With the current Doctor entering his 11th lease on life, I have to wonder if the program will attempt to tie up all the loose ends that lay dangling. Some of these are rather petty plot threads that may or may not occur to even a die-hard fan while others are quite important or just bug me. Some may seem obscure, but for a TV program that revived a monster that has not even been seen since 1966 and will likely never bee seen again (The Macra), I’m not really sure where to draw the line.
What happened when the Mandragora Helix tried to take over the Earth again?
In the 1976 adventure, the Masque of Mandragora, it is established that the villain is far from dead and will return to conquer the human race once more in the future at the tail end of the 20th Century. I know that there is a comic book story that addresses this, but there could be a cracking good tale for the new series here.
Is the Doctor really Merlin?
In the 1989 adventure ‘Battlefield,’ it is stated that the Doctor plays the role of Merlin on an alternate Earth in his own future. This could fall in the ‘yeah, but ___ is a terrible story, so who cares?’ category but again… remember the Macra and the current popularity of fantasy. Tennant’s Doctor was practically Harry Potter so it’s not a major leap.
What’s the deal with the Valeyard?
In the 1986 adventure Trial of a Timelord, audiences who stayed with the exceedingly long mult-part courtroom drama learned that the prosecuting attorney known as the Valeyard was actually the Doctor. A stunning and original idea it is also one of the most convoluted due to the explanation that the Master provides, describing the mincing lawyer as the distillation of all that is evil in the Doctor somewhere between his 12th and final regeneration. This could be one of the only real moments where as a viewer I bolted into attention to hear what was going on in 80′s Who. Since it was also intended to be the final Doctor Who adventure, it’s not surprising that this one is a tangled mess.
The role of the Valeyard was dealt with in the Virgin series of novels in the 1990′s and in audio adventures, but given the fact that one of those books (Paul Cornell’s ‘Human Nature’) was adapted into a televised adventure and head writer Russel T Davies disdain/pandering relationship with Who fandom it is very unclear if they are ‘canon.’
I’m still not sure if the Master’s dialog in The Trial of a Timelord implies that the last incarnation of the Doctor is the Valeyard or what… or if this will ever be addressed (or even if it should be).
How did the Eight Doctor regenerate?
The 1996 TV movie had many flaws but Paul McGann was not one of them. An excellent choice to play the role, he remains the only Doctor without a death scene. When the new series began in 2005 this wasn’t really an issue as it was unclear if it was a revival or continuation of the classic Doctor Who, but now that it has been confirmed as part of the 26-year long program, this detail really bugs me. I’d also love to see McGann get a chance to play the role again. Given his devotion to Doctor Who extending to a series of radio dramas (a fourth season is on its way on Big Finish!), I’d like to think he would be keen.
This could also be bundled into the ‘what happened during the Time War’ loose end but I think that is more of a plot convenience (similar to ‘the rift’ in Torchwood that spawns plot contrivances) rather than an actual event.
What was in ‘The Pit’?
I know that the Doctor hints that the creature in ‘The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit’ is the Devil, but given that even the author and producer are unclear on what was in the pit, I feel this could be addressed better. Seeing as how well received the first part was, I’d love to see the new series team tackle this one.
What sent ‘The Wire’?
Not one of the better stories, but the Wire from ‘The Idiot’s Lantern’ wasn’t really the enemy, more of a weapon aimed at the planet Earth by some unnamed alien race. It seems strange that this was never investigated by the Doctor, but just looking at the number of loose threads I can think of off the top of my head, the new program isn’t really interested in closure.
What was the Shade that killed Elton’s mum?
The only interesting part of ‘Love & Monsters’ involves the fact that Elton’s mother was killed by an alien shadow that the Doctor was chasing. What was this thing and what was all that about? There’s a cracking story there and I’m surprised that it was never addressed.
What’s the deal with the Doctor’s ‘Daughter’?
Last seen in the eponymous episode, the soldier cloned from the Doctor’s DNA named Jenny was last seen miraculously recovering from a deadly wound only to jump into a spaceship and launch into a series of adventures. Jenny’s resemblance to the character of Rose (because RTD has a very limited view of character types) and the rumor that the actress (daughter of Doctor #5 Peter Davison) dated Tennant still creeps me out.
It’s also very bizarre that this episode feels like the pilot for a spin-off that never happened.
Like many of RTD’s dangling plots, I fully expect Jenny to have a large role in the last RTD story. However, remember that the idea of the Doctor’s daughter’s survival was Steven Moffat’s, so this may not be addressed until next year.
These are just a few, but there are many more.
Can you think of any?