catslash: (worse than everybody's aunt)
([personal profile] catslash May. 28th, 2011 10:45 pm)
WTF EVEN Doctor Who. This post got so long I did not even proofread because my brain was pudding by the end. Fair warning.


Like, you guys. I've spent most of the series so far going back and watching bits of previous episodes for clues and signs and things, and I never do shit like that, at least not as actively as I have been these past few weeks. But the foreshadowing has been RIDICULOUS, and it didn't start this year either. It started last year, when Moffat took over. This has been going on since 5x01, and we had no idea.

Okay. So. Let's start with the Silence.

. . . wait, did I just type something? Because I don't remember OKAY KIDDING I just had to get it out of my system that is the only Silence joke I will make in this post I promise. (But if you can't get enough of Silence humor, search YouTube for moon landing footage and check out the comments starting after "Day of the Moon" aired. On the first result I got a couple weeks ago, Doctor Who fans had taken over from the usual conspiracy theory fare, and it was hilarious.)

Anyway. I've been following a lot of discussion, so many of these ideas aren't mine, and I didn't do all the legwork to track down potential Silence sightings. I just want to write this to put it all in one place. Plus it's a good way to actually make myself post.

Moffat has, as the Doctor's complied flashback helpfully informed us, been foreshadowing the Silence from his first official episode. When Prisoner Zero said, "Silence, Doctor. Silence will fall" (at approximately the fifty minute mark, if you want to check these things out for yourself), we naturally assumed that whatever it was talking about had something to do with the crack in Amy's wall. And the series seemed to bear that out, didn't it? As we learned more about the crack, that made total sense, because what could be more silent than time itself being unwritten?

In "Vampires of Venice":

The Doctor: "Why are you here?"
Rosanna: "We ran from the silence. Why are you here?"
The Doctor: "Wedding present. The silence?"
Rosanna, after a pause: "There were cracks. Some were tiny. Some were as big as the sky. Through some we saw worlds and people, and through others we saw silence, and the end of all things. We fled to an ocean like ours, and the crack snapped shut behind us."

So maybe that conversation is about the crack. No doubt part of it is. But obviously not all of it is - Moffat included "We ran from the Silence" in the Doctor's flashback, so clearly Rosanna is also talking about something else. Her response to the Doctor seems to shift from the Silence to the crack. Maybe her ability to remember the Silence is muddled; we saw in "Day of the Moon" that it is possible to remember them through constantly renewing the information, but it's slippery. Maybe she's manipulating the conversation, avoiding the Doctor's question about the Silence while simultaneously appearing to answer it. Either way, it's quite seamless, and you can hardly blame people for thinking it was all about the cracks. Just Moffat's way of furthering the series five arc in a fluffy filler ep.

(And maybe we don't have enough information to analyze that exchange effectively just yet. Let's not forget that we still don't know who blew up the TARDIS to set the cracks off in the first place. Maybe there's a very good reason Rosanna is conflating the cracks with the Silence.)

And speaking of fluffy filler eps: "The Lodger." You guys, I am so grateful for YouTube, because I hate that episode. It's annoying, it's sexist, it nails my embarrassment squick something fierce, and I also found it to be a miserable letdown after "Vincent and the Doctor." When I discovered the people thought the Silence had "appeared" in the ep, I was massively sulky at the thought of having to rewatch it. But no! YouTube to the rescue! Some kind soul put up a video of the scenes in question. Go watch it. It's helpful.

See Amy's reactions there? It's kind of funny, actually, because they are seemingly representative of part of why I hated the episode - I thought they were overblown with the purpose of making fun of Amy and her predicament as part of the overall humor in the episode. But, when you rewatch them on the assumption that she is reacting not to the Doctor, but to a Silent, they make a hell of a lot more sense. They're framed to make it look like she's responding to the whatsit the Doctor's voice is coming from, but in that context they make no sense. Staring specifically at a certain point, flinching, and gasping is an inauthentic reaction when you can only hear a person's voice. When you're on the phone and someone tells you something frustrating (in a conversational tone, not yelling or doing anything else to set off your startle reflex), do you physically flinch? Of course you don't! But if you see something that makes absolutely no sense, like, say, a strange alien appearing seemingly out of nowhere onto the TARDIS when she's in flux and even the Doctor can't get onboard - yeah. That's worth a flinch. So then of course Amy tries to yell at the Silent, or at the Doctor to interrupt him and tell him there an intruder, but then she looks away and forgets, and the scenes proceed as normal.

So obviously, yes, I think the Silence made an appearance in "The Lodger." And if I'm right, that's brilliant on a couple different levels, because guess where completely exaggerated and inauthentic reactions are to be expected and will be totally glossed over unless brought specifically to one's attention? Wacky comedy episodes, that's where! And that's beautiful. Moffat fucking showed us the Silence and - of course - we didn't even think anything was there.

This video is a compilation of other possible Silence appearances in series five. Listen closely along with watching - as noted in the comments, the clip from "The Beast Below" (for example) has the distinctive clicking sound associated with the Silence on its soundtrack. Oh, and ignore the commentary on the "implausible" sightings, because frankly I don't think the compiler knows what they're damn well talking about. You'll notice that they dismiss "The Lodger" out of hand.

I'm sure there's more, and I may well make some more posts or say other stuff in comments and so on, but this post is already like eight times longer than I meant it to be and I'm getting lost in my own head, so let's move on to one other thing.

Check that second video again; specifically, the scene in the museum from "The Big Bang." The first time I watched the video, I also had my doubts about the hooded figure being linked to the Silence; after all, the Silence wear suits. (Why? Fuck if I know. Because it looks cool. Look, at some point we have to stop analyzing or we will fall in and never get out.) If you have the episode on hand, fire it up, since the YouTube clip is not the best quality. That scene is at about the 13:20 mark. As you can see, the hooded figure is just standing there, behind the statue, chilling out. It's very easy to overlook, especially when your attention should be on Amy and Amelia, but once you see it, it is so very obviously there. It's not a shadow, it's not part of the shadow, it is unambiguously a separate figure. It was deliberately placed for us to see it . . . eventually.

That flicker of movement on the side of the frame (13:30ish) is where you want the better quality. It's harder to tell through the YouTube blur, but when you can see it more clearly? That's no accident, either. It's the edge of a cloak. There's a second hooded figure in that room. At this point, you're supposed to be watching Amy touch Amelia as she tries to figure out what year it is. I don't know much about filmmaking or shot composition, but I can see that this sequence was set up with great care to include the figures and make them obvious to anyone looking for them, but also to conceal them from viewers who don't know they're there. I never saw them until they were pointed out to me by that video.

And then when I did, I thought, "Okay, weird hooded figures, I doubt they're the Silence, but they're not accidental. Huh," and filed it away in my memory.

Then, after today's episode, I watched this. It's the prequel to next week's episode.

Hooded figures EVERYWHERE. Hooded figures stealing Amy's baby! (And, noticeably, paying off the dude River was dealing with in "The Pandorica Opens.")

HOLY SHIT. There must be a link! The hooded figures from the museum must be connected to these ones!

But wait. That timeline doesn't exist anymore. That's from the starless alternate reality. Can it be the same hooded figures? What's their angle? What are they doing?

Are they working with the Silence? Remember what I said above about connections between the Silence and the cracks and the TARDIS's explosion?

And, likely relevant: When exactly was Amy taken? She first saw the eyepatch lady in "Day of the Moon," in the defunct orphanage, prior to being kidnapped by the Silence. (At least, that seems to have been her first sighting, but then we can't assume anything about what the characters are seeing this series, can we?) So that was probably ganger!Amy. She told the Doctor she was pregnant at the end of "The Impossible Astronaut," but then later she didn't know why she'd said that.

Amy has been wearing plaid all series. I didn't notice that myself because I fail at noticing costuming, but I did see people complaining about the monotony in her wardrobe a couple episodes ago, and it's stuck with me. I mean, in TV-land, everybody has ridiculously huge wardrobes. Lack of constant costume change is always a plot point (or the Doctor). In her very first scene in this series, she's wearing a purple plaid shirt, and while I have not actually gone through each episode to recheck (even I have limits, okay), my admittedly faulty visual memory is coughing up lots of purple and lots of plaid shirts. So that's clearly significant. Maybe it was just meant as a relatively subtle visual indication that something was wrong - after I saw it pointed out and connected it with the eyepatch lady, I started thinking that maybe Amy was in some kind of fugue or stasis or alternate reality and this was all some elaborate dream, with the eyepatch lady being a connection to the actual reality, and fucking hell, you can't tell I wrote my final paper in my Bowie class this past semester on Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, can you?

- anyway. It might also be an indication of timeline.

And at this point I think this post is longer than some of the papers I wrote during the semester, so I am going to wrap it the fuck up with a couple more questions:

Are the Silence after Amy's baby? And yeah, I'm saying Amy's baby for now, not Amy and Rory's baby, because I can't help but wonder now: What is it? I don't think it's the Doctor's, I think Moffat's made it abundantly clear that he is not going there, but at this point the only reason I am saying "Amy's" is because she's the one giving birth to it and I am gritting my teeth and ignoring the incredible grossness of reducing Amy to a fetus incubator for now, but Moffat better pull off a major save or I may well blow my feminist stack in the near future.
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