I'm watching Doctor Who "dinosaurs in space" rn and all I can think of is that Lestrade is now an archaeologist. Also, earlier while watching another episode, it occured to me that Moffat likes the "it's all in their head plot twist". It's not impossible (or totally probable) that he used it once again in TFP.
Okay. So. I’m kind of freaking out right now, because your ask has just triggered my memory and I think I’ve stumbled across something incredibly important!
Now, if you haven’t seen Doctor Who, bear with me because I seriously think that this is a massive clue as to what’s been going on in season four.
We already know that Moffat’s written Sherlock into Doctor Who before.
I’ve considered a dream-sequence type thing as well. Not because of “Dinosaurs in Space”, though, but because of the episode “Amy’s Choice”.
Just to get this out of the way, I’m not sure whether TST/TLD are entirely constructed or not. It’s quite possible that they are partially real, partially fake. I highly suspect that TD-12 is the culprit in this case.
To anyone who hasn’t watched Doctor Who, but is following along with the conspiracy, I highly recommend watching “Amy’s Choice” stand alone because it’s got some crazy Sherlock parallels and will also give you a bit of an idea of Moffat’s particular brand of rug pull.
The basic premise of the episode is that it focuses around reality being contingent upon a single choice.
In this case, the Doctor’s companion, Amy, has to choose between either staying with her spouse Rory, or “the madman” aka., the Doctor. Remind you of someone?
The antagonist / bad guy of the day “The Dream Lord” traps the Doctor and Amy within a shared dream where they wake up in another reality in which Amy chose her husband Rory over the Doctor. They are both happily married, Amy is pregnant, and neither the Doctor nor Amy realise that they are dreaming at first.
Oh yeah. And The Dream Lord? He’s played by Toby Jones. How about those parallels?
Over the course of the episode the Dream Lord makes the Doctor and Amy wake up over and over again in both the reality in which Amy chose Rory, and the reality in which Amy chose the Doctor.
In the reality in which Amy chose Rory they are being chased down by aliens, and in the reality in which Amy chose the Doctor they are in the TARDIS about to be frozen to death by a nearby astrological phenomenon. A bit of a catch 22, then.
But the catch is that if you die in the dream, you wake up in reality.
Amy has to then choose which reality she thinks is real or a dream, in order to kill herself and finally wake up.
I think this merging of dream and reality has been occurring on and off for Sherlock since his hospitalisation in His Last Vow.
Remember all the weird discrepancies and surrealist elements within season four? We get the same thing happening in “Amy’s Choice”, when the Doctor is trying to figure out whether they’re dreaming or not:
“The Doctor: Examine everything. Look for all the details that don’t ring true.
Rory Williams: OK we’re in a spaceship that’s bigger on the inside than the outside.
Amy Pond: With a bow tie-wearing alien.
Rory Williams: Maybe “what rings true” isn’t so simple.
The Doctor: Valid point.”
Meaning the glowing skull / lamp hell / OOC character behaviour / reused lines of dialogue all point towards constructed memories.
Moving along, where things get really incriminating is when you consider that the big reveal at the end of the episode: The Dream Lord is actually the physical manifestation of the Doctor’s darkest fears and insecurities.
“The Doctor: Drop it! Drop all that. I know who you are.
Dream Lord: Of course you don’t.
The Doctor: Of course I do. I’ve no idea how you can be here, but there’s only one person in the Universe that hates me as much as you do.”
“Sherlock Holmes: The point I’m trying to make is that I am… the most unpleasant, rude, ignorant, and all-round obnoxious arsehole that anyone could possibly have the misfortune to meet. I am dismissive of the virtuous, unaware of the beautiful, and uncomprehending in the face of the happy. So if I didn’t understand I was being asked to be best man, it is because I never expected to be anybody’s best friend…”
Just like the Doctor, Sherlock’s biggest weakness, central to the type of character he is, is loneliness.
The Doctor is so afraid of being alone that he conjures up a monster that traps he and Amy in a reality contingent upon her leaving him.
So to sum up the parallels, we’ve got …
- The Doctor // Sherlock
- Amy’s choice // John’s choice (post HLV)
- Amy’s Pregnancy // Mary’s Pregnancy — The Schrodinger’s Baby dilemma
- The Dream Lord // Culverton Smith // (John) // Sherlock
- Additionally Billy Kincaid (mentioned in TSoT) mirroring Culverton Smith as well
- Possibly The Dream Lord // Eurus // Sherlock
Amy // John
Amy is referred to in Doctor Who as “the Girl Who Waited”. She meets the Doctor when she’s young, and he promises to come back and save her, but due to the TARDIS malfunctioning accidentally disappears and only comes back years into the future when she’s already grown up. (Paralleling Reichenbach.)
This theme of the Doctor leaving Amy behind because it’s in his nature/that’s just the sort of man he is really links into John and Sherlock’s dynamic. John thinks that Sherlock is always abandoning him both literally (TRF) and emotionally (THoB, ASiB, etc.,) because he’s a “sociopathic genius”, it’s just who he is, when really, unlike the Doctor, Sherlock is only being forced away from John due to Moriarty.
“Dream Lord: Poor Amy. He always leaves you, doesn’t he? Alone in the dark. Never apologises.
Amy: He doesn’t have to.
Dream Lord: That’s good. Because he never will. And now he’s left you with me. Spooky old not-to-be-trusted me. Anything could happen.
Amy: Who are you and what do you want? The Doctor knows you, but he’s not telling me who you are. And he always does. Takes him a while sometimes but he tells me. So you’re something different.
Dream Lord: Oh, is that who you think you are? The one he trusts?
Amy: Actually, yes.”
“Amy: I love Rory and I never told him. And now he’s gone.”
“John: Just text her, phone her, do something while there’s still a chance, because that chance doesn’t last forever. Trust me, Sherlock, it’s gone before you know it. Before you know it!”
In Doctor Who, in order to make the right choice Amy must choose Rory over the Doctor, the man she loves over the man she is infatuated with.
In this case, Sherlock, although he parallels the Doctor, also parallels Rory.
Sherlock // the Doctor
What does the Doctor say the first time he, Amy, and Rory are together again?
“The Doctor: Now. We all know there’s an elephant in the room.”
And what is he referring to? Amy think’s it’s her pregnancy, but the Doctor makes a joke and says that he’s talking about Rory’s terrible choice of hairstyle. Of course, that’s not what he’s actually talking about. The real elephant in the room is the fact that Amy is standing between the two men she loves and has to choose between.
Weather Metaphors: “The Oncoming Storm” vs. “The East Wind”
Within Doctor Who we have the extended metaphor of the Doctor being referred to as “the Oncoming Storm” which can be seen as paralleling the “East Wind” in Sherlock, which is very likely referring to himself, namely his emotions.
“The Doctor: Someone—something—is overriding my controls!
Dream Lord (Toby Jones): Well that took a while. Honestly, I’d heard such good things. Last of the Time Lords. The Oncoming Storm. Him in the bowtie.”
“The East Wind is coming, Sherlock. It’s coming to get you.“
And in mythology … “Eurus is God of the East Wind. He was thought to bring warmth and rain, and his symbol was an inverted vase, spilling water. His Roman counterpart was Vulturnus.” [x]
From The Blind Banker:
“Sherlock: Someone else has been here. Somebody else broke into the flat and knocked over the vase, just like I did.
John: You think maybe you could let me in this time? Can you not keep doing this, please?
Sherlock: I’m not the first.”
Plus Sherlock drinking from the vase in TLD:
”Amy’s Choice” provides a conceptual basis for what is likely going on in Season Four.
Where Toby Jones represents the darkness within The Doctor as The Dream Lord, it is possible that Culverton Smith at times represents the darkness within Sherlock. At the very least this also links into how other characters such as Faith/”E”/Eurus/Mary can sometimes be seen as representations of characters’ psyches.
Amy’s baby, aka., Mary’s baby, is likely existent in one reality and non-existent in another. Season four shows us a reality where Rosamund does exist so we know certain scenes are not real, just like how Amy’s pregnancy is not real.
Amy’s choice between the Doctor and Rory parallels John’s choice between Sherlock and Mary. In S4 Sherlock’s worst fears to do with loneliness are being projected into reality, just like the Doctor’s, likely because of TD-12, which parallels The Dream Lord’s “psychic pollen”.
Within “Amy’s Choice” Amy and the Doctor are presented with three separate realities. There’s the real world, the fake real world on the TARDIS where Amy chose the Doctor, and the fake world in the village where Amy chose Rory. Due to this I think it’s quite likely that there are multiple layers of unreality we are seeing in season four, just like when Sherlock wakes up into fake reality in TAB and goes to dig up Emelia Ricoletti’s body.
This makes even more sense considering the fact that TAB can be seen as a key for understanding season four. Dreams within dreams within dreams.