Doctor Who: Quantum Immortality

Categories: Doctor Who

As Amy Pond said, "Okay, kid. This is where it gets complicated."

There's a thought experiment in quantum physics birthed from the observation that inside an atom some particles appear to be moving in two different directions at once. Now, that seems impossible, and in a way it is. In another way, it's not. The theory of quantum suicide states that while the particles did in fact move in both directions, we end up in a universe where it only went in one. The other immediately creates a parallel universe where it went the other way.

Now extrapolate that to a human life. When you woke up this morning, you decided to hit the snooze button and were five minutes late getting on the road to work. A car that you would have otherwise missed had you left on time has now ended your life. You no longer exist in that universe.

When you woke up this morning, you didn't hit the snooze and you left on time. You never hit the car. You continue to exist in this and multiple other universes created from that decision. This act of dimensional creation constantly plays out until you have literally exhausted every single possibility of survival. In the end, you die in the last universe you could possibly be alive in. That's quantum immortality.

Our review of "The Bells of St. John."

"The Rings of Akhaten" starts kind of slow, honestly. The meaning behind the leaf in Clara's book is revealed as a bit of happenstance that brought her parents together and that her father kept and passed on to Clara. Meanwhile, The Doctor tails Clara through her childhood, desperately trying to figure out how she is the same girl he met in "The Snowmen" and in "Asylum of the Daleks."

When dealing with new companions, there's a couple of episodes that are essential to their acclimation. You have the "Rose" episodes, where the companion first proves him or herself capable of saving The Doctor when he needs saving. Then you have the first date episodes, where they go someplace very amazing because let's face it, The Doctor is a showoff. It's not always in that order, and sometimes they're the same episode, as in "The Beast Below," but that's the general gist. "The Rings of Akhaten" is one of the combination episodes.

I think that we can safely put behind us fears that Doctor Who has gone from The Amy Show to The Clara Show. We do spend a lot of time with our new companion, but even when she's on screen, Jenna-Louise Coleman keeps the focus on the story. Her mystery takes a backseat to a mysterious little girl who as the repository of all her solar system's history is to be sacrificed to a massive parasite god.

What I find so amazingly fascinating about these last two episodes is how much The Doctor has changed. I swear they're putting Matt Smith in old age makeup, or perhaps he is just really that good of an actor. Regardless, his Doctor is actually regressing. No longer is he the bumbling clown that Smith borrowed so heavily from Patrick Troughton.

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Hanabi-chan topcommenter

I read somewhere that this will be Matt Smith's last season. That saddens me as I have gotten to really like him. I did not really notice that he is acting more like the First Doctor and not the Second until you mentioned it, but I did catch the line about his granddaughter. They've been doing shout outs to the previous incarnations. Last week I swore I saw Tom Baker's scarf hanging on a wall, in the background of one scene.

I also read that Billie Piper and David Tennant will somehow, some way show up in the 50th Anniversary special. (I am a hard core Tennant fangirl. Funnily enough, I had a mad crush on Peter Davison back in the day.) I have not heard about Eccleston being involved in it, but I will be quite happy if he does show up. Most underrated Doctor in my opinion.


It's spelled "Rings of Akhaten."  I made the same error when I first read it.

JefWithOneF topcommenter

@Hanabi-chan Fun fact, you can see Baker's scarf in "The Christmas Invasion" when Ten is picking out his outfit at the end. Tennant and Piper are confirmed as returning, but official BBC sources say Eccleston declined :(

Hanabi-chan topcommenter

Huh? I did not notice that. Will have to pay attention next time.

Man, I am bummed about Eccleston. I heard Sylvestor McCoy said no too and I think I heard that Colin Baker was not invited. Wonder if Tom Baker will show up. If Tennant is confirmed, I am certain Davison will too.

When BBC America does the special on Tom Baker, I wonder which of his episodes they will show?  Strange thing is, a friend of mine told me that the Hartnell and Pertwee specials were on the BBC America On Demand with Comcast, but not Troughton's. I do recall being at a British Sci-Fi / Television Con here in town when news of Troughton's passing made the rounds. I also got to meet Terry Nation, the guy that created the Daleks and  "Blake's 7". (I was a big B7 nerd back in the day too!) I was on con staff and got to have lunch , along with some other staffers, with him, Clive Mantle and Mark Ryan, the latter two were on the  "Robin Hood" series at the time.

I am now an anime/manga nerd thanks to my kid and her pals. I wear my nerd credentials with pride! :)

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