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Sunday, 24 April 2011

Silence Is Golden? A Theory...

The Silence, a terrifying new monster in Doctor Who. Murderous, villainous invaders from a world that we will never understand and have no hopes of defending ourselves against. Or are they? There were a number of clues in The Impossible Astronauts, a handful of moments and odd little things they did, that make me think that they are not the villainous monsters we think they are, but instead a sad and sorrowful race, trapped here (their ship won't work, remember) for thousands of years. 

Here are the main moments, listed chronologically as the episode progressed, [with my reasons for noticing this, an explanation of sorts, in brackets] that caught my eye and made me think that there is a lot more to these silent 'foes' than meets the eye. I'm very possibly very very wrong. But it's worth thinking about, at least:

1) The Silent On The Hill At The Picnic - [hold that thought...]

2) The Silent At The Door - [Why did it just stand there? What was it that it wanted? It was there, looking at Amy, then gone!]

3) The Silent In The Bathroom - [It was there, threateningly looking at Amy as she entered, yet didn't attack. When it was confronted by the woman - a seemingly harmless woman, no threat at all - it killed her and, while she was screaming, made a sucking noise/action... I think this was the Silent "stealing a voice" (it hadn't spoken before this point) in order to tell Amy what it needed to tell her; that she should tell the Doctor what she knows she must and what she knows she must not! When Amy says to it "You killed her! You didn't have to kill her!" it replies "Joy. Her name was Joy!..." This reminded me of the scene from Vampires In Venice where the Doctor was disgusted to find that Rosana Calvieri didn't know the name of the dead girl... The Silent DID know and showed itself to want Amy to know that it knew who she was, even though she was really nobody. This is the ONLY death caused by the Silence in the whole episode.]

4) The Silence In The Tunnels - [When River explored the tunnels there were Silence everywhere, skulking in the dark, dank tunnels, looking sad and downtrodden (remember the Natural Ood in Planet of the Ood?). Why didn't they attack? Why didn't they just kill her there and then, kill those upstairs too, kill them all! Who'd know?! In fact, why are they so reluctant to kill at all?]

5) The Silence In The Ship - [When River and Rory were breaking into the ship (the Lodger Tardis-looking ship) there were, again, Silence everywhere - but they didn't attack. They didn't even MOVE from where they were sat until River had triggered their ship's alarm... Think of it from their point of view: Some strange woman breaks into your spaceship... I'd be pissed off too! And if this theory is right, then it's also quite sad! The Silence NEED to kill to get a voice. So they NEED to kill to be able to say "we're not here to harm you!"]

'Silence Will Fall' or so we've been told. OOH! DOOM-LADEN!! But for whom? We've treated it as a threat, as something that needs to be stopped! And sure, yes, if I'm right, it needs to be stopped. Because if Silence Falls then there is another dead race in the universe. They need the Doctor's help. He's the only one who can kick-start their ship (see The Lodger) but in order to explain this to him, someone has to die. They need a voice to explain it to him! They don't want to hurt anyone, but HAVE to in order to explain themselves. Sad, eh?

So what about this: The Doctor, by whatever means, saves the Silence from whatever it is that they're running/hiding from. His death, as we have seen, has to happen. His allies are collected together in Utah to "see him off" - Amy, Rory, River, Canton E Delaware III... AND The Silent On The Hill At The Picnic, there one last time to pay his last respects to the Time Lord responsible for assuring the future survival of his race. 

I'm no longer scared of the Silence. I think they're severely misunderstood creatures, very unfortunately massive, ugly, terrifying and mute and can only get a voice to tell us they need our help by killing to "steal a voice". I've not figured out the "girl in the space suit" bit just yet... Or written my episode review. It'll be with you soon. But... what do you think?

ADDED MUCH LATER: How wrong was I, eh? Ah well...