - purposes.
The episodes in which The Silence are introduced present few illustrations to justify them as frightening, but one of the foremost pieces of evidence that the Silents are not particularly friendly is the fact they like playing mind games. They like to toy with their victims make them believe they should be scared or sometimes to suggest they are in the stronger position when they're not. We've seem The Silence do all these things and this event is one of the most nefarious.
The Doctor has instructed his companions that should they see any members of The Silence they should mark on their skin with ink as an aid to memory of encountering them. He has also given them recording devices to collect evidence on. They arrive at Graystark Hall where they separate and Amy enters a room in which she sees a Silent she rather foolish gives away what she is doing as she marks its appearance on her arm.
Next thing we know Amy has recorded herself a message warning her to escape and then finds her self covered in ink lines which would initially suggest a huge gap in her memory a significant passage of time and a sequentially encounter with various members of The Silence which she mark off one by one. She looks up, sees the Silents on the ceiling and leaves the room. Or some arrangement like that.
Except this doesn't seem very plausible and The Silents could have killed her whenever they wanted but didn't. What seems more plausible is The Silent crossing over to Amy relieving her of the pen and scrawling all over her to give her a nervous attack as soon as she comes to herself.
Of course they don't do that either. What they actually do is capture Amy cart her away and then let her flesh avatar walk out the room just to hide ny danger of her realizing she's no longer her. As a said the Silents like playing mind games. The fact that they were on the ceiling in order to scare Avatar Amy doesn't mean they had to be. They got Amy out of that room and replaced her with a flesh copy without her being any the wiser. I fear that the Doctor's gambit I fear is only effective for people who are commonly armed and they can't catch alone. Anyone they can capture and restrain or worse still replace with a flesh avatar they can probably still work their mind magic on, the Doctor's play is only meaningful to people who are in a position to kill Silents om sight, anyone else is vulnerable.DCT 16:01, June 19, 2013 (UTC)
I could be wrong, but I think it's been established that Amy in the orphanage is already a ganger, and that would explain why they don't kill her. Shambala108 16:25, June 19, 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, the Amy in the orphanage was already a ganger. She saw Kovarian through a hatch on one of the doors, and the Doctor later stated that they took her "before America." Ensephylon 16:48, June 19, 2013 (UTC)
Why would the Doctor know? He wasn't there or he'd have stopped it. Remind me of the context the Doctor said that please so I can check for extenuating factors. In the meantime here's what we know.
We know that in The Impossible stronaut Amy belived she was pregnant, quite correctly. We know she met a "Silent" in a bathroom which suggested she should tell the Doctor that. Or rather didn't Amy just made her own mind up about what they meant. She then tells the Doctor of her pregnancy Now a Silent with Amy in custody would hardly nead to do that, it could just open the hatch speak and then close it again and she'll forget about it.
In the orpahange Amy goes into the nice room we've been discussing, an unclear about of time passes then she leaves and, assuming this site has recorded its details correctly, sees Madame K for the first time on a neighbouring door. On reflection the implication seems clear at present. Unless Steven Moffat intends to make clear exactly when Amy was abducted which would require other explanations for this tellingly timed appearence.DCT 17:02, June 19, 2013 (UTC)
Even if the Doctor had been mistaken about when Amy was abducted & replaced with a ganger, she definitely was a ganger by the time she saw Kovarian in the orphanage. Seeing Kovarian like that only happened to -- could only happen to -- the ganger copy of Amy. It could only happen to the ganger copy because it was Amy's mind briefly being aware of what her real body was seeing.
Furthermore, it could only happen once Amy's real body was at Demon's Run, because that was where the hatch was & she couldn't see it until she was there. For her to see Kovarian like that, Amy's real body had to have been taken to Demon's Run and put into the device that allowed her mind to animate the ganger (the device that had the hatch in it), then the ganger had to be created & taken to where Amy was supposed to be.
Anyway, as Ensephylon said, 'the Doctor later stated that they took her "before America."' You need to note the word 'later'. By the time he said that, the Doctor had learned much more about what was happening. In particular, he'd learned how to tell ganger Amy & real Amy apart. He'd had time to think back & to work out when Amy had started showing the signs that indicated she was a ganger. He'd also had very strong reason to work that out. He didn't know & never claimed to know exactly when the abduction took place. What he was saying was, in effect, that by the time he first met her in America (&, in his timestream, that was in the café after the shooting), she was already a ganger.
The Doctor didn't go into details about how he knew -- he usually doesn't. It could easily have been something that we not only were not shown but also could not have been shown: smell, perhaps. (In The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky, that was one of the ways the Doctor spotted that Martha was a clone.) The Doctor (in The Eleventh Hour) could tell how old a shed was by tasting it. If he'd noticed a change in Amy's scent but hadn't at first realised what it signified, once he did realise that, he could & would think back to when he initially noticed it. As I say, we don't know how he worked out that the switch was "before America" but there are several possible ways he could have done so. Most likely, it'd be by putting a number of small signs together & identifying that they'd all changed at about the same time. (I was 89 earlier.) -- to me 18:36, June 19, 2013 (UTC)
I will concede that under normal circumstances I would take the Doctor at his word, however little conviction he may have said it with. Steven Moffat put it in the story and presumably had a reason for doing so. However, as I alluded, the timing of this is so powerfully telling that it makes his claim doubtful especially given how weak his conviction seems to be. The Doctor certainly can't say oh, well while she was at the orphanage she stepped in a room and a Ganger stepped out again. He wasn't there himself he was messing around with Apollo at the time and such a statement would show more omniscience than even he could get away with.
As far as we saw the Doctor never left Amy and Rory from the moment they met in The Impossible Astronaut. He wasn't always very nice to them, he became very suspicious when they with held from him the important fact of his death. He would just believe the people he supposedly trusted the most that they had good reason to hide this from him. He doubted them all and he turned on River and then Rory and then Amy, <gasp> he made her swear on fish fingers and custard.
Amy was a flesh avatar, she wasn't a ganger. It was like Amy in stereo. She was incarcerated at Demon's Run but she was also traveling with the Doctor and Rory. It was always Amy just not in Amy's body. Presumably the flesh copy did everything real Amy would do except carry a baby. This baby is, of course, pretty important. The Silence were pretty clear they wanted her to tell the Doctor about her pregnancy and she did. Shortly afterwards they were separated for three months.
Now Amy believes she is pregnant, presumably she has all the standard symptoms that are telling her she's pregnant. When do they go? Amy must be reasonably well into her pregnancy because it began in the TARDIS after The Big Bang and she's now been separated from the Doctor for some time (I forget how long). However at the end of Day Of The Moon more than three months after telling him this and not when it would have been pertinent during the earlier part of the adventure she reveals she's not pregnant after all. Does the, oh so trusting Doctor accept this assessment, does he believe the third most trusted person in his life? No, he gets suspicious and starts investigating her behind her back.
I have never believe Amy got kidnapped "before America" the idea goes against several key details in how the story is presented. I used to think it was just another one of the numerous things that happened in the three months we didn't get to see. But seeing it present in two paragraphs of the site summery here just makes it look like that's what is being suggested to us.
How do I respond to the objection that Amy must have been at Demon's Run when she first saw Madame K. Well, I can't be sure of that as I'm sure a similar environment could be built in the orphanage to hold her temporarily if necessary. But I don't think that is necessary. We're talking about Amy being stolen to Demon's Run from the very same orphanage when they are now keeping the child that they've already stolen from her at Demon's Run. I don't think it's a stretch.DCT 13:20, June 20, 2013 (UTC)
DCT, "Amy was a flesh avatar, she wasn't a ganger": Amy was a ganger in the way that the gangers were supposed to be. They weren't intended (or expected) to become distinct autonomous individuals. The purpose of the Flesh technology was to create copies of people's bodies that were animated by those people's minds while their real bodies were dormant. With Amy, the Flesh technology worked the way it was intended to work; it was the gangers who became distinct autonomous individuals (because of the "solar tsunami") who were anomalous.
The initial reason that the Doctor "[got] suspicious and start[ed] investigating her behind her back" was exactly the same reason I got suspicious: Amy was behaving oddly. The Doctor has had previous experience of associates, companions -- & even himself -- being replaced by copies serving the purposes of his (& their) enemies. Any viewer who has watched the show regularly for a reasonable time has seen that done before. The Nestene Consciousness has done it. The Daleks have done it. Starting to wonder if it's been done again is far from unreasonable. It's not a matter of distrusting Amy. It's a matter of distrusting the situation.
Amy seemed to be inconsistent about whether or not she was pregnant. Why? Was she ill? Was she pregnant & reacting badly to it? That doesn't happen often but does happen & is potentially dangerous to the woman. There was good reason for him to check -- for Amy's own sake. When the TARDIS couldn't decide whether or not Amy was pregnant, it was obvious that there was something badly adrift. Whatever was adrift was affecting Amy. As soon as the Doctor had indications of that, his primary concern would be: Is Amy in danger? If so, how & what from? Amy was the Doctor's friend. He was concerned about her welfare. He didn't know what was going on, so he tried to find out.
He didn't tell Amy. Why not? He didn't know what was going on but he knew there were numerous possibilities & "enemy action" was a feature of quite a few of them. If he made it obvious that he was suspicious, would he be putting Amy in greater danger from an enemy? An enemy he couldn't at that point identify, whose capabilities he didn't know & against whom he therefore couldn't effectively protect her. An enemy who might be as ruthless & ready to kill as the Daleks are.
As I said, the Doctor had encountered situations before when someone had been replaced by a copy. In several of those situations, the enemy needed to keep the original alive & intact in order to maintain the copy. If the Doctor had let his suspicions show, that might (for all he then knew) make the copy useless to the enemy who'd made the substitution. If the copy became useless, that enemy would no longer need to keep the real Amy alive & might kill her just to get rid of her. Thus, the Doctor had reason to worry that open suspicion might put Amy in extreme danger, when there was no way for him to protect her. The only protection he gould give was to keep his suspicions to himself until he knew more about what was going on. It was about protecting Amy the only way he could. -- to me 19:26, June 20, 2013 (UTC)
Plus, as 89 said in his previous response, the Doctor could have worked backward and come to a conclusion about when she was switched. He says that she was taken "before America" (that is, "The Impossible Astronaut"), meaning that she was taken before the orphanage scene, which is perfectly in accordance with her seeing a Kovarian hatch there. And the Doctor's knowledge of when the switch occurred doesn't require any omniscience; just deduction. If we accept his statement as being accurate, then it means that she would have already been Flesh when she went to the diner after seeing the older Doctor get shot at Lake Silencio (I think even Confidential mentioned something about her being Flesh for the entire first half of Series 6, so even if it's not what one chooses to believe, it was still the writers' intention), and the Doctor could have noticed that she was acting strangely or that something was off about her then. We know that in "The Impossible Astronaut", Amy and Rory last saw the Doctor two months ago from their point of view. That's plenty of time for Amy to have been taken by the Silence. The Doctor, after learning that she was a Flesh duplicate, would just have to think back to when he first noticed that something was off and to the most recent gap of time that occurred between "normal Amy" and "something's off" Amy. A two-month gap between dropping them off after their honeymoon and then "huh, that's weird; why is she not all Amy-wamy?" would then be the logical conclusion. Ensephylon 23:30, June 20, 2013 (UTC)
It's not clear exactly when the Doctor came to the specific conclusion that Amy had been replaced by a Flesh duplicate, rather than by some other kind of copy. We know he'd reached that conclusion before The Rebel Flesh, because he went to St John's Monastery in the 22nd century in order to find out how to do what he'd already decided to do -- cut off the control signal linking the copy to the real Amy. The fact that (as he said) he went there to gather that information means that, by then, he not only knew about the substitution but also was confident that breaking the link wouldn't put Amy in greater danger.
It's worth remembering that we're relying on the Doctor's deduction that the switch was made "before America" & we don't actually know it was. On the available evidence, there is a slight possibility that it happened a bit later. We ought not to go beyond the evidence. We can say 1. that it must have been before Amy "saw" Kovarian in the orphanage, 2. that the Doctor concluded it was before Amy went to America at all & 3. that we've no solid reason to think the Doctor was wrong. We cannot say that he definitely was right -- only that he very probably was right & we've no real evidence to the contrary.
Basically, DCT seems to be arguing that the Doctor definitely was wrong. The evidence won't support that. It won't support anything beyond a slight possibility that the Doctor might have been wrong. It also makes no discernible difference. We now know why Amy was kidnapped -- to let the Silence work on Melody. We now know why Amy was replaced by a Flesh duplicate -- to keep the Doctor from realising that she had been kidnapped, until it was too late for him to prevent what the Silence were doing to Melody. We now know what the outcome was: River & the various failed attempts to kill the Doctor. A later switch would make no difference whatever to any of that. DCT's making a doubly futile effort: it's not possible on the evidence &, even if it were, it would change nothing. -- to me 00:35, June 21, 2013 (UTC)
Read what you're saying and please try to understand what I'm saying. I'm not trying to argue that where Amy was abducted makes a difference to any of the major pieces of exposition you lay out. But it does make a difference to how we read and interpret the information Steven Moffat puts in the story. You said that Amy and the Doctor had been separated for two months. Fine that means she's at least two months pregnant when they meet again in The Impossible Astronaut and when she tells him that she's pregnant. It also means that when she reveals at the end of Day Of The Moon that she is not pregnant she's actually five months pregnant.
That means that that for a definite two months and the best part of a possible further three months this "ganger" Amy has good reason to think she's pregnant. But suddenly after coming back from being rescued from the "Silents" at the orphanage she declares that she's not pregnant, despite believing so for the best part of two months at least. I'm not surprised the Doctor was suspicious, I'm not surprised you're suspicious even I'm suspicious. But I feel the most logical explanation for Amy declaring after what seems like five months of believing she was pregnant that she isn't after all, and not being remotely bothered by this, is that the pregnant, "real" Amy has been replaced by the non-pregnant, Avatar Amy. Either way Amy is five months pregnant now which gives the Doctor four months to do all that in depth investigation he had to do. This on top of having the three other adventures we see between then and Amy going into labour at Demon's Run.
Just to make it clear again here is my reasoning for believing Amy was meant to be understood as being replaced the orphanage.
1. Amy goes to the orphanage and enters a room where she appears to encounter several Silents ends up with a ridiculously high number of ink lines on her, a spectacular hole in her memory and a warning to herself to leave the room. Despite all this we're meant to understand that nothing of any event has occurred to her in the room.
2. So nothing of any event has occurred but on leaving Amy sees Madame K looking at her for what appears to be the first time in, what the alternative reading would have us believe is five months. Since Amy's never seen her before it stands to reason the hatch hasn't been opened before. This would imply that of Amy's arrive Madame Kovarian has immediately proceeded to check on her captor.
3. As previously stated at the end of this adventure Amy suddenly changes her story about her pregnancy that she's been standing by for the past five months.
On evidence this is what it is possible to understand from this sequence of events. Since Steven Moffat both wrote this and the Doctor's dialogue about "before America" I'm suspecting that either their are a huge series of coincidences or else Steven Moffat noticed or changed something that would make the original idea unreconcilable with other details. Or he's trying to deceive/confuse us as per...DCT 13:37, June 21, 2013 (UTC)

DCT, "Since Amy's never seen her before it stands to reason the hatch hasn't been opened before": No, it doesn't. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that Amy saw the hatch every time it was opened. In fact, what we know of the ganger (or "Flesh avatar") process suggests the opposite: that Amy's real body would be kept dormant & would only rarely become conscious enough to see the hatch. The fact that Amy saw Kovarian at that time (in the orphanage) means that we know the substitution had been made before then. It doesn't tell us anything about how long before then it was made.

The only fact we have that puts a limit on how early the substitution could have been made is the fact that Amy's real body was pregnant. We can, therefore, be sure that the substitution was not made before the child (Melody) was conceived.

"Amy suddenly changes her story about her pregnancy that she's been standing by for the past five months": She hasn't been. When she told the Doctor that she was pregnant, it was her first mention of it. The dialogue makes it clear that she'd not mentioned it to Rory at any time. He was somewhat annoyed about that & pointed out (quite reasonably) that not only was he her husband but also he was a nurse & she ought to have told him that she thought she was pregnant. Far from "standing by [the story] for the past five months", she'd kept quiet about it except for one brief mention to the Doctor. You can't base your reasoning on Amy "standing by" her story about being pregnant because that didn't happen.

It's legitimate to point out that we can't be sure the Doctor's right about the swap being made "before America". It's not legitimate to invent evidence that he must be wrong. It's not legitimate to invent evidence at all, even if done unintentionally. (I was 89 earlier.) -- to me 22:28, June 21, 2013 (UTC)

There's no evidence against it either. We know that from the Day Of The Moon appearance onwards Amy encountered Madame K in every adventure she had in her own universe. This suggests a high proportion of appearances were seen.
When I said Amy changes her story about the pregnancy is was including her personal narrative. Being pregnant and keeping quiet about it was something she was dealing with for the best part of two months. That's a long period of time doing very little but thinking about the fact she pregnant and all the symptoms that she has that suggest she is. She's clearly anxious and continuously adding to that anxiety in with holding the truth. Sometime in that missing the months to the end of Day Of The Moon she "discovers" she was worrying over nothing for all the time and isn't remotely bothered by how she could have incorrectly thought she was pregnant for so long.
And I not inventing evidence, I'm observing how Steven Moffat has joined two scenes where Amy has strange encounters with The Silence in 1969, which we have only part of the story about. The Doctor says the abduction was "before America" but basically this is Earth 2011 and if he was successful in expelling The Silence from the planet, this isn't likly.DCT 12:17, June 22, 2013 (UTC)
DCT, "There's no evidence against it either": What is "it"?
"We know that from the Day Of The Moon appearance onwards Amy encountered Madame K in every adventure she had in her own universe. This suggests a high proportion of appearances were seen." It doesn't. A considerable time passed & there were only a few sightings. We have no way of knowing what proportion of Kovarian's inspections were seen. Since we don't know that, we can't deduce anything from it.
"When I said Amy changes her story about the pregnancy is was including her personal narrative." What is that supposed to mean? It doesn't seem to be coherent English.
Amy most certainly wasn't shown "doing very little but thinking" during "the best part of two months". That's your script, not Moffat's.
"if he was successful in expelling The Silence from the planet": He wasn't & couldn't have been. As far as we know, he was incompletely successful in expelling the aliens known (for want of any better name) as the Silents. At least one was still on Earth in 2011. We saw it watching the lakeside shooting.
In any case, we know perfectly well that the Silence, the organisation, had large numbers of human servants. Those of the Silence whom we saw at Demon's Run, involved in turning Melody into a weapon against the Doctor were mostly human. If you're basing your reasoning on the idea that it could only have been the aliens who undertook the kidnapping, you're simply wrong. Humans had not been expelled from the planet, so they could have done the kidnapping. Kovarian & company had access to the Flesh technology. They used it to replace the infant Melody when they escaped from Demon's Run. They could have been the ones who replaced Amy. Kovarian suggested as much when she boasted about having fooled the Doctor the same way twice.
You're equating the Silence (the organisation) with the Silents (the aliens) & we know that's wrong. You're saying there were no Silents (the aliens) still on Earth in 2011 & we know that's wrong, too. You've got the evidence wrong, so the conclusions you draw from it cannot stand up. -- to me 14:35, June 22, 2013 (UTC)
What "it" was, was discussion in the next paragraph I slightly rephrased what you said which cause some confusion. What we have in the story is that Amy sees Madame Kovarian on three occasions during the latter end of her pregnancy but none in the first half. That seems a very strained coincidence. The main issue here is the question of when the "Silents" would think it worth their while to remove Amy and replace her, we can't read their minds (unlike them) so we're left wondering if it is really worth their while to incarcerate her for the whole nine months of her pregnancy. It's only actually important when the Doctor's involved.
The Doctor's purpose was clearly to drive The Silents off the planet precisely to stop them doing stuff like this. And then they abducted Amy anyway.
We know that in the future the Silents have human followers we haven't seen any examples of such followers in the modern era on Earth. Their principle trick still seems to be the post-hypnotic suggestion bit which the Doctor circumvented, supposedly.
We don't actually know what that Silent was doing at Lake Silencio, despite certain guesses. It left are sight when it left Amy's we don't know where it went. It may simply have participating in delivering River, it may now have any purchase on the planet anymore
Madame Kovarian's boast isn't much help to your argument here. She referring first to the Doctor rescuing Amy from The Silence in 1969, when in fact he had not rescued Amy and then the Doctor rescuing Melody from Demon's Run, when he had in fact not rescued Melody. It not about the switch it's about the Doctor riding to the rescue and getting a flesh avatar. Under that reasoning Amy is\Amy right up until we see that rescue and even I'm not arguing it as being that reason because that would be an anachronism.DCT 15:29, June 22, 2013 (UTC)
The Silents have access to time travel. If one wanted to, one could say that the 2011 and 5123 Silents as well as the Silents/Silence servants who took Amy to be converted into Flesh were from before 1969, because they could have just as easily come from an earlier point in their timeline. So the Silents' didn't necessarily have to have taken Amy after the "kill us all on sight" command was issued. They could have done it before the Doctor drove them off of Earth, or it could have been done by Silents who survived that encounter. There's no equivocal evidence either way. Ensephylon 16:49, June 22, 2013 (UTC)

I have another thought which may suitably confuse things further. We can speak of the Silents in these distinct time zones as distinct groups, but to what extent are they distinct, particularly with regard to knowledge?

It is easy enough to imagine that the Silence of the future knows who Amy is with regards to the Doctor and that she had conceived a child of the Tardis who would make a suitable weapon against the Doctor. (It is not beyond imagination that The Silence had a role in arranging the situation of that conception.) But The Silence of 1969 do not know of Amy's significance,unless they are communicating with the Silence of the future (because the latter travelled back in time?) or they are the Silence of the future. Even if we assume the Silence of '69 had their own time travel capability, should we also assume that they used it to study the near(?) future of Earth and just happened upon Amy by luck?

I suppose that the Silence of '69, regardless of their role in Apollo, got the suit as the earliest possible earth-made for earthling lifesupport system in anticipation of the child. They didn't even need to know when the child was coming, only that it was. Madame Kovarian's description of the Doctor's death ("An Impossible Astronaut will rise...") sounds like it could be a recitation of another old saying, or prophecy. Perhaps the suit was chosen to satisfy that.

But can all of this be made to work with the conventions of time travel? While The Doctor influences history, we seldem see him set out for a time with the intention of changing history.(In "Genesis of the Daleks," we saw the Time Lords send the Doctor back to interfere with the development of the Daleks, because, as I recall, they discovered a possible timeline where the Daleks conquered all. Even so, The 4th Doctor blanched at destroying the Daleks when he had a chance, though ultimately a Dalek unintentionally triggers their (incomplete) destruction. That works with the convention because if one goes back in time to change history, and successfully changes it, one has no reason to go back to change it. But without destroying Davros, the Daleks can not have been removed from a possible future where they conquer all. So the Time Lords still send the Doctor to stop them.)

The question here becomes, is there a way to understand who is who (and who knows what) such that the convention can be satisfied, and can the convention perhaps be used to help us to answer that and the other questions which surround the Silents/Silence? (ie. Why would the Silence want Amy to alert the Doctor to her pregnancy, when it could only seem to draw his attention to what they seek to conceal? And is that even what they meant her to do when she was ordered to tell him "...that which he must never know?")Phil Stone 05:44, June 24, 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, this is kind of the sort of thinking that is worth provoking. The "Silents" tell the Doctor that they have been ruling the Earth since fire and the wheel. This immediately leads to two assumption being made that feel so natural they are not questioned later. The first is that the Silents arrived from Earth from somewhere else, they appear to be a highly advances species so it is naturally assumed they are also an older species. The second is that they have grown and developed throughout human history as they lived here and manipulated our species. When you remember that they have time travel technology neither of these things may be true.
We, in fact, don't even know what circumstances brought them to Earth. They make reference to the wheel and fire through Steven Moffat may actually be making a sly reference to An Unearthly Child when the secret of making fire has been forgotten and the Doctor's is supposed to show it to the people. Moffat may be trying to imply that, where ever you find the Doctor, you find The Silence. Preventing the Doctor answering the question is the purpose of The Silence, he is their raison, detra (however, it's spelt) and so they follow him. And now must pause for time is against me. I'll return to this later.DCT 12:18, June 24, 2013 (UTC)
@Phil Stone:Good questions, although I will point out that the 1969 Silence seemed to have at least some idea of Amy's significance, as the one in the timeship told her "You are Amelia Pond. We do you honor. You will bring the silence." (Most likely referring to her being the mother of their assassin, which suggests that they know of the plan to have River kill the Doctor.) However, since they claim to have been there since "the wheel and the fire," and since their ships were integrated into a complex network of underground tunnels at that time, that says to me that they did not recently arrive in the past and had invaded a long, long time ago. Therefore, I do not believe that they would actually be the Silents from the future and would instead be merely communicating with them. I think this also fits with them influencing Dr. Renfrew to keep Graystark Hall open for two years longer than it should have been, as if they were having him keep the orphanage clear until future Silents could arrive with Melody. Then again, I suppose it's just as likely that they could have been having him keep the orphanage around just so that they'd have somewhere to raise Melody in secret, but then, why even bother with Renfrew? I know they're sadistic, but commanding him to keep the orphanage open after you already have the baby seems like extra work, and it risks him finding one of his own messages and running away, which I don't think the Silents would chance unless they had to.
As far as the "tell him what he must never know thing goes," I actually asked a similar thing about it in the discontinuity guide recently. It could refer to the pregnancy, and since the Silent wasn't specific, Amy may have interpreted it that way anyway, but then why would the Silence want the Doctor to be aware of a key detail of their plan? I also think it could refer to his death, because according to The Angels Take Manhattan, knowing your own future fixes it in place. That Silent may have been trying to contribute to the whole "make Lake Silencio a fixed point" deal. But then again, the Silent ordered Amelia to tell him two things, "what he must know, and what he must never know," so it's possible that it could even refer to both. Ensephylon 12:22, June 24, 2013 (UTC)
It does refer to the pregnancy. The "Silents" aren't careless. The Silent she saw in the bathroom was trying to implant a suggestion. It must have had a fair idea how she would understand it or it's pointless. Normally, what the Silent said would have no meaning and thus no effect because of their being too many possibilities.. But the Silents never showed themselves to be disappointed in how Amy responded to their instruction. That suggests that they were never worried she might fail even though in her head she never told him about his approaching death.
The Silents really seem to be the most patient species in the show's history. Dorium calls The Silence a religious order of "great power and discretion", they aren't like other villains. They unfold their plans slowly and with great care, they seem to have even more patience than the Daleks in S1. The Doctor appears to have beat them on several occasions but the body of their plans seems to have suffered only at one point. Admittedly a very important one but sill. Madame K's nursery rhyme is not a prophecy, I have suspicions about why she propagated it but that really is pure theory.
I suspect that the reason The Silents kept on Renfrew was partly because humans will remember him and also the state of his mind may raise suspicions or otherwise get unwanted attention for them.
I noticed that I neglected to answer the comments on my claims about Amy and her pregnancy above. I obviously didn't literally mean Amy did nothing but brood on her pregnancy for two months. I simply gave her the credit to imagine that she'll not exactly find it easy to ignore and her decision to ot tell Rory will surely rather haunt her.In short while perhaps not all the time, it will certainly take up many many of her thoughts.DCT 16:12, June 24, 2013 (UTC)

I don't think her pregnancy was what the Doctor must never know. That part of the statement must refer to Amy telling him about his "death" in Rebel Flesh/Almost People. So that means that the pregnancy was something the Doctor must know. I think that's the more important point here. Why did the Doctor have to know about her pregnancy?

Also, it couldn't be too long after Impossible Astronaut that Amy got the "not pregnant" alert, otherwise it would be much more worrying to suddenly receive it after 4/5 months. Imamadmad (Contact me) 08:57, July 5, 2013 (UTC)

Im pretty sure that Amy should be rather concerned after two months. However, if she has The Silence whispering in her ear than it may be easily explained why she isn't. I'm not entirely sure I support or believe this idea I'm currently promting for discusssion, I just feel there's currently enough evidence to suggest that Steven Moffat at least once considered it.DCT 14:42, July 5, 2013 (UTC)
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