A recent announcement has stated that the final episode of season* seven of Doctor Who will be called ‘The Name of the Doctor’. Of course, the hints have been building for a while that this is one secret which may be revealed. The prophesy of the Silence – ‘Silence will fall when the question is answered’ – is a pretty big telegraphing clue as to what is going on and as more and more is revealed about that plotline it becomes even more obvious that, at some point, the Doctor will be put in a position where he will have to reveal his true name.
At least that is what Steve Moffat wants us to think…
You see, I am not convinced it is going to be as easy as that. Moffat is a master of the double bluff and especially the double meaning and the prophesy as stated is full of potential double meanings and misunderstandings. What exact definition of ‘fall’ is meant here? Does ‘Silence’ actually refer to ‘the Silence’ or something else entirely? Their self centered interpretation has led to the belief that the Doctor is their enemy and so, as a result of this, they have acted to try to prevent this and, in the course of events, made the Doctor their enemy… It is an excellent example of a Cassandra paradox – by paying attention to the prediction you cause the events in the prediction to come to pass. The Doctor is only their enemy because they paid attention to the prophesy, got scared and tried to kill him. The lesson here being, of course, never trust prophesy. Especially not when dealing with immortal or long lived beings. More so if they can Time Travel. Because the chances are they were probably there when the prophesy was written. They may even have written it themselves, AFTER the events that ensued from you following it. After all, even Bill and Ted managed to work out that particular munchkin flange of access to a Time Machine and they were dumb stoners. Just think what an ancient alien intelligence with centuries of surviving in the universe against every hostile alien that has ever existed could do given the motivation. The Doctor has in the past been shown to be a manipulative person who plays chess with people across the centuries, I personally do not see him having any issues with him setting up a nice little fake prophesy to send his enemies off in the wrong direction… even if all he manages to do is edit the original rather than simply delete it from history to make sure none of this can ever happen.
So, I am not sure what to expect on the final episide of Doctor Who this year. I am hoping for something epic. I am also hoping for something clever and emotional. If it comes to the final confrontation and the question is asked and it turns out his name is Bob I think there will be disappointment. It’s a fairly major anticlimax. A secret that has been kept so long is not a secret to give up lightly and maybe it would be better if that particular one is kept secret. Secrets are more fun when they are kept, the frission of knowing there is something you do not know and the endless speculations can be an addictive mix. I am hoping that the way the prophesy is worded will work to add a surprise to this plotline and cannot wait to see what that surprise might be.
*Season? Season! Dammit, we’re English, it should be series. Americans call them Seasons, we call them series… *grumble, mumble, moan*