Tragedy in the TARDIS: A Pond Loss is Bigger on the Inside

A version of this article also appears on The Nerd Machine.

Doctor Who season 7 kicks off tomorrow night with a five-episode run that promises to feature Daleks, dinosaurs and death. Well, the death part may or may not come to fruition, but head honcho Steven Moffat has promised a heartbreaking end.

“Not everybody gets out alive – and I mean it this time!”

Based on that statement and the fact that there’s a new companion slated to meet the good Doctor in the Christmas episode, it’s a good bet that either one or both of the beloved Ponds will meet an untimely end. In fact, the latest episode of the webseries Pond Life show discord between the happily married couple.

If they are going to meet a tragic end, how will Moffat do it? Let’s take a look at the upcoming episodes to try and guess which Doctor Who big bad it’s going to be that drains the Ponds.

Caveat time. Clearly these are all hypotheses and shouldn’t be taken as fact. If they were, I’d be a very rich man helming one of the best sci-fi shows on right now.

Instead, they’re just quick takes on each episode and the likelihood of the Ponds meeting the end of their companionship with the Doctor in that episode.
Whether or not the companionship between Amy and Rory survive is a whole different thing entirely.

Spoiler alert ahead in episode names and descriptions.

The first episode is called “Asylum of the Daleks” and launches the new season at full-speed. The episode is slated to feature “every Dalek known to man,” which could make it pretty crowded. Naturally, offing the companions in the first episode of the new season doesn’t make for good television, so expect both Amy and Rory to survive this one.

The second episode is called “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.” This will likely be an episode that doesn’t really do much in the way of storylines and really serve to just give viewers, well, dinosaurs on a spaceship. Seeing a T-Rex run roughshod in space will be good fun, but it’s doubtful that either Amy or Rory will be in any serious peril. It wouldn’t be surprising though if their current woes are amplified because of a small incident in the episode.

“A Town Called Mercy” is the third episode and it blends spaghetti Western with space. If anyone from the crew of Firefly makes an appearance, the geeking out will likely crush Twitter. In this episode, Doctor Who will face a cyborg named Reckoner as a sheriff. Again, both Amy and Rory should survive this one, but expect their problems to be at an all-time high. Plus, don’t forget that Rory has had his run-ins with cyborgs in the past.

The fourth episode is called “The Power of Three” and has mysterious, black boxes falling to Earth and causing illness in their victims. This is the episode where we may start to see the tragedy unfold. Rory could possibly get an illness from one of the Black Boxes, forcing the Doctor and Amy in a perilous race against time to save him, only he’s not saved. This is where Rory dies.

The fifth and final episode is called “The Angels Take Manhattan.” Regardless of what happened to this point, it’s pretty definite that neither Pond will be making it past the Angels. Having both of them erased Angel style in this episode seems a little easy. No, I’d expect that Amy reacts to the events of the previous episode and meets her own tragedy. Maybe the Angels take her back in time so that she never meets Rory. Like Rory’s brush with cyborgs though, Amy has also had intimate knowledge of being an Angel.

Part of the beauty of a show like Doctor Who is that it can be anything it wants at any time. It can go anywhere, anytime, and retcon anything that didn’t work. Separating the Ponds from the Doctor though will require something that can never be changed. There are the fixed points that must happen and Moffat may rely on one of those for this arc.

In essence, it’s likely that there’s no coming back from what happens in these episodes, which should make for some riveting storylines. All we can do in the meantime is sit back and enjoy the ride, knowing that the Doctor is, again, in.