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In the opening episode of Series 6, the Doctor, after reuniting with companions Rory, Amy and River in the year 2011 after spending 200 years travelling alone, is shot and apparently killed by a person wearing a 1960s-vintage astronaut suit.[1]. Shortly after, the grieving companions encounter the Doctor - only 200 years younger. The question of how the Doctor would avoid being killed - and whether Amy, Rory or River should even tell him about it - becomes a primary subplot of the season. The reality behind the scene is finally revealed when we discover the identify of the Astronaut and it is revealed that, in short, while the Doctor's death is recorded as a "fixed point in time", meaning it could not be prevented, that does not mean the Doctor himself had to die. Instead, he obtained the services of a craft known as The Teselecta (introduced in Episode 7, "Let's Kill Hitler"), which is manned by a miniaturized crew with the ability to transform the craft into a perfect replica of another person. Although the Doctor's plan is delayed for a long time (due to the "astronaut" attempting to change time by not shooting the Doctor, thereby creating a divergent timeline), the Doctor eventually allows the Teselecta to be shot, before moving on with his life with most of the universe assuming him to be dead.[2]

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  1. Episode 1 - "The Impossible Astronaut"
  2. Episode 13 - "The Wedding of River Song"