The Doctor Who Companion

Get your daily fix of news, reviews, and features with the Doctor Who Companion!

What Happened Before the Big Bang?

I find that Doctor Who fans tend to be an inquisitive bunch. With all of time and space as its scope, the show means we learn about all sorts of fascinating topics — but chiefly history and science. And no, Doctor Who doesn’t always get them right, but it makes a great effort to educate (as per its original mission).

With that in mind, we want to explore wider space-time a bit on the DWC, and so, following on from Jordan’s piece about Mary Seacole, the All of Time and Space section of the site is being expanded more. That’ll mean your regular fix of Doctor Who content, but also some side meanderings down different paths.

Today, we’re pondering what came before the Big Bang with this excellent video from the BBC Earth Lab. And by “the Big Bang”, we don’t mean the eponymous Series 5 finale from 2010. Because if we did, “what came before” would include everything from An Unearthly Child to The Pandorica Opens.

If you have a spare 10 minutes, why not discover theories about where everything around us and inside us came from…?

This is a topic close to my heart: for my book, The Black Archive #44: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, I looked into various ideas about the beginning and the end of our universe, the very notion of “nothing”, and black holes. There’s one particular observation that I find fascinating. Here’s a brief extract from the monograph:

“[W]e must question using the Big Bang as the basis for creation, because, quite simply, it doesn’t explain a lot of our observations, or lack of them. The size of space, for example, is troublesome. Richard Brent Tully, astronomer at the Institute for Astronomy in Honolulu, Hawaii, found galaxy clusters 300 million light-years long and 100 million light years across, stretched over some billion light years with voids around 300 million light years wide.

“Because galaxies are moving away from each other at regular speeds, ‘which is how we calculate the origin of the Big Bang, and at the speed galaxies are moving, these things wouldn’t have had time to be created since the Big Bang 10 to 20 billion years ago. They would have needed at least 80 billion years to have got to this size.’ [Taken from The Universe: Explained, Condensed And Exploded.]

“Astonishingly, they’re too big to be explained by the Big Bang.”

Pretty astonishing and mind-boggling, huh?

(And if that whets your appetite, The Black Archive #44: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang is available from Obverse Books.)

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

What Happened Before the Big Bang?

by Philip Bates time to read: 2 min
%d bloggers like this: