Last year’s Doctor Who fall finale, “The Angels Take Manhattan,” put a capper on the tenure of the Doctor’s then-most-recent companions, Rory and Amy Pond. After a typically convoluted case involving the Weeping Angels, the couple was transported back to — and trapped in — 1930s Manhattan. There was a whole timey-wimey explanation about why the Doctor couldn’t go back and visit them, but the explanation seemed a bit forced for a series that regularly rewrites the rules of time and space to suit its whims. After all, it the problem was the Doctor specifically being unable to return to Manhattan of that era, why couldn’t he just travel back to a different location, same time period, and send the Ponds a letter inviting them to meet him for a picnic or whatever?
As reported by Blogtor Who, a chap named Dan Martin recently posed that very question to Moffat, and actually got a relatively straightforward answer. Not terribly satisfying or convincing one, mind you, but straightforward.
So what would happen if the Doctor and the Ponds met up somewhere other than Manhattan?
New York would still burn. The point being, he can’t interfere. Here’s the ‘fan answer’ — this is not what you’d ever put out on BBC One, because most people watch the show and just think, ‘Well there’s a gravestone so obviously he can’t visit them again’. But the ‘fan answer’ is, in normal circumstances he might have gone back and said, ‘Look we’ll just put a headstone up and we’ll just write the book’. But there is so much scar tissue, and the number of paradoxes that have already been inflicted on that nexus of timelines, that it will rip apart if you try to do one more thing. He has to leave it alone. Normally he could perform some surgery, this time too much surgery has already been performed. But imagine saying that on BBC One!