After watching “The Big Bang” yesterday, I might’ve worked out Moffat’s master plan (or a large portion, anyway). I’ve really enjoyed the fairy tale elements of Series 5. I like the idea of using fantasy precepts to tell a sci-fi story. And the ending, Amy literally “wishing” her imaginary friend into existence, was a high note on which to end.
This multi-series storyline covers the 11th Doctor’s character arc, from Raggedy Doctor to something darker. It’s not about Omega. It’s not about Rassilon or the Master. It’s all about the Valeyard.
Nobody’s born evil. People are tricked and twisted into doing bad things; the same holds true of the Valeyard. The Doctor’s 12th incarnation is laying the foundation to bring himself into being, getting Doctor 11 to a place emotionally and psychologically where his transformation into the Valeyard isn’t such a stretch. The 12th Doctor’s leaving traps for the 11th (and, I suspect, the 13th Doctor may be doing the same to thwart the 12th). The 12th Doctor is trying to assassinate the 11th, because only then can he be born.
The series grows progressively bleaker as the 11th becomes corrupted by the 12th. Moffat’s already introduced a careful plant in the Dream Lord. The show’s “new” audience is now aware the Doctor harbors great darkness. There’s something sinister inside him that yearns to be free. “There’s only one person in the universe that hates me as much as you do.”
There are two ways to play the Valeyard: straight-up evil, so evil he out-Masters the Master. This is unlikely since he is still the Doctor. And you can’t have the Doctor go around harming innocent people. That’d make for a rubbish show.
More likely is a Jekyll/Hyde approach. The 12th Doctor has split personalities; the Valeyard does horrible things whilst the good Doctor’s oblivious. Only at the series’ climax does he realize these tragedies are connected to himself, the Valeyard’s handiwork all along. If anyone can leverage this angle convincingly, it’s Moffat. Look at what he did with Jekyll, which is essentially the same concept.
Other clues I noticed this year. When the Alliance traps the Doctor in the Pandorica, one Dalek says: “Only the Doctor can pilot the TARDIS.” Which one? It’s plausible the Valeyard hijacked the TARDIS to explode. He chose the specific time and place of Amy’s house and her wedding day, because he knew the 11th Doctor would be there. (Culled from his own memories: wibbly wobbly timey wimey.)
Two scenarios: the Valeyard cobbled together the Alliance — the 12th Doctor vicariously imprisons the 11th. Or conversely, the 13th created the Pandorica to save the 11th. Not built as a prison after all, it’s an escape pod (think Max Capricorn in his Titanic bunker). The one place the Doctor would be safe if the universe is destroyed. Imagine the 12th and 13th Doctors fighting across their own timestream, using 11 as a pawn.
We know River Song killed “the best man I’ve ever known.” Like many people, I read that to mean the Doctor. But not any Doctor . . . the Valeyard. A diabolical Doctor who’s gone rogue, and the only person in the cosmos who can stop him is River. Her true purpose is to neutralize the Valeyard; once he’s defeated, the “real” Doctor (13 perhaps, or a reformed 12 “with a new haircut and a suit”) rewards her. She’s granted “immortality” by the Good Wizard via his magic wand (sonic).
How did the most powerful warrior of all time become trapped in the Pandorica? Some say a good wizard tricked him. (“I hate good wizards in fairy tales. They always turn out to be him.”) And this is no different, the Doctor tinkering with his own timeline.
Practically, there are other matters to consider. Moffat signed a multi-year contract with the Beeb. Five years? Six? More than enough time to cover the tenures of the 11th and 12th Doctors (not to mention River’s jumbled storyline). After the Valeyard’s conquered, Moffat steps aside for the next showrunner to start fresh with lucky Doctor 13.