Doctor Who: Looking Back at 47 Days #8 – Unresolved Mysteries

A few years ago, I did a series of 47 daily posts which all looked at different questions related to the revival series of Doctor Who, focusing on stuff I like about the show. I worked out a series of questions in advance and then picked one randomly for each day. I’ve decided to revisit the series to see how my opinions may or may not have changed, and to bring two of my daughters into the discussion, since they are both big fans and have recently finished watching the revival series.

Why 47?  It’s my favorite number.

Why Doctor Who?  It’s my favorite show.

Why the modern day Doctor Who only?  Simply because I remember it better.

Why are we looking back at this now? Because we’re on a 47 day countdown to November 23, the birthday of the show.

Check out Day #7 here.

When I first did this, it was September 2016, which means we were in between the Christmas episodes The Husbands of River Song and The Return of Dr. Mysterio, and were yet to debut Peter Capaldi’s last season on the show. Jodie Whittaker was even further away. How has the passage of time, evolution of opinions, and three further seasons of the program impacted my opinions?

Today is Day #8, and our theme is…

Unresolved Mystery Most Worth Revisiting

Doctor Who has never been a show that has stressed out about dotting every “i” and crossing every “t”. There are numerous storylines and plot points that have never been fully explored, explained or developed. But what is the one that I’d most like the show to go back and deal with?

I was really tempted to pick the question of who destroyed the TARDIS in The Pandorica Opens–the event which led to the formation of the cracks in the skin of the universe which plagued the 11th Doctor through much of his tenure. But this was loosely explained in the 11th Doctor’s finale story Time of the Doctor, as being part of the Silence’s efforts to prevent the Doctor from ever reaching Trenzalore (where he’d have the opportunity of answering the first question, bringing the Time Lords back to reality, and potentially restarting the Time War–seriously, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, just watch go and watch the show). I don’t really find it a very satisfying explanation because I’m not really sure it fits all the facts, but both the Doctor and Tasha Lem agree that this is the truth, so I guess we have to accept it.

I’d also be interested in seeing the story of how the 12th Doctor got to Gallifrey in the events of Day of the Doctor. I’d be a bit worried if they decided to revisit the nature of the entity in Midnight, but that is certainly an unresolved mystery. Other possibilities include the identity of the strange Time Lord woman from End of Time, what was under the sheet in Listen, what happened with the bizarre Sandman attack after Sleep No More, or how Missy escaped from the Daleks after The Witch’s Familiar.

And then there is also my pick from last time, which is who was being Gus and the attack on the Orient Express in Mummy on the Orient Express.

Indeed, that’s the one that one of my daughters picked. In this case, it was Johanna (16). As mentioned in an earlier post, she really likes that story, and that you wouldn’t have to have another Mummy in the story to tell it (this was an advantage over, say, trying to resolve the nature of the Midnight entity).

Laurelle (14) had a harder time thinking of anything. She thought of the Timeless Child, but assumed that would get dealt with eventually–it’s only unresolved because the season ended after that revelation. She apologizes to all her fans for the disappointing contribution to this post.

For me? I think I have to say…

How and why did the Master destroy Gallifrey?

Make no mistake, I think Gallifrey being destroyed again is a bad idea and lazy writing–an effort to bring in a Big Shocking Twist just for the sake of having a Big Shocking Twist in a season that was full of such arbitrary Big Shocking Twists, often in lieu of actual storytelling. But I do worry that as the show makes whatever efforts they are going to make to actually explain anything in future seasons, that this one will just be left behind. I’m afraid all we’ll get left with is the vague and unsatisfying answers that we’ve had–the Master destroyed Gallifrey because he was Really Angry that the Time Lords had done something which really had nothing to do with him, and he did it by being Really Clever.

I’d just love it if Chris Chibnall decided to put a bit of effort into this and tell a proper story around this idea, rather than just using it for cheap and unsuccessful shock value. I don’t have much hope for this, but I’d love. it.

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