S Revels in the Timey-Whimy Nightmare of Doctor Who’s Series 6 Premiere “The Impossible Astronaut” & Day of the Moon

Leading up to the season 6 premiere I could hardly contain my excitement to have the man in the blue box fall out of the sky and back onto my TV for another set of adventures with the 11th Doctor played by Matt Smith.  Matt Smith had my love almost instantly when he appeared last season crash landing in the backyard of Amelia (Amy) Pond.  Joined by the amazing Amy (Karen Gillian) and her now husband Rory (Arthur Darvill) the new, more hip, less angsty era of Doctor Who took hold. Now entering the sixth season in the USA the show feels like it’s entered territory more more foreign than ever before.

I wear a stetson now. Stetson’s are cool.

“The Impossible Astronaut” & “The Day of the Moon” do an amazing job of quickly re-familiarizing us with our characters while catapulting us into the crazy timey-whimyness characteristic of Moffett-Style Who and setting up a story that lasts more than the two episodes but sets up the season long arc of mysteries.

A brief disclaimer; I love timey-whimey Who – try not to think too hard about the logic of it all, you’ll strain yourself, I don’t know if even the mind of a Time Lord could quite get it all straight. Love the characters, fear the villains and know that it will probably all be okay (sort of) because the Doctor will save us one way or another, it’s about the ride.

The first two episodes were such a ride; this will be more of a smattering of thoughts on the goings on and I will promise to try and bring you much more coherent recaps and analysis in the coming weeks.

The Doctor

Absolutely loved the montage of the Doctor getting into trouble, running and hiding narrated by Amy’s research. Loved him getting caught hiding under a skirt (on a woman) “You know, this isn’t nearly as bad as it looks” and him dancing on the TV. Matt Smith is great with the physical comedy and I love that he got to show it off. There were many light moments in the dark, and these were some of them.

The Doctor was totally cool with River shooting everyone around her and was content with River telling him to build a cabinet with his screwdriver while she did the work. This cavalier attitude towards killing is a new thing for the doctor, where did it come from?

When the Doctor appeared in the straitjacket and the Daniel Faraday beard I thought it might be a look that lasts for a moment, but apparently beards aren’t cool.

But serious timey-whimeyness – This whole thing began when future Doctor sent notes to all the companions to come meet him in America at specific coordinates. Turns out that would be the moment of his death, and who else was invited – current Doctor. Amy, River and Rory attempt to keep this from current Doctor, begging him to trust them at their word, unlike in the library the Doctor didn’t trust River, but had complete faith in Amy.

The Doctor’s death and why they were all called together to witness it is just another in the unresolved threads that we will follow in this season long arc. Any theories on this one? I’m stumped!

Amy and The Impossible Pregnancy

In the “Impossible Astronaut” Amy first disclosed her pregnancy to the Doctor, she seemed very uneasy about it, she hadn’t told Rory. Over the course of the first two episodes Amy both reveals and then denies being pregnant, she must have been wrong. In “Day of the Moon” things get stranger when she stumbles upon pictures of herself with a child, she is sure that she is the mother, but how?

Both H and I sat and groaned, a pregnancy, on Doctor Who? How soapy and awful. Please don’t let this be true. As it turns out, we’re not really sure what’s going on, not sure that I like it, but I’m certainly curious.

It’s not until the end of “Day of the Moon” where she reveals that she was worried that something may be wrong with the baby because of all the time spent in the TARDIS, it might have a time-head. This ending also reveals that there is something fishy going on with the pregnancy as the TARDIS scan reveals Amy to be both pregnant and not pregnant at the same time (she doesn’t know this… yet).

Is the girl in the space suit Amy’s daughter? How is that possible? Is that what a time-head looks like?

The Silence

These terrifying creatures in suits seem to be some sort of hybrid between the Weeping Angels, The Gentlemen (from the Whedonverse), vampires; the stuff of nightmares.

Just because the Doctor scared them off this time, it won’t be the last we hear (ha!) of The Silence, the girl in the spacesuit is important to them, she’s important to us. This two-episode season kick-off has set up the season arc, and it looks like we’re in for a dark and scary ride.

River’s Swan Song

A tragic love story of two time travelers passing by – at least that’s what it seems to be.

Although their lives may not be passing exactly back to front that seems to be the trend of River’s relationship with the Doctor. When they met he knew all about her and she knew nothing of him. Now she recalls more and more of their history and each time they meet he forgets.

Regardless of direction River has a wonderful effect on the Doctor, he seems very happy around her, and comfortable around her as equals. We all know that she seems to be able to fly the TARDIS better than he can, and at times wield a sonic-screwdriver the Doctor gave her. At one point in time he has trusted her more than anyone, she knows his secret.

It’s a new sexual dynamic that we haven’t seen in Doctor Who in a while. We saw the romantic relationship develop between first 9, and then Ten, eventually having them paired off in an alt universe sort of way. Then it was different, Rose was young and fell in love with the man who swept her off her feet and showed her the universe.

The Doctor and River are on much more equal footing. She has her own power, her own adventures and is a grown woman, not a girl. Pairing him with the youngest (actor) Doctor to date gives a really fun and sexy vibe. Plus their super sexy flirty scene on their rescue mission to save Amy from the Silence… priceless.

The first/last kiss and the flirting leading up to it as River brought herself back to her jail was heartbreaking. The tough as nails River was losing him, she knew it, but wasn’t about to spoil anything for him.  The kiss itself was fantastic, the flailing arms were pitch perfect as he stumbled away – really like the excitement of a first kiss.

Romo Lampkin, Badger, Canton Everett Delaware III

Mark Sheppard is such a delight to have on screen. I adore Bagder (Firefly) and was completely enthralled and intrigued by the mysterious Romo Lampkin (BSG) so I was thrilled to hear that he would be joining the cast of Doctor Who.

Sheppard is fantastic as Canton Delaware, the ex-FBI agent with the gravely American accent. Since this is Doctor Who gender and orientation politics are involved, Delaware had been ousted from the FBI because of who he wanted to marry.

President Richard Nixon: This person you want to marry. Black?
Canton Delaware: Yes.
President Richard Nixon: I know what people think of me, but perhaps I’m a little more liberal…
Canton Delaware: He is.

Rory

I’m glad that Arthur Darvill has been given more material to work with to flesh out Rory this season. We return to the events from last season and discover that he sometimes remembering the 2000 years of waiting adds an angle to his character that he so desperately needs while stacked up against the very strong personalities of the doctor and Amy, it’s a quieter more sometimes thing, while he’s still just a guy, he’s sometimes a guy who waited 2000 years who will literally follow his wife to the ends of the universe.

He got some great moments with River. I could see his heart fall when she spoke about how she fell in love with the Doctor, we know he was imagining Amy feeling the same way, you can never live up to a Time Lord.

He also got some fantastic moments bonding with the Doctor; they have more in common than they started off with remembering such a long time. It’s a sort of darkness and insight the two can share on occasion.

Other Notes & Quotes:

LOVED that they played the “Hail to the Chief” theme for every single scene that Nixon appeared in.

Despite the supposed clearing up of the romantic feelings Amy has for the Doctor, she did still ask for him first, I still don’t buy it that there’s nothing there, even if it’s not quite romantic, I don’t blame Rory for a moment for being jealous

What are you doing?
I’m helping
You’ve got a screwdriver, build a cabinet 

The abandoned childrens home was mega-creepy, the darkness, the dilapidation, and writing on the walls. The most frightening scene in both episodes was probably when Amy walked into the room and upon seeing the flash of lightening and marks on her face she remembered and turned around to see The Silence, tons of them covering the ceiling like vampires.

The camera phone, whatever that is

The design of the room where the girl was kept had a very steam-punk feel to me. Something about the strange mechanical nurse who answered the door.

My old fella didn’t see that did he? He gets ever so cross

What did you think of “The Impossible Astronaut” & “Day of the Moon”? Do you think Amy is really pregnant, and if so is it really her & Rory’s child? Will it have a time head? What did you think of the Silence? I was personally terrified. There were about a billion things going on in this episode and I missed most of them. What were some of your favourite moments?

On that note, I can’t wait to see how this season will unfold, and please, no spoilers.

–          S

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2 thoughts on “S Revels in the Timey-Whimy Nightmare of Doctor Who’s Series 6 Premiere “The Impossible Astronaut” & Day of the Moon

  1. Pingback: Ahoy hoy, Pirates arrrr Cool: S on Doctor Who 6×03 “The Curse of the Black Spot” | The Viewing Party

  2. Pingback: Doctor Who (6×06) S on “The Almost People” The Meandering Road to the Point & The Impossible Amy Pond | The Viewing Party

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