Monday, April 25, 2011

WHO is the Impossible Astronaut? Doctor Who 6.1 Review


Yes. Spoilers. I'm not just quoting River Song, I'm warning all of you who have not yet seen "Doctor Who: The Impossible Astronaut" to run away NOW. Trust me, please, and do not spoil this episode for yourself.

First off I want to do a little dance of excitement. This was the first ever DW episode I had a chance to watch on TV. Furthermore I was able to do it with a room of nearly twenty other DW fans. It was amazing and epic.

All that goes to say, it's probably a good thing Easter forced me to wait an extra day to post this review so that I could have time to critically think through this episode. As opposed to, you know, spieling off happiness and excitement induced by crowd euphoria.

First off, let's send up a round of cheers. Steven Moffat is back.

Not that he wasn't in charge of the show last year, but the episodes he wrote and produced then were really not anything like the terror-inducing timey-wimey brilliance we were used to. Don't get me wrong. I loved the last four episodes of season 5 to death. There was plenty of timey-wimey brilliance too... but it just didn't feel very "Moffat-y-ish".

No more. Moffat is back in full force with what he rightly calls his 'scariest monsters yet' and a season premiere that invokes more questions than probably any previous episode of Doctor Who ever -- finales included!

The cold open was pretty unexpected. I fully anticipated that Amy and Rory would be traveling with the Doctor, and was surprised that they'd settled down into normal life in England. I like it because it makes sense, but it surprised me.

First question. Why was River back in prison? Some people have hypothesized that she feels the justice of her sentence and goes back to complete it when she's finished whatever important adventure she needs to have. I'm also getting kind of confused about what exact order River is traveling in. At first it seemed fairly straightforwards, but the further we go, the more confusing it seems... I'm looking forwards to the day when I can sit down and watch all of River's episodes in 'her' order.

MAJOR shock when the Doctor died. And was burned. And Canton confirmed that he was definitely dead. Say what? Excuse me? Matt Smith cannot be the last doctor. That's impossible. So...

(Random thought: The Impossible Astronaut can't actually BE the Doctor, can it?)

I feel like Amy really grew up in this episode. She was (and seemed) pretty young last season. More confident in herself than Rose, but still not extremely... deep. However Karen Gillian brought some great depth in her performance here and this may be the season that makes an Amy fan of me. We'll see...

Everything in the Oval Office was so brilliant. And awesome. And hilarious. And River operating the Tardis better than the Doctor... how does she learn this? I still wonder. Did the Doctor teach her, or someone else? Her previous comments on the matter left that issue open to discussion...

And while I'm here, the Doctor/River banter was FANTASTIC in this episode. They totally have the old-fashioned "screwball comedy" wit flowing here and I adore it. Way to go!

...and yes. Now we come to... the Silence. Or the Silents. We're not exactly sure which is the correct way to spell their name... but more on that in the future, I expect. Anyhow, they are CREEPY. Monsters you forget when you don't see... I'm not sure if that's more or less frightening. But they themselves are just eerie. And the noise they make... uuuuugh. Hate. Yet all of this said, I'm not entirely sure they are evil. They could be... but they could also have another purpose entirely.

That Abandoned Warehouse creeped me out SO MUCH. The remains of experimentation/torture... so gross!

Question. Is Amy really pregnant? Why are BOTH she and River sick? According to Doctor Who Confidential, Amy's pregnancy will play a role in this season... but as we know, Amy+Pregnancy does not necessarily = baby.

Is the Lodger Tardis connected to the little girl? Because both episodes contain a little girl asking for help...

WHO is the little girl in the space suit? My first thought was that she was Amy and Rory's daughter, and I'm seeing that thought repeated a lot around the internet so I'm not the only one... other people are going so far as to speculate that RIVER is Amy's daughter. I dunno about that one... And to be honest, I don't think it actually IS Amy's daughter. But I find it interesting that a lot of fans got that impression.

River's speech about the day she fears... OMG. Just... OMG. Heartbreak.

So much to process. Wow.

End thoughts? I wouldn't say this is my favorite opener -- I loved "Smith and Jones" and "Partners in Crime" more. However I would definitely place this above "Rose," "New Earth" and "The Eleventh Hour."

Favorite Quotes (Thanks to

Amy: “At the personal intervention of the King, the unnamed doctor was incarcerated without trial in the Tower of London.
Rory: Okay, but it doesn't have to be him.
Amy: “According to contemporary accounts, two night later a magical sphere some twenty feet across was seen floating away from the tower, carrying the mysterious doctor aloft.”
Rory: Okay. It's him.

Guard: You better get down here, sir. She's doing it again. [...] Doctor Song, sir. She's packing.

The Doctor: I'm being extremely clever up here and there's no one to stand around looking impressed! What's the point in having you all?

The Doctor: Time isn't straight-line. It's all... bumpy-wumpy. There's loads of boring stuff. Like Sundays and Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons. But now and then there are Saturdays. Big temporal tipping points when anything's impossible. The TARDIS can't resist them. Like a moth to a flame. She loves a party, so I give her 1969 and NASA [?] space in the 60s.

The Doctor: Swear to me. Swear to me on something that matters.
Amy: Fish fingers and custard.
The Doctor: My life your hands, Amelia Pond.

River: President Richard Milhouse Nixon. Vietnam. Watergate. There's some good stuff too.
The Doctor: Not enough.
River: Hippy.
The Doctor: Archaeologist.

Nixon: Who the are they and... what is that box?
The Doctor: It's a police box. Can't you read? I'm your new undercover agent. On loan from Scotland Yard. Code named The Doctor. These are my top operatives. The Legs, The Nose and Mrs. Robinson.
River: I hate you.
The Doctor: No you don't.

The Doctor: I'm going to need a SWAT team ready to mobilize, street-level maps covering all of Florida, a pot of coffee, twelve jammie dodgers and a fez.

The Doctor: Doctor Song, you've got that face on again.
River: What face?
The Doctor: The "He's hot when he's clever" face.
River: This is my normal face.
The Doctor: Yes it is.
River: Oh, shut up.
The Doctor: Not a chance.

Delaware: So we're in a box that's bigger on the inside and it moves through time and space?
Rory: Yeah, basically.
Delaware: How long have Scotland Yard had this?

Rory: What did you mean— what you said to Amy? There's a worse day coming for you?
River: When I first met the Doctor—a long long time ago. He knew all about me. Think about that. Impressionable young girl and suddenly this man just drops out of the sky. He's clever and mad and wonderful. And knows every last thing about her. Imagine what that does to a girl.
Rory: I don't really have to.
River: Trouble is, it's all back to front. My past is his future. We're travelling in opposite directions. Every time we meet I know him more, he knows me less. I live for the days when I see him. But I know that every time I do he'll be one step further away. The day's coming when I'll look into that man's eyes—my Doctor—and he won't have the faintest idea who I am. And I think it's going to kill me.

1 comment:

Lily said...

Oh wow, I almost cried when the Doctor was shot during regeneration. :'( I yelled "NOOOOO! Why???? No!!!!!" at the TV. My mom's jaw dropped, dad went "What the what???" my little sister left the room.... It was a sad time for us. Then when the Doctor walked into the diner after they burned him, we all yelled "Gah!! Why did they do this to us?????" :O

Riversong is traveling backwards in time, the opposite direction as the Doctor.

I think the Impossible Astranout is the Doctor. Who else could it be? Unless it is the Doctor's daughter from season 3....

Also, I have a feeling the little girl in the space suit is in fact Amy's daughter. the pictures on the little table inside that creepy warehouse had a picture of Amy in a hospital gown, holding a baby. So I have a feeling its Amy and Rory's daughter.

Do you think maybe BOTH River and Amy are pregnant??? Thats just my thought about the sick part. Unless it has something to do with traveling in the TARDIS....