Saturday, 2 March 2013

A Few Thoughts on Plot Holes

Plot holes and Doctor Who. It's the things Doctor Who fans argue about endlessly. You get people who accept the story as "romantic" and make the plot holes part of the story (like the DWM review of 'The Angels Take Manhattan'), you get some who moan endlessly about the plot holes but can try and understand them, and then you get those who just look for plot holes without even thinking something may not actually be a plot hole. Doctor Who has got more plot holes in it now, yes, but they're not always there.

I mean to take a look at a few existing ones. Or "unresolved issues" as we'll call them. Rory getting zapped at the end of The Impossible Astronaut is one. He just seems to have recovered in the flashback in Day of the Moon (to be fair, I love these episodes and that's my only problem as far as I can remember). Then there's The Angels Take Manhattan. There are so many plot holes in it, and I can't remember them all - but the main one is summed up in the words - The Statue of Liberty. Cos it's hollow, metal, there are thousands of images of it etc... And then there's Amy and Rory being trapped. Why can't the Doctor hop on a plane to New York? Use River's Vortex Manipulator? She can see them after all. What happened to Rory's dad? (The 'PS' Epilogue doesn't really count as a solution if it's off screen... Be a bit like assuming Ace died and became a Dalek hunter all at once.) Then there's what happened to Amy's parents? And how can Amelia still smile in the garden when she hears the TARDIS if the Doctor moved her indoors in The Big Bang? Lots of plot holes or "unresolved issues", but we, as fans, accept them as part of the programme once we've had a good moan. After all, you can't get too picky... otherwise everyone would be moaning about the whole Pull To Open thing on the TARDIS, then moaning more when they do pull the doors to open!

And so this leads me onto those who don't accept plot holes and see ones that aren't there. I think my mum is probably one of those people, and often I'm explaining that such and such isn't a plot hole cos of things that happened in the last two series or something. I'm not innocent though. I didn't shut up about the Angels Take Manhattan plot holes for days after the episode had aired. But I accept them now, and use them when I need a good moan about my favourite TV show (we all do sometimes). But I can see the potential of the episode, and the brilliance of Matt Smith and the intelligence of Steven Moffat (intelligence when there aren't plot holes anyway). And often these, and my ultimate love for the TV show, beat the plot holes.

But of course that can't happen for everyone. With the announcement of the 1st March of The Bells of St John (are people gonna argue about St/Saint one day?)/new promo picture/look of Ice Warriors/Spoonheads/Richard E Grant return/teasers for the rest of the series, Moffat said that the Doctor's greatest secret would be revealed.

I'll be honest I'm angry at this, and hoping that "Doctor Who" is never answered. Because that's clearly his secret... Cos some are seeing this is a plot hole, and that's what I don't get. Even if people don't enjoy the series, then surely they can't miss the whole Doctor Who, oh it's a big secret, thing they've been plugging for ages. So Doctor Who must clearly be the secret... And so that isn't a plot hole. And this comes back to my point - revealing who the Doctor is is a bad idea, but it isn't a plot hole. There are plenty of others ways of noticing faults in the programme without just assuming things are plot holes because you expect them to be there.

And even if it isn't Doctor Who that's the secret - it isn't a plot hole because it's just a teaser. Teasers are just that, they tease us, and so if the Doctor has a great secret, that will be explained further. It isn't a plot hole.

And so my message. Yes there are plot holes. Yes they're good to moan about. Yes it would be boring to explain them on screen, so yes they are always going to be there. But - they're not everywhere...

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