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This page is for discussing the ways in which Silence in the Library doesn't fit well with other DWU narratives. You can also talk about the plot holes that render its own, internal narrative confusing.

Remember, this is a forum, so civil discussion is encouraged. However, please do not sign your posts. Also, keep all posts about the same continuity error under the same bullet point. You can add a new point by typing:

* This is point one.
::This is a counter-argument to point one.
:::This is a counter-argument to the counter-argument above
* This is point two.
::Explanation of point two.
::Further discussion and query of point two.

... and so on. 
  • When standing on the balcony upon entrance, the Doctor remarks on how, being near the equator, they must be in or near the Biography section, though when the screen pans down, a Traffic sign can be seen with a marking to the left with the Words Xenobiology.
It also had "Art" underneath it, both with arrows pointing to the left. However, think of how many famous xenobiologists and artists there would've been by this time, certainly enough to warrant it's own directory.
  • The Doctor says that quarter of the planet is a massive hard drive. Since hard drives are gradually becoming obsolete by 2016 (being replaced by solid-state drives), it seems unlikely that they are still in use in the 51st century.
We don't take the real world into account here:
The term "hard drive" has become a catch-all, or generic, phrase. The Doctor was probably using a phrase that Donna from the 21st Century, at least, would understand.
  • At the beginning when we see the Doctor and Donna enter the room from the little girl's point of view we see the door is kicked multiplied times before they enter however when we see it from the Doctor and Donna's point of view we see Donna kicks it once before entering.
The Doctor tries to open it without the Sonic Screwdriver before Donna kicks it open.
  • The keyboards on the computer terminals in the library are, in fact, the latest incarnation of Apple Computer's Bluetooth keyboard.
A similar design obviously was in use in the 51st century.
  • Despite the Doctor stressing to the entire team about not staying in the shadows, all but one are standing blatantly in the shade when talking to the already-dead Miss Evangelista. This is revealed from a downwards shot on the team, with the ray of light almost completely neglected as protection.
The Doctor later states that the Vashta Nerada are not necessarily in every shadow, but it is possible for them to be in any shadow.
  • The Doctor receives a message on the psychic paper which shows up and he shows it to Donna. Donna takes it from him and shows it to him but it is now blank.
This has happened a lot of times on the series, and can be interpreted as a feature of the psychic paper
  • After Proper Dave has been turned into the suit creature, the green lights on his comm system are no longer on, even though Dave's Data Ghost is still talking.
The vashta narada are learning to use his voice, making it unclear if it is really still his data ghost at that point.
  • How does River Song recognise the Tenth Doctor? The Tenth Doctor changes his appearance to the Eleventh Doctor. River does mention that the Doctor's appearance is 'young' but not different, and has to ask what point he was at in his personal timeline, indicating that that he looked like the Tenth Doctor at least for the crash of the Byzantium (which occurs in an Eleventh Doctor adventure) and the picnic at Asgard.
If she knows the Doctor as well as she says she does, River Song may know that Time Lords can change their appearance (she may have even seen the Eleventh Doctor regenerate) and would know to recognize him by other means than by looks. As for not recognizing his appearance in the past, she might have forgotten what face he had, the same as we might forget what clothes or hairstyle someone had at a particular time. In The Time of Angels River states she has photos of all the Doctor's incarnations.
Steven Moffat stated in the commentary that she had met the Tenth doctor again later in his personal timeline. The Eleventh has not stated anything to contradict it. She most likely does not have pictures of all the Doctors, probably only the ones that come after the Tenth, and most likely does not know what order they go in.
Though as Flesh and Stone shows, it may be dangerous to make assumptions about River based on what we know about her so far.
This question has obviously been rendered moot based on the revelation in The Time of Angels that River has pictures of "all" (in her words) the Doctor's faces. She simply doesn't know where they are in relation to each other's personal time streams at this point.
Actually, the picture explanation makes it worse. River recognizes Ten as the Doctor, but she's mistaking him for a post-Eleventh Doctor incarnation that she hasn't met yet, since she mentions the Byzantium crash. But if she got her collection of pictures from the Eleventh Doctor then she would have known that the Tenth was a past incarnation, since Eleven would only have pictures of his past selves. The same problem crops up with the Twelfth, since River should know the Eleventh was his immediate predecessor and Ten would have to predate both.
If River got her picture collection from the Thirteenth Doctor, (assuming the 12 regeneration limit is in place) then she must never have encountered the 12th, because she's mistaking the Tenth Doctor for the Twelfth Doctor. If on the other hand there is no longer a 12 regeneration limit, then it's possible that there are enough incarnations post-Eleventh that River has not met them all, making it plausible that she could mistake the Tenth as an older incarnation.
River knows the Tenth Doctor is the Tenth, the line asking about the Byzantium is likely an unforeseeable script error. The Tenth Doctor was originally going to stay on for series 5, which would have made him the incarnation that had the Byzantium adventure with River - making the question whether or not he'd done it yet make sense at the time of writing. The subsequent regeneration, which wasn't known at the time, makes the line confusing in retrospect and can also account for why River's sonic screwdriver doesn't look like Eleven's- Production not knowing a major design change would be happening a few years later.
No. Never is it said that River got her pictures of the doctor from the doctor himself, therefore there's no discontinuity in the fact that she thinks the tenth doctor is a post-byzantium doctor. The Byzantium would have been a long time ago for River and as such, she may have simply forgotten which face he had. Similar to what Missy says in "The Witch's Familiar", they are all the doctor to her so it doesn't matter which face he has.
the pictures aren't the only evidence though. River checks whether the Doctor has seen the Byzantium and other future events. She has to be under the impression that she has met and spent time with this Doctor. She can't assume that he is from before the 11th when she interacted with him before the Byzantium etc... So she must assume that he is a later Doctor. Additionally, if she's in love with him, she isn't going to forget his face at important things like the Byzantium. I don't think any of us want to assume that she cares so little as to forget.
There are only three options: he's a later Doctor and has done all those things which she rules out by asking, he's an earlier Doctor and he hasn't done any of those things so she shouldn't be asking, and he's a current Doctor (to her) and has done some of those things in which case she has seen this particular incarnation before (fitting with Moffat's commentary). We can discard her possible assumption that he's an earlier Doctor because she assumes it's possible he can remember the Byzantium, we can discard her possible assumption that he's a later Doctor because he says he's not. So she has to know who he is. But that is discontinuous with her belief that he could know the things she asks about (which she knows was after him). So this is an error.
  • The message on the psychic paper doesn't say the time or date that the Doctor should land in the Library so how does he manage to arrive a few minutes before River Song arrived? Additionally how does he know to land in the section that she will arrive in?
Given the technological capabilities the TARDIS has previously shown, its a reasonable assumption that he would have been able to trace a rough time and place of the message. It may simply be a feature of the paper to take the Doctor near to the time which the message was sent. Take, for instance, the Face of Boe's message causing the Doctor to arrive just before the breakout of the New Humans in New Earth.
  • Why doesn't River Song close the square with the Sonic blaster like Captain Jack did in TV: The Doctor Dances?
According to Jack, special features wear down the power cell... one could assume that the special feature he was referring to was re-closing previously opened squares, since River makes a lot of openings, but Jack only managed two openings and two closings before the gun gave out.
Alternately, her gun might lack the ability to close the squares, or else they were just too busy running to bother with it.
  • How can River Song end up with the Tenth Doctor's blue sonic screwdriver when it was destroyed in The Eleventh Hour?
We've seen that the TARDIS can produce sonic screwdrivers. At least two of these have been similar to the one that River carried. It's quite reasonable that this is a later version from after the green one currently (in 2010) used by the 11th Doctor.
Alternately, it could have been a separate blue one that he had the Tardis whip up for him right after the adventure, so he could be sure it had the data ghost storage device embedded in it and ready for use when needed.
Perhaps at one point between losing Donna And Regenerating the tenth doctor gave it to her.
It's not the exact same screwdriver anyway, I would say that it is more than likely that this just a later version than what we've seen so far.
The 2015 Christmas special "The Husband's of River Song" solves this issue. The Doctor simply made her this screwdriver because he already knew what the screwdriver looked like, having already lived through the adventure at the library.
  • If River is supposed to have met him already, and she believes she knows who he is, why does she introduce herself as though he doesn't? "Professor River Song, archaeologist." Surely he would know her name?
At this point, River thinks she and the Doctor are only pretending not to recognize each other.
Not to mention, River likely does this just to be safe at least most of the times she runs into The Doctor. Particularly a regeneration of him she rarely encounters; You know how she likes to avoid spoilers.
I think she thinks that they are pretending not to recognise each other perhaps flirtasiously.
  • How can River ask the Doctor what adventure they are up to? If she knows about it, its her past, which means its his future, and she knows that they are meeting eachother in an oposite direction.
They're meeting each other in roughly opposite directions, but not 100% that way. For example, when she meets him at Lake Silencio (The Impossible Astronaut, The Wedding of River Song), they both would remember crashing into Hitler's office (Let's Kill Hitler).
  • After Miss Evangelista has been killed by the Vashta Nerada her communication device is the wrong way round on the wrong bit of the collar of her suit.
Although this may be a simple costuming error, it is also in keeping with the ditzy nature of the character.
  • When scanning the planet for any kind of life forms (not just humanoids), the Doctor is surprised by the number given in the result. But the scanner would logically detect all the bacteria and other microscopic living beings anyway. So on a whole planet, how is it surprising to get such a number?
We can assume that the computer doesn't bother doing that and the doctor only says scanning for any kinds of life to save time rather than saying scanning for any kinds of life but not bacteria, fungi, plants, protozoa etc etc
  • The Message on the face robot thing says 'Arg Slarg Snick' as if the person broadcasting was killed. However River says 4022 was the exact number of people in the library at the time. How can anyone be killed if all of them were saved.
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