Doctor Who: The Impossible Astronaut
Oh. Oh, that was… That was brilliant. Brilliant. But massively, crazily spoilery. So please, please..Shh.
Spoilers, sweetie. (After the jump)
You brute, Moffat, you brute!
Moffat, I would like to thank you for having the guts to do that. It might not be the easiest thing to follow up on, but…
YOU KILLED THE DOCTOR! Like, killed him DEAD! Like, tries-to-regenerate-and-fails-then-is-dowsed-with-gasoline-and-is-cremated-and-stuffs DEAD!
In the first ten minutes. You know, I am very, very happy it wasn’t Rory. Good show, Rory, stay alive like you didn’t during S5.
Not that I believed it for a second, the Doctor being one of those blokes who you just can’t kill. Yessiree, about, oh, four minutes later, there he was again, with a straw in his mouth, our good old unkillable Doc. You’re not going to die, ‘cos there’s no show without you. But, according to Moffat, all we have is
200 194 (Update: sorry! 1103 – 909 = 194. Math fail.) years…
So now, the proper review. Enough about that whole “dying” business.
From the beginning, yes, it did feel epic and hilarious. The Doctor’s going around, hiding inside skirts (Moffat, you may have gone a bit too far – yes, we know you did Coupling, but this is a family show) and dancing with
Laurel and Hardy (THE FEZ IS TRIUMPHANT!). Amy and Rory are very married in a flat (ooh, how’d that happen? Fic material!), and River’s in prison. They all receive a mysterious summons from the Doctor. What’s it about? Well, a picnic! (Also, dying.) I love Moffat’s patented Mood Whiplash-tastic scripts. It’s all “Whee, fun with wine,” and then…
So, a mysterious astronaut, finally going past the big one-oh-oh-oh (1103!?!), and lots and lots of dying. Did I mention the Doctor died? No? Well, he died. Got that? Good.
I’ll admit, I was squeeing at the death. I suppose that’s a bit odd. Maybe it’s a psychological problem, I should have that looked at. I like the Doctor, I don’t like it when people I like die, but somehow, in some strange way, I like it when the Doctor dies. There was good music, creepy as hell, maybe it was that. Whatever the reason, I was slapping my knees grinning during this scene.
So, #4 walks in with some gasoline, and asks them to do the obvious. According to River, “a Time Lord’s body is a miracle”, which sounds a bit, well, inappropriate at the time, but okay… Anyway, Rory, in a beautifully adorable show of his Roman sensibilities, decides they should do this right. There’s a boat, and sadness…
“Oh, this is the Oval Office. I was looking for the, er, Oblong…Room, I’ll – I’ll just be off then.”
There is a fair bit of angst afterward. Amy, Rory and River meet in the cafe. Sadness. But wait – ! A mystery! Who is the Doctor’s most trusted friend? Suddenly, the door opens…
“I’m the king of okay!”
Who does the Doctor trust most? Guess.
“Did you touch something?” “No, I was just admiring your skills, sweetie.”
As far as character development goes, Eleven is brilliant when he’s doomed. He was angsty in a better way than Ten’s angst, just as his death was a quietly tragic moment, so different from Ten’s flaring, bombastic, tear-covered death. Old!Eleven wasn’t very different from Young!Eleven, but that was alright. He was still brilliantly clever and funny and so, so, not on top of everything. Which I love.
River Song was flirtatious as ever, almost more so. And, naturally, we saw a bit of her sad side with that big, tragic monologue she had. Somehow, she and the Doctor were not creepy. Imagine that.
“Codename: The Doctor. These are my top operatives: The Legs, The Nose, and Mrs. Robinson.” “I hate you.” “No you don’t!”
Pond, interestingly enough, was a bit thick in this episode. She seemed the most broken-up about the Doctor dying, and thus didn’t understand all three times that River explained the Doc that died wasn’t their Doc. But then again, she did have her magical rememberation powers, which came in rather handy here with the villains. (and let’s not mention the preggers bit, shall we?)
Rory the Roman (which is a better name than King of OK) was good here. Very…Watson-ish, dragged into this whole thing without any input from him. Really, the best thing about him was the lack of dying, not that I don’t like Rory. He’s a bit of a moral compass and a (needed) dose of sweetness. For the first time, he’s a character who is not all that complex, but just downright nice. Which is good, but isn’t going to add to the drama, I’m afraid.
“You’ve got that face on again.” “What face?” “The ‘he’s-hot-when-he’s-clever’ face.” “This is my normal face.” “Exactly.”
The monsters were quite creepy, what with the not being able to remember them and the killing people and such. I don’t know about them being “as good as the Daleks,” but they were good. The plot was nice, with the equally divided times for angst, humor, and romp-romp-rompitty romp. Nixon? Nixon was compassionate! No, but I liked that. Though he’s been turned into a villain, compared to the spacemen, to the Silence… he’s really not.
“Cool aliens?” “Well, what would you call me?” “An alien…”
And of course, what made this episode was the little things. The one-liners, the continuity references (‘fish fingers and custard’, aww), the small touches like the straw. Through the haze of angst and secrets and mysterious other things hanging over our heads, the little moments of humor reminded me that yes, even though OMG THE DOCTOR DIED OMG WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT WHY, this is still the same show. The same brilliant, brilliant show.
“So what’s going on here?” “Oh nothing, she’s just a friend.” “Doctor, I think he’s talking about the possible alien encounter…” “Right.”
I won’t speak of the mysterious end of the episode, except to mention that I don’t think what she was shooting at was what we think it was… Roll on, next Saturday, roll on.
In conclusion, this is a brilliant episode, though not perhaps a great way for new-comers to start watching (the normal reaction;
Oh look there’s this bloke here, he’s called the Doctor, he appears to be hiding under a skirt, that’s nice… ooh look a random couple in a flat with envelopes watching Charlie Chaplin, what’s this, here’s a woman in jail smiling seductively, brilliant, commercial break. Next they’re on a bus, and this Doctor bloke is lying on a car, they go to a diner and swap time-traveler stories, the Doctor bloke looks sad for no apparent reason, they go have a picnic. Doctor bloke doesn’t like wine, here’s a weird astronaut guy, nice and creepy, Doctor fellow walks up to weird astronaut guy, looks sad, astronaut guy zaps Doctor bloke, he starts glowing randomly, there’s a weird zap…WHAT THE HELL WHY DID THEY KILL DOCTOR BLOKE I DON’T UNDERSTAND I’M TURNING THIS OFF GOODBYE). But I loved it, and if you know of the Doctor and his history with Amelia, Rory, River and the gang, than you should watch this. And be befuddled, and be prepared. And then watch it again. Allons-y!