Time field

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The Eleventh Doctor closes one of the time field's cracks by sending hundreds of Weeping Angels into it. (TV: Flesh and Stone)
You may be looking for Temporal field.

The "time field," as Angel Bob called it, was a body of time energy that would destroy reality. It spilled from ruptures in time (TV: Flesh and Stone) cracks in the fabric of time and space, created by the Silence when they exploded the Doctor's TARDIS on 26 June 2010, (TV: The Pandorica Opens) as a means of preventing the Doctor from reaching Trenzalore and answering the Time Lords' message, which was sent through the very same cracks the Silence created. (TV: The Time of the Doctor) Some cracks allowed for travel from one place and time to another (TV: The Vampires of Venice) while others lead to the Void, (TV: The Big Bang) erasing people and events from history. (TV: Cold Blood)

Cracks[[edit]]

The cracks were described by the Eleventh Doctor as "two parts of space and time that should never have touched, pressed together". They were present in the very fabric of spacetime — a crack that appeared to be part of a wall would still be there if the wall were removed. (TV: The Eleventh Hour) They were also described as "cracks in the skin of the universe" (TV: The Pandorica Opens) and a "split in the skin of reality". (TV: The Time of the Doctor)

According to Rosanna Calvierri, the cracks ranged in size from tiny to "as big as the sky", and some connected to other worlds, while others led only to "silence, and the end of all things". (TV: The Vampires of Venice)

Some cracks acted like wormholes and could be opened to allow passage between the places on either side. Rosanna Calvierri and her family travelled through a crack of this kind, (TV: The Vampires of Venice) as did Prisoner Zero. (TV: The Eleventh Hour) A sonic screwdriver could widen a crack, and if a crack was open wide enough, the forces would invert, and the crack would snap itself shut. (TV: The Eleventh Hour)

Other cracks released pure time energy able to wipe individuals from time itself and remove events from history. Time travellers such as the Doctor would still remember them, at least so long as the removed event or person did not relate to the time traveller's direct past. (TV: Flesh and Stone, Cold Blood)

Also, when the time energy erased people and events, the consequences would still remain: the Byzantium remained crashed when the Weeping Angels who had caused it were erased; (TV: Flesh and Stone) Amelia Pond still existed when her parents were erased from history, (TV: The Big Bang) as did River Song when her father met the same fate. (TV: Cold Blood, The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang) This time energy was visible as a glow of bright white light, which sometimes extended tendrils from the crack towards nearby people and objects to consume them. (TV: Cold Blood, Flesh and Stone)

The Doctor guessed that the time energy from these kinds of cracks had erased events such as the CyberKing walking over London in the Victorian era, and the Planetary Relocation Incident, the latter being one of Earth's most publicly visible invasions. (TV: Flesh and Stone) Clive Finch, a man who Rose Tyler met while researching the Ninth Doctor, similarly theorised that cracks in time were erasing peoples' memories of previous alien encounters. (PROSE: Rose)

A section of the Doctor's TARDIS retrieved from a crack. (TV: Cold Blood)

Regardless of the size and what was on the other side, all cracks appeared to be of the same shape and orientation. The Doctor stated that the only way to close such a crack was for it to consume a complicated space-time event, such as himself or a large group of Weeping Angels; all of them together were equivalent to him. River Song volunteered to let herself be consumed, but the Doctor — potentially from a position of ignorance — sneered at the idea and said that she wasn't even as complicated as one Angel. (TV: Flesh and Stone) The Doctor later proved that being a complicated space-time event could allow temporary immunity to the erasing effects of the time field; he used this to his advantage to pull a piece of the destroyed TARDIS out of a crack. (TV: Cold Blood)

History[[edit]]

A day to come[[edit]]

Through the extrapolations of the Matrix, the Time War-era Time Lords foresaw the Total Collapse Event Incident from the Doctor's personal future, which was recorded in the Dalek Combat Training Manual. Observing the effect total event collapse had on the Daleks, reducing them to stone afterimages, Time Lord Weapons Architects explored the possibilities of exploiting Localised Event-Collapse Time Fields as a means of petrifying whole fleets of Daleks. (PROSE: Dalek Combat Training Manual)

Origin[[edit]]

The date of the explosion. (TV: Flesh and Stone)

The cracks in time originated in the destruction of the Doctor's TARDIS when it came under the control of the Silence (TV: The Time of the Doctor) which made it materialise outside Amy Pond's house on 26 June 2010. River Song tried to prevent the explosion, but completely lost control of the TARDIS. (TV: The Pandorica Opens) It exploded, cracking points in time and space, some of which the Eleventh Doctor had been to. This resulted in the majority of the universe never existing, but the TARDIS preserved Earth by putting itself in a time loop at the moment of its death. The heat from the perpetual explosion heated the alternate Earth in place of the sun. (TV: The Big Bang)

Tasha Lem later revealed that a rogue faction of the Church of Silence was behind the attempted destruction of the TARDIS — in an effort to stop the Doctor from bringing the Time Lords and Gallifrey back, thus potentially restarting the Last Great Time War. This action resulted in a "destiny trap" by which the renegade Silence faction ended up creating the very cracks through which the Time Lords could return. In short, their efforts were pointless. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)

Closing[[edit]]

Having determined that the Pandorica — designed as the perfect prison — still contained some atoms of the original universe that existed prior to the TARDIS exploding, the Doctor flew it into the heart of the TARDIS explosion. Using the remaining atoms of the original universe inside the Pandorica and the restoration field, he repaired the damage caused by the cracks. The universe and the timeline were rebooted, all of the cracks began to close and the versions of Amy, Rory, and River that were relevant to the original timeline were restored to their proper places in time. To fully close the cracks, the Doctor allowed himself to be absorbed by one and erased from existence.

Using the ability given to her by the crack in her room, Amy's remembrance of her parents and Rory negated their erasure in the rebooted universe. The Doctor, however, remained erased until Amy remembered him and their adventures and brought him and the TARDIS back. Despite everything being repaired, the Doctor remained clueless as to what was responsible for the destruction of the TARDIS in the first place. (TV: The Big Bang)

Legacy[[edit]]

In his fifteenth incarnation, the Doctor remembered the cracks when the Goblins cracked the timeline. (PROSE: The Church on Ruby Road [+]Loading...{"page":"113","chaptnum":"Fifteen","1":"The Church on Ruby Road (novelisation)"})

Notable cracks[[edit]]

A crack on Amelia Pond's bedroom wall. (TV: The Eleventh Hour)

Around Easter of 1996, a crack in Amy Pond's bedroom wall connected it to an Atraxi prison. This crack also erased Amy's parents from existence, and Prisoner Zero was able to escape through it to Earth from the Atraxi prison. The recently-regenerated Eleventh Doctor closed this crack by widening it with his sonic screwdriver. (TV: The Eleventh Hour, The Big Bang) Cracks also appeared on the side of Starship UK in the 33rd century (TV: The Beast Below) and in the Cabinet War Rooms in 1941. (TV: Victory of the Daleks)

A crack on a wall in the Byzantium. (TV: Flesh and Stone)

Another crack opened to a vast size aboard the spaceship Byzantium in the 51st century. It erased Crispin, Marco, Pedro, Phillip and many Weeping Angels from existence, then closed. The Weeping Angels had feared it and attempted to escape, only to be dropped into it after they had absorbed all of the Byzantium's energy, disabling the ship's artificial gravity. The Angels, combined, were a sufficiently complex space-time event to temporarily close the crack. (TV: Flesh and Stone)

According to Rosanna Calvierri, she and the other Saturnynians fled Saturnyne because of the "silence" they saw through some of the cracks. They fled through one of the cracks to "an ocean like ours" on Earth, after which the crack closed behind them. Just before the Doctor left Venice, the Doctor heard an abrupt silence; the previously busy market had suddenly become empty. (TV: The Vampires of Venice)

There was a crack in the Silurian city beneath the Earth in 2020. The Doctor, Amy and Rory found it while leaving the base. Examining it, the Doctor reached inside the crack for "shrapnel" from the original explosion, and retrieved a burnt piece of the TARDIS. Before leaving, Rory was fatally shot by Restac, and his corpse came in contact with the light from the crack. Despite Amy's protests, the Doctor left Rory behind. The crack subsequently absorbed Rory and erased him from existence. (TV: Cold Blood) The Doctor still remembered him and mentioned him later, (TV: Vincent and the Doctor) and the engagement ring which he had bought Amy still existed in the TARDIS. Amy lost all memory of Rory due to the crack directly affecting her past. (TV: Cold Blood)

There was a crack in Craig Owens' flat in 2010 in the kitchen wall, next to the fridge. Shortly after the Doctor left the flat, the time field energy began to emit from the crack and it began to expand. (TV: The Lodger) Craig and his girlfriend Sophie were later revealed to still exist. (TV: Closing Time)

Another crack appeared in the TARDIS itself whilst it was parked next to Amy's house on 26 June 2010. The TARDIS monitor read the time and place, and the glass cracked into the shape of the cracks. This was followed by a sinister voice rasping, "Silence will fall". (TV: The Pandorica Opens)

A crack appeared on one of the walls in the temple of Artemis in 1929. (AUDIO: The Hounds of Artemis)

Some time in the 41st century, a crack appeared on a tank that held a Dalek Mutant. (COMIC: The Only Good Dalek)

The Doctor's greatest fear is revealed to be a crack in time. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)

On the Minotaur's prison ship, the ship generated a series of rooms, one for each person who got transported inside, containing their worst fear. While he was on board the ship, the Doctor discovered a room of his own, (TV: The God Complex) which contained the illusion of a crack in time. He intuitively dreaded that his business with the cracks in time was not over yet, since they had weakened the integrity of the entire universe and left "scar tissue". His fear was justified and later confirmed. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)

The Doctor discovers one final crack in the universe in Christmas. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)

When Gallifrey had been shunted into a pocket universe following the end of the Last Great Time War, (TV: The Day of the Doctor) the Matrix detected the time field. Correctly gambling that this was a way back to N-Space, the Time Lords took control of the residual crack on the remote world of Trenzalore, broadcasting the Question and a Truth Field to attract the attention of the Doctor and confirm that it was safe to return. (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords) This caused the nine century long Siege of Trenzalore where the Eleventh Doctor defended Trenzalore's town of Christmas from the orbiting fleets while also refusing to release the Time Lords lest the Time War resume. When the Doctor was on the verge of dying from old age, Clara Oswald used the crack to implore the Time Lords to save the Doctor, who was dying of extreme old age due to having no more regenerations. (TV: The Time of the Doctor) With Clara providing them confirmation that they'd found the right universe, (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords) the Time Lords moved the crack and used it to grant the Doctor a new life cycle before they closed the crack, allowing him to survive and become the Twelfth Doctor. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)

Behind the scenes[[edit]]

The "crack" that NASA discovered.
  • The time crack was inspired by a crack Steven Moffat saw in his son's bedroom. It resembled a smiling mouth.
  • In 2010, NASA found what appears to be a crack shaped similar to the one in Doctor Who in the middle of the Milky Way.[1]
  • According to Russell T Davies, the Doctor's closing of the cracks also closed the Cardiff Rift.[2]
  • In TV: The Vampires of Venice, when the Doctor saves Venice, there is a sliver of sunlight on one of the clouds in the sky, which is a very similar shape to the cracks in time. This has led some fans to believe that it really was a crack, while others believe that the shape of the sliver of light was just a coincidence. The latter is supported by the fact that the sliver of light moves with the clouds, and slightly changes shape and orientation as it moves, like an ordinary sliver of light.
  • In TV: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, the time rift aboard the TARDIS bore a resemblance to the cracks in time caused by the explosion of the TARDIS.
  • In TV: The Witch's Familiar, when the Dalek city collapsed, due to the decaying Daleks of the Dalek Sewers being affected by regeneration energy, the floor below the Red Supreme Dalek broke apart in the shape of a crack in time.

Footnotes[[edit]]