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Logic & Scientific Philosophy, Uncategorized

Doctor Who and New York and Logic

I recently watched the season finale of one of my favourite television shows, Doctor Who. In this episode (spoilers ahead) The Doctor and his trusty companions, Amy and Rory, are separated permanently by a series of unfortunate events surrounding New York and a type of Alien called the Weeping Angels. Now I recognize most of what occurred in this episode was purely for plot development- The Doctor’s companions change every few seasons and it was time for Amy and Rory to be off- but there were gaps in the logic used by Steven Moffat that I found frustrating as a fan. Here is the logic used by Moffat, and by all means, the premises and conclusions are valid and true. All of the things listed really happened in the episode.

 

New York is trapped in a time loop (caused by the Weeping Angels).

The Doctor and his Tardis cannot land in a time loop.

Therefore, the Doctor and his Tardis cannot land in New York.

 

Amy and Rory are in New York.

The Doctor and his Tardis cannot land in New York.

Therefore, The Doctor and his Tardis cannot visit Amy and Rory in New York.  

 

Although it is true that the Doctor and his Tardis cannot land in New York, this particular premise is confined to the physical city of New York, as specified in the episode. The question is then begged that could not Rory and Amy simply move cities to a place where the Tardis COULD land, and meet The Doctor this way? So although New York is caught in a time loop and The Doctor in his Tardis cannot land in a time loop, this entire argument is bypassed by moving Amy and Rory from New York to a nearby city (which is not specifically stated as impossible during the episode). In this case The Doctor in his Tardis would be able to land, The Doctor and Amy and Rory would be able to meet, and the argument Moffat used to part the characters forever is not applicable. Moffat’s reasoning only prevents The Doctor and Amy and Rory from meeting in New York. That is all.

 

So although both of the conclusions are valid and true (that the Doctor cannot land his Tardis in New York and that The Doctor and his Tardis cannot visit Amy and Rory in New York), they cannot be used as the basis of permanently separating The Doctor and his former companions. The arguments themselves are sound, but they are ultimately not applicable to the situation because they only account for half of the story.

 

And this is what I will tell myself because I like to believe that they all live happily ever after. 😀

 

 

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