On Magnificently Mental Musings

As some of you know, I have a theory about where Russell T. Davies, henceforth RTD, is taking Doctor Who before he’s done next week.

My theory is that it involves RTD pressing a Reset Button on his way out the door. The reasons are both narrative and personal. It lets RTD have his spectacle with no consequences. He can make the threat as big as possible, make it as public as possible, things that would change the fabric of society irrevocably, and then returns things to a status quo not unlike the present day, that kids behind the couches can relate to.

However, that theory is not without its consequences. Not necessarily within Doctor Who itself, but certainly for the Doctor Who universe. Because the past few years have shown us that Doctor Who is not alone. There are other shows to consider, like Torchwood and Sarah Jane. It really depends on what kind of reset button RTD presses. Is it a small button, that maybe only undoes a season or two? Or is it a big button that wipes out the entirely of the RTD-era?

RTD is not a writer who does things small. He’s a showman. He loves his spectacle. Naturally, I think RTD would gravitate toward the large reset button. To be more specific, I expect that, when RTD passes the baton to Steven Moffat, the baton is going to be pretty much the same baton that RTD received from Philip Segal not long past the turn of the millennium. I expect that the mythology of the past five years — the Time War, the destruction of Gallifrey, the “lonely god,” Bad Wolf, all of it — will be gone. Erased.

But where does this leave the spin-offs? John Barrowman has been talking recently about another season of Torchwood, while RTD has been trying to walk that back. (I actually cite this as a point in favor of the reset; if history is being reset and the Time War-era timelooped, the Torchwood Institute wouldn’t exist.) Sarah Jane would be relatively unaffected by a reset, but Torchwood would be mortally wounded. To be honest, you could even argue that Jack Harkness wouldn’t have become immortal — if the Daleks didn’t take over the GameStation, if Jack Harkness didn’t fall in battle, if Rose didn’t absorb the Heart of the TARDIS, then Jack Harkness wouldn’t become a fixed point in time. Indeed, Jack Harkness might never have left his life as a trans-temporal grifter behind…


We know that Jack Harkness is a fixed point in time. What, however, does that mean?

Here’s my theory.

Let’s suppose that the history of the past five years (and the history before that) collapses on itself, and that history reverts/reboots to its pre-Time War state. Rose made Jack into a fixed point in time. What if that is something that cannot unhappen? Jack’s not a time lock; he’s not a dam in the time stream. He is, rather, a part of the time stream.

So what happens to Jack? Well, that’s where we go magnificently mental…

Jack becomes an artifact of a timeline that no longer happens. Does Jack retain his memories of that timeline? Does Jack retain the memories of the GameStation, of Torchwood, of traveling with the Doctors, of Owen and Gwen and Tosh and and Ianto and Alice and Stephen. But Jack arriving in Cardiff in the 1880s, Jack working with Torchwood 3 for a century, Jack having a family — these didn’t happen anymore. All of the people he knew in the “old” timeline may exist in the new timeline, but they don’t know him. He’s now a stranger to them. Or in the case of Alice and Stephen, they may never have existed at all.

Talk about something that would fuck with Jack Harkness even more. He’s already lost his grandson. Now he’s lost his entire existence.

All of that said, this sounds way too X-Men. Really. It does. Survivor of a timeline that no longer exists. Yeah, definitely X-Men. 😆

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

2 thoughts on “On Magnificently Mental Musings

  1. That is a scenario that repels and appeals on so many levels. The basic appeal would be the reappearance of those no longer with us, such as Owen and Tosh, and especially Ianto. But if we look at that for a moment, would that really be a good thing?

    Without Jack, Tosh would still be in UNIT’s control, forever locked into that cell, probably driven mad by her time there. She wouldn’t have been present to convince Tommy to return to his own time, to fix the anomoly. Instead Tommy would’ve been forced back, confused and without the connection to someone in our time who could convince him to complete his mission.

    Owen might have died when he ran into the surgery where his alien infected fiancee was being operated on if Jack hadn’t been there to stop him. I venture to say that he might have committed suicide shortly after her death if he had survived. He appeared to be on the fast track to it.

    And then there’s Ianto, Dear, wonderful, secretive Ianto, with a girlfriend who is part Cyber. Without Jack, Ianto would definitely have been killed once Lisa was discovered. No doubt in my mind at all about that.

    There would have been no Flat Holm, no Janet, no Myfanwy. There would have been more deaths committed by Torchwood Cardiff, because that is the way they roll.

    The 456 would’ve received their children. It is even possible that the Daleks would’ve won if Jack and the others hadn’t banded together with the Doctor to fight.

    No Rose through the Rift to the alternate universe? Perhaps no Martha, no Donna, no one to help defeat the Master. I’m not certain that Rose would’ve been able to complete the walk around the world that Martha did, that she would’ve been able to command the respect to get people to agree to think of the Doctor at that crucial moment.

    So many possibilities, so much to consider. Thanks for setting my mind off in many directions.

  2. It’s too complex sadly.

    Over the years fans have come up with so many complicated theories about what various things mean, what Bad Wolf meant and RTD has always gone with the simplest idea. My own theory has always been that the Doctor isn’t the same man as the one from the old series and that in Matt Smith we’re going to be seeing the real thing which is what the surprise about the regeneration is going to be — there won’t be one.

    My idea is that he’s going to use the Master race scenario reset the population of Earth mentally to some point before the aliens began to arrive so that Moffat can at least play with the idea of first contact again. That also cleans up some of the inconsistencies with the timeline in relation to the mythology and when the human race know certain things (ie) Van Statten not knowing what a Dalek looks like etc (though that does rather mess up the Adelaide memory too — see complicated).

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