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This page is for discussing the ways in which The Impossible Astronaut 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. 
  • How can the Doctor regenerate, when in 11th last episode he was not able to regenerate because Time Lords can regenerate 12 times? And in episode Nightmare In Silver[1] the Doctor said he can regenerate and it will destroy Mr Clever[2] but he cant regenerate!
  • Why does the Silence creature kill Joy? She wasn't going to kill them, or even do anything to them.
It was probably just getting annoyed with her because she was getting in the way of it giving Amy the message.
  • In the episode the doctor is shot on the beach and then begins to regenerate, however surely the doctor should not be able to do that at all, because as we find out later on, that body is his last (when you account for the war doctor and David Tenants skipped one) so how does he manage to begin regenerating?
The Teselecta was putting on a light show according to Steven Moffat. It wasn't a real regeneration at all.
Most people in the universe are not aware of the War Doctor or the 10th Doctor's aborted regeneration so it makes more sense to pretend to regenerate if he's tring to convince the universe that he's dead.
  • The Doctor stated in the 2013 Christmas special that ... (Rest of question and answers deleted.) Whatever the Doctor said in the 2013 Christmas special might be a discontinuity for that story. This story is 2 years older. It is extremely inconsiderate to post information here that is a huge spoiler for future stories - in particular this story's season finale! This is not The Howling, where that is to be expected.
  • What About 'Blink'? The Doctor said that he and Martha had watched the moon landing 4 times. Surely this would imprint the message in the Doctor's brain that he should kill them at first sight?
However, if they had seen it personally (not on TV), then that would overrule that theory.
Even if she did not see that, (it could be possible) the old woman and almost every agent could see the moon landing, even so, they did not react.
I don't quite know what that last bullet point is referring to (which woman and which agents?), but those whom we observe seeing the Silents after watching the landing do indeed turn on them.
Was the Doctor ever shown obeying the Silence's hypnosis? Can't remember any examples, though I may be forgetting something. If not, it's quite simple - as a Time Lord he's stronger and their hypnotic abilities don't affect him, though the Silents still are memory-proof for him, too. In this case he wouldn't remember what he saw and wouldn't want to kill them. Martha would, of course, maybe she even did, but we never saw her doing it because the idea of the Silence was to stay unnoticed until the events of series 6.
There's nothing to say Martha didn't kill a silent
  • Canton's letter didn't appear to have been opened. The audience clearly sees that Rory, Amy, River, and the Doctor have ripped open their letters. But Canton's is clean, suggesting it wasn't opened. While this could have just been a technical oversight, it could also create a bit of a plot hole, as Canton wouldn't have known that he needed to be there (to the audience's knowledge, the series isn't over yet).
Canton may have known in advance, or may simply opened the envelope cleanly enough that it looked sealed.
There are other ways of opening envelopes that don't involve ripping it.
  • The Doctor summons those he trusts the most to his wake. What about Martha, Mickey, Jack and Sarah-Jane though?
This Doctor has probably not seen Jack, Mickey, Sarah Jane, Martha, or any other pre-Eleventh Doctor companions for over 200 years. He does, however, presumably continue to interact with River for the rest of his life, and we don't know how much longer Amy and Rory continue to travel with him.
It's possible that even if he did trust them more, all of them (assuming Jack's returned to Earth) are busy with their own alien fights, while River's in Stormcage and Amy and Rory are watching movies back in Leadworth.
200 years in his future, The Doctor was aware that only he, River, Amy, Rory and Canton received the blue envelopes, so he only sent them to those people.
He was also aware those were the people he had this adventure with. "A lot more happened in 1969 than anyone remembers.... I thought I'd never get done saving you."
River, Amy and Rory are the most recent companions of the Eleventh Doctor at the time the future Doctor gave himself the envelope so it would seem logical to give himself his most recent companions who know this past Doctor the most.
River made the assumption that the envelopes were numbered in order of the Doctor's level of trust in them. It was a good assumption, but really only the future Doctor knows why he gave those people the envelopes in that order. It's pretty likely that there were other reasons the Doctor "recruited" Canton, River, Rory, Amy and himself, to do with their involvement in the events in 1969.
  • The Doctor has shown a dislike for wine before. Why try it again? In fact, he implies this is his first taste of the drink.
It is presumably 200 years since he last tried wine, and perhaps forgot that he disliked it/had tried it before. Or he was just trying to be funny.
Every other incarnation (except possibly the 2nd and 5th, who we never saw trying it) has enjoyed wine. Most of them have even been educated connoisseurs. He's probably annoyed that his current incarnation can't seem to acquire the taste - especially given that appreciating wine is an "adult" thing to do, and he's a little self-conscious about his apparent age. Think of the various times in the past when multiple Doctors have met. It's easy to imagine that his past selves would make fun of him for being so childish that he doesn't even drink wine. And even easier to imagine that he'd have imagined this himself at some point.
This may have been a different wine
  • The Doctor asks River Song who she is/what she means to him despite the fact he knows they are going to be married from Silence in The Library.
Silence in the Library hinted at, but didn't state that the Doctor and River might be married. No episode has definitively stated that the Doctor and River are, will be, or have been married. Given the nature of how they meet, it isn't particularly likely they are married anyway.
(Deleted spoiler) To answer the question, I think the Doctor wasn't exactly certain whether he and River got married. For all he knew, she found his name by sneaking into the TARDIS and reading that Time War book we saw in Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS. He probably wanted to be sure their relationship before he said/did something he'd regret.
He did not know that they were going to married from Silence in the Library. Yes its slightly hinted at but not explicitly stated or even implied.
  • In The Sound of Drums, the 10th Doctor appears considerably older after being aged 100 years by the Master. So why is the 11th Doctor at the start of Impossible Astronaut indistinguishable from his 200-years-younger self?
The Master said that he was going to show the physical effects of the years the Doctor has put on. It is likely that Time Lords don't show the age they are in physical appearances.
Actually, the 1st Doctor very clearly aged during his time, as did the few Doctors who played the role long enough (notably 4 and 10). Other Time Lords have talked about being too long in one body, and it's even hinted that it's the most common reason for regeneration. However, they probably don't age at the same rate as humans (presumably because of Rassilon's genetic tampering). So, 100 years of Time Lord ageing usually looks like a few years of human ageing. But if you suppress whatever ageing resistance they have that separates them from humans and other near-Gallifreyan races, 100 years looks like 100 years.
Look at the area around the 11th Doctor's eyes, they look older.
I have a theory that the final incarnation of a time lord can last significantly longer than any other. Because there's no more regeneration after this body is used up, it would make sense that time lords would evolve as such that their final body lasts considerably longer than the others. This would also explain why he was able to live 900 years on trenzalore whilst his other incarnations would have been forced to regenerate after a couple of hundred years or so.
  • If Amy is pregnant, why was she drinking wine at the picnic?
It was only the start of her pregnancy, and only a bit of wine can't do that much harm
Additionally, we don't know if she knew that she was pregnant by that time.
The story's timeline followed the trio. Unless she got pregnant in the, apparently, short time between the start and end of the episode and found out then she must have known beforehand.
Maybe Amy was already pregnant at the start of the episode, but didn't realize she was pregnant until after she went to the bathroom in the White House.
People don't just realise they're pregnant. They take tests. Even if it occurred to Amy that she might be pregnant, she wouldn't have given the Doctor a definite "I am".
Given that in the next episode, we see that she has "forgotten" being pregnant, or may not have really been so, its clear that there is more to this situation than has been revealed yet.
A bit of wine from time to time while pregnant isn't a big deal.
I think it's a clue. To what, I can't say.
During Amy's encounter in the white house bathroom, the Silence tells her that she must tell Doctor what he must know and also never know. She then responds with, "How do you know about that?" implying that it was not referring to the Doctor's death (as she witnessed the Silence there), but indeed her pregnancy. So, she did have an idea before the picnic.
She witnessed one of the Silence at the Doctor's death - in 2011, 42 years in their future. There's no indication that the Silence are able to time travel, so even if it was the exact same Silent in the bathroom as at his death he wouldn't have seen it yet.
Yes, what he must know is that she's pregnant, and what he must never know is his death.
She is trying to hide that she thinks she's pregnant and given how early into the pregnancy it is, she decided that one glass would be fine.
  • The second doctor would appear using the TARDIS, so there would be two TARDIS's present in 1969, and one would be left behind.
Not necessarily: the TARDIS is smart enough to make itself scarce, if he used it at all. If the Doctor OR the TARDIS knew he wasn't coming back, at least one of them would make arrangements.
(Deleted answer. Please don't inconsiderately provide spoiler answers.) It is possible that whatever arrangements the Doctor made will be revealed in a later episode.
This is not a discontinuity.
  • How did River Song get from the 51st century to 1969? Furthermore how did she escape from Stormcage?
We know that humans had time travel capability in the 51st century. Additionally, the very clear implication is that she's able to escape from Stormcage without too much difficulty, more or less "at will". (Like the guard says, "Dr. Song is doing it again. She's packing.")
She, quite clearly, has her vortex manipulator on her wrist from when we first see her in Utah.
This story was set after The Big Bang for River. She didn't seem phased, what-so-ever about Rory saying "But in all fairness, the universe was ending" (or something like that). So, she did still have the vortex manipulator from the Big Bang.
Or maybe a different one. They're not lying around in the 51st century, but presumably they are acquirable. Maybe they just didn't feel the need to show us a similar scene of her acquiring one again.
  • This episode seemed to change how the Doctor and River relate to each other in time. Specifically, her conversation with Rory claims that they meet each other not just out of order, but in exactly the opposite order. She said that every time she meets him, he knows her less. One of the official descriptions implied that River reacts with such horror at the Doctor's telling her that they never kissed before because it means she'll never kiss him again. To me, this change is a continuity problem. They cannot be meeting each other exactly back-to-front. If they were, the diary would be meaningless - there would never reach a moment in which both of them remember any single meeting. Additionally, we already know that the second-to-last time River meets the Doctor is one in which he shows up to her, takes her out, and gives her his screwdriver. If it was back-to-front, that would have been the second time the Doctor met her. So, my question: Is River just plain wrong, or have the creators screwed up?
Maybe River Song isn't quite sure herself. She is just noticing patterns but is not sure if they are actually happening because of some reason. Also, it is not clarified that where the Doctor was in his timeline in the last-second meeting. It could have been the 10th doctor, or a newly regenerated eleventh Doctor.
Keep in mind that they're not living their lives in reverse (like a tape played backwards), but rather experiencing individual episodes (meetings). Also, they're both time travelers, so unlike in "The Time Traveler's Wife" novel/movie, neither one of them is living their life in linear Earth time. It is also implied that there is a long stretch of episodes/meetings during which they are in a romantic relationship that we probably won't get to see on screen.
The overall trend of meetings may be back to front but not all the meetings. Plus we know from this episode that they are not all back to front.
Episodes from later in the season show that they are not meeting in strict reverse order. From, River's point of view, Let's Kill Hitler clearly takes place before The Wedding of River Song, even though a strict reverse order would dictate that The Wedding of River Song would take place directly before Let's Kill Hitler. When River says that they meet in reverse order, the implication is that the meetings are mostly in reverse order, but are still somewhat random.
As can be demonstrated by admissions to be made by River in her future, she is indeed incorrect. She may well have thought, at this point, that things were basically happening in reverse. But because she received the screwdriver with the not-yet-invented-by-this-Doctor modifications on the last encounter with him before the events of Silence in the Library, that second to final time together may well have been the two of them finally on the proverbial same page, capable of remembering everything (and it being the first and only time, right before the end, somehow seems likely given the Doctor's nature). But, even if they're not fully aligned, such events are still to occur in both their futures, making this not the last kiss from either perspective.
River has simply noticed a trend in their meetings. She's probably aware that they aren't meeting in completely reverse order but simplifies it in order to explain to Rory what her "far worse day" is.
  • If all the humans suddenly started to shoot all the silence they see, how come none of the dead bodies were ever found?
Maybe they can't remember their bodies, provided the whole "forgetting" thing is a biological reflex, not a conscious action on their part.
I'd imagine that there probably weren't many dead bodies because the Silence would have fled pretty quickly.
  • If the Silence were wiped out in 1969, what's one doing in 2011 at the Doctor's death?
They have a time rotor, which means they could have spread throughout time.
Alternatively, what the Doctor did may not have wiped them out. They are mentioned to be spread across the planet, the odds of them being fully exterminated are pretty low. It's like rats, insects and such - most people kill em on sight, and have been doing for years and years - and they haven't been wiped out either. He's just reduced their numbers significantly enough to prevent them having the level of control they had up to that point, and ensured they will never rise to that level again.
The Doctor had tricked them into giving an order "to be killed on sight". Since the master plan had been foiled, they would have retreated from earth or that time era.
  • If you can take a recording of yourself when seeing the Silence, which you can then later review: how is it that no one has yet picked anything about them up on any sort of recording? Even something like Person A is on the phone to Person B; A sees one of the Silence and says what they're seeing to B; A then forgets, but B logically should still remember as they haven't had any contact with the Silent.
The Doctor said that even data about the Silence erases itself over time, so A would forget eventually.
I think you mean that B would forget eventually.
  • Before the moon landing, if people saw one of the Silence they'd have one of several reactions:

- Shocked immobilisation until they left, at which point they'd forget. - Run away, and forget as they turned to run. - Attempt to kill this monster with whatever came to hand, and probably die in the attempt (as many people won't be carrying weapons). Post moon landing, people will all do 3 - but that doesn't mean they'll be any more successful in killing before dying. Wouldn't that result in huge numbers of humans seemingly mysteriously dying/disappearing as they failed to take on their enemy?

There have been many unexplained disappearances over the years. The Doctor claimed some of these were the work of the Vashta Nerada but the Silence could also be behind some of them as well.
Not huge numbers of people because the silence probably fled pretty quickly. Even if its easy to overcome someone trying to kill them, its still pretty difficult to rule if your subjects are always attempting to kill you.
  • The Doctor's grand plan is to leave a recording to make humans sub consciously kill the Silence. But he's already said that data about the silence fades just as memories do. So how can this video keep people killing the silence for years and years to come as he said it would?
That's because it isn't knowledge of them right? Its a subconcious command imprinted on human beings by the silence itself. That might not fall under the rules about erasing. Moreover, each generation would then have watched the moon landing, and would then see the data and would still attack.
  • The Doctor not regenerating is contrary big time to continuity. We know by the existence of the The Valeyard that he still has two regenerations to go at least. The Master said that the Valeyard was drawn from the Doctor between his twelfth and final regeneration.
(Please be careful with your answers and avoid posting spoilers.)
The above concerns were more or less taken care of when we find out more information in a future story. As for the Valeyard, being from "somewhere between [his] twelfth and final incarnation" turns out to be pretty vague - even if we assume the Master was telling the truth.
  • This isn't exactly a plot hole, but Steven Moffat has said explicitly that, in his opinion, the Doctor doesn't know what age he is. But in this episode, the fact that the younger Doctor knows he is 909 and the older one knows he is 1103 is key to the companions working out that the dead Doctor is from the future. If he doesn't know how old he is, the future Doctor could well have told Amy that he is younger than 909.
Presumably 1103 isn't his actual age, but he remembered telling Amy that he was 909 and so made up another age simply to show her that he's from the future.
I think he forgot and made up a number and started again (900 probably being that number).
  • Let's Kill Hitler specifically dates the Doctor's killing as occurring on April 22, 2011. That means the scenes showing Amy and Rory receiving the Doctor's message and travelling to the US had to have occurred in the days immediately prior to this. Yet based on dates given in the Torchwood Miracle Day story arc, they should be in the midst of the Miracle Day events, which began in March and lasted for several months, yet no one mentions this to the Doctor and Amy and Rory would presumably now be immortal.
There's nothing to say they are not encountering the events of Miracle Day - and it's highly likely that travelling time would negate the effects of the Miracle. These are all discussions and realisations that could take place off-screen and nothing actively clashes with that. Additionally The Miracle was something that only affected humans, so the Doctor could have easily died in 2011.
This is also a possible explanation for Rory's apparent inability to die during Season 6, although once again Amy would have likely mentioned this. Also, a glaring omission in all of this is that if the Doctor finally returns after having been absent for a while, Amy and Rory's first priority, one would expect, would be to recruit him to deal with the Miracle Day problem (even if the Doctor refuses citing "fixed point in time" which Miracle Day likely would be).
After the Cracks explored in Series 5, it's entirely possible that Doctor Who and Torchwood have 'split' Whoniverses. (i.e. Doctor Who is the 'new' rebooted universe from "The Big Bang" and Torchwood follows the not-rebooted universe's continued timeline). Miracle Day could have been erased by the Cracks and then lost forever in the rebooted universe. It is possible that the two shows are now separate canons post-DW Series 5.
That is just my theory however. It would create problems if RTD and Moffat decide to do a crossover at some point. The Impossible Astronaut/Miracle Day clash is an example of writers putting creativity ahead of continuity.
All that being amusing commentary and all, there's nothing in this that directly contradicts the events of Miracle Day. We simply don't see it mentioned on screen.
Actually, there is: Amy and Rory's very ability to travel from the UK to the US is a contradiction because Miracle Day establishes explicitly that international travel is restricted due to the events.
My theory: Amy and Rory mentions it off-screen at the picnic, the Doctor knows that Torchwood are taking care of it and tells them not to worry and, seen as he knows he's about to die, tells them that it doesn't affect him. No-one needs to mention it again.
  • What reason are we given, if any, for Amy and Rory not travelling with the Doctor anymore? Throughout Amy and Rory's entire run, we never fill this disconnect between The Big Bang and The Impossible Astronaut.
Their Honeymoon maybe? And then The Doctor got distracted as he does and went off adventuring. Over the series he wants them to have a normal life too. Not end up like other companions and this could be an early attempt at letting them go. He was still sending them updates through time, so he never forgot them. But they only team up again after his future self brings them all together.
In the Sarah Jane Adventures episode Death of the Doctor (TV story), the Doctor says that he dropped Amy and Rory off on a honeymoon planet.
  • The Doctor says the American astronauts live in Florida. The fact is that the Apollo Astronauts lived in Houston, Texas. Those astronauts were head-quartered out of the Houston Space Center.
Even if that's true in the "Who-niverse" (which it may not be), they undoubtedly spent time at the facility in Florida, so it's not an unreasonable place to expect to find them.
It's just a childish phrase the doctor uses to quickly answer "why Florida?"
  • Assuming that "the good man" River killed resulting in her incarceration was indeed the Doctor: When River sees the Doctor die, it seems like she doesn't remember ever seeing that happen (or doing it). This would make sense if River had not yet been put into Stormcage. However, she was in Stormcage at the time when she received the Doctor's letter, telling her where and when to meet him, Amy, and Rory for the picnic. Everything that occurred, should have occurred in River's past.
Without giving away any spoilers: In a later story (The Wedding of River Song), River tells Amy that she lies all the time. So she could have been lying and simply pretending not to be aware of this.
This is all explained in The Wedding of River Song.
  • Rory is watching The Flying Deuces (The Laurel and Hardy clip) and has clearly done so enough that he can "explain all the jokes" to Amy and for Amy to ask him why he's watching it again. How come he hasn't noticed The Doctor appear in the film before? Surely he couldn't have been looking away every time during that scene?
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