There’s the information in my examination of “The Eleventh Hour”, including the fact that Smith’s first episode contains a hint of what eventually happens to the Ponds. In that post, I go on at length about the strangeness of the swing.
In “The Power of Three”, the Doctor starts to take his leave at 39:00 by saying, “Worlds to save, swings to… swing on.”
I hate when my brain does this. I think I’ve just spoiled the next episode for myself completely. Don’t read further if there’s anything at all you like about surprises, in case I’m right.
Several points come together:
- The swing at Young Amelia’s house and its odd behavior
- The swing at 2010-Amy’s house, and its continuing odd behavior when River arrives.
- Young Amelia has no parents living with her; she has an aunt who presumably looks after her (?) but no adults appear to live in the house. The whole night of Eleven’s first arrival, no adult appears during cooking or eating; no adult misses her while she’s asleep in the front yard, but the Doctor carries her back inside when he tucks her in during his jaunt back during “The Time of Angels / Flesh and Stone”.
- The next episode, “The Angels Take Manhattan”, is the last episode for the Ponds.
- Moffat has said that the Ponds’ departure will be heartbreaking, but so fitting he doesn’t think the fans will be angry.
- Amy’s personal tragedy is that she had a daughter she did not get to raise.
- Having children is so important to Rory that Amy tried to “free” him to find another wife who could give him children. Not seeing his daughter grow up may be Rory’s personal tragedy, too.
- Melody grows up with Young Amelia and Young Rory as their best friend.
- We know nothing about Melody from her regeneration on the streets of New York to her appearance as Mels, Amelia and Rory’s childhood friend. Melody also has no parents present in that time; she would have to have been adopted or in the care of the Silence, the headless Monks, or some other part of the conspiracy that created the Pandorica and raised her to kill the Doctor.
- We still don’t know what caused the TARDIS to explode in 2010.
- We still don’t know why Eleven’s TARDIS was damaged when he landed in Young Amelia’s yard. Speculation has been that the Doctor’s regenerations are always traumatic for the TARDIS, but “always” is not accurate. “Sometimes, if there’s good reason” is closer to canon.
- We do know that crossing itself in space/time destabilizes the TARDIS and its local physical/chronological region.
- We know that individuals can double back on their own timelines, but have to be very careful about actually encountering themselves; when Rose touched Baby Rose in “Father’s Day”, the chronovores tried to eat everyone in the building to resolve the paradox.
- When Amy discovers who the Doctor is in 2010, she tells him it’s been 6 months. He quickly figures out that it’s actually been 10 years. He confronts her about the lie, saying it’s important.
- Canon states that the TARDIS is pretty much infinitely reconfigurable, able to add and remove rooms, change its own geography, and alter its decor. Even massive console-room reconfigurations were recently described as “changing the desktop theme.”
- Rory’s badge in “The Eleventh Hour” was issued in 1990, when Amy was about one year old.
Amy and Rory leave in an episode about angels.
Amy and Rory are going to be “eaten” by the angels, and the Doctor can’t undo that. What he can do is fetch them from where they are sent — but, perhaps, not when — and carry them to Leadworth. Probably with little Melody, who was wandering the streets of New York as a homeless orphanlet.
Amy and Rory will then get to raise Mels as her faux-adoptive parents. Amy will have to be very careful not to ever touch Young Amelia*, but that is possible. The rest is infuriatingly plausible. This seems to me to meet every leaked criteria for the Ponds’ departure, and clears up a number of discrepancies. Rory gets his hospital badge, dated 1990, and just keeps on wearing it until the present day.
The Doctor, meanwhile, is probably living in Young Amelia’s house to keep an eye on her. He has to pop out every time another version of him pops in, to keep from crossing his own time stream. But where’s his TARDIS?
- It’s the missing third story. Or…
- It’s the whole damn house.
After all, River is “a child of the TARDIS”, right? That’s why River can regenerate. This is explained as the cumulative effect of life in the TARDIS on Amy. But that seems so much more… maybe not plausible, exactly, but at least satisfying, if Amy has been living in the TARDIS for twelve years (or more) plus her adventures, rather than a year or so — and Rory, Melody’s father, has been spending plenty of time there, too. It explains the bizarre design of the house. It explains the ubiquitous TARDIS blue. It explains the unchanging nature of the house, impervious to time. I think the Doctor has fixed the Chameleon Circuit, or done his own special version of fixing it, anyway, and stuffed the console room upstairs in a pattern modeled on Craig’s house in “The Lodger”. He even put a perception filter on the stairs, inspired by the same event. It may be that even the yard and the eternally-fixed foliage are part of the TARDIS.
And when he messes up his time-juggling, and he and himself, or the TARDIS and herself, meet? It damages the time stream. It damages the TARDIS. It explodes the TARDIS when River materializes it on itself.
Criticize this. Pick it apart. Give me details. Argue with me. Please!
(And, of course, River’s Time Lordiness would make even more sense if this isn’t the entire explanation for Rory’s badge. I still have side-eye suspicions that we don’t yet know all there is to know about Rory. Or about Amy, for that matter. But at this point, I’m relieved that there are things left I haven’t spoiled for myself.)
* This is why I think it’s unlikely that Amy is Young Amelia’s “aunt”. But maybe having her time energy eaten by Angels will make Amy immune to this effect, as well.