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New Doctor Who episode The Day of the Moon

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011
Spoiler Warning - Post may contain spoilers

The new Doctor Who episode, The Day of the Moon, is Doctor Who thinking and writ LARGE.

Part of the scale comes from the great use of locations.  The wide open spaces of Utah.  Iconic locations like: Apollo 11.  The Oval office.  Area 51.  The dark and spooky orphanage is a beautiful contrast with the peculiarly shaped corridor, air of decay and nest of sleeping Silence hanging upside down like bats. Doctor Renfrew a truly creepy character to show the danger of long-term exposure to The Silence.

The opening sequence (three months on from The Impossible Astronaut) was excellent with the apparent death of all three companions.  The Doctor locked in an inescapable, impenetrable, sensor proof room.  Escape proof unless you have an invisible TARDIS stashed away.  Rescuing River using the TARDIS’s swimming pool was both a really great idea and a nice nod to old Who Lore.  Bad Canton was a nice bit of icing on the cake.

I do hope Canton has been set up to be a recurring character as was hinted at by the Doctor’s farewell.

Steven Moffat made great use of the TARDIS too often in the past I’ve bemoaned how stories have been written around separating The Doctor and the TARDIS so that the story can happen without The Doctor simply hopping in and going somewhere else.   Moffat uses it in an almost casual way but always inventive.  River diving into the pool.  Bouncing Nixon from the White House to where they needed him to solve problems – I really like the way he seemed a bit confused after each trip.

There were other great touches like:

  • Neil Armstrong’s foot
  • Turning The Silence’s power of suggestion back on them
  • The Doctor setting up Nixon to record everything was a nice touch
  • Using the inescapable and impenetrable room to trap the wounded member of the Silence

I really like the move to use a structure in series six where the series sets out some mysteries at the start rather than dropping little seeds along the way to be pulled together in the last couple of episodes.  Playing along here are the mysteries we’ve had so far…

From The Impossible Astronaut:

  • Can the Silence read thoughts? – Presumably not or the gloating one wouldn’t have handed Canton the recording he needed
  • Are The Silence bad? –Now I’d say Most Definitely Bad
  • What hit Canton on the head? – Not cleared up probably never will be
  • How does this episode’s space ship control room tie in with the one in The Lodger? – Not cleared up although it may just belong to some of The Silence who have had an unfortunate encounter with humans
  • Rory apparently zapped by The Silence and Rory and River’s escape – Not exactly explained but I’d assume The Silence removed themselves from their memory and opened the door as they did for Amy in the children’s home later
  • The girl in the space suit shot by Amy – The suit healed her or Amy missed
  • Why Canton was fired by the FBI and can’t get married – Explained

New mysteries from Day of the Moon:

  • How does Rory sometimes remember being the last centurion since that was the Auton copy in The Big Bang?
  • How did the girl get out of the space suit?
  • To quote the Doctor “Canton Everet Delaware the Third who’s he?”

Which just leaves the three big mysteries:  The dead Doctor, Amy and the Girl in the Space Suit.  I’ll skip the first because if there were new clues they were too subtle for me.

Amy:

  • Her Schrödinger’s pregnancy
  • Amy in the Silence’s time machine for many days – long enough to have a child?
  • The picture of Amy holding a baby in children’s home
  • The disappearing hatch in the door?  The woman “No I think she’s just dreaming”?

Why did the girl need a space suit and all that alien tech – was there more to it than a plot device to save the girl when Amy shoots her?  Why did she regenerate?  Presumably she is a Timelord so given all the fuss about destroying the Doctor after his death in The Impossible Astronaut potential sources for genetic material I can think of include:

  • Some of The Doctor’s stolen when under the influence of The Silence
  • The Master, The Ranni or another unrevealed Timelord
  • The Doctor’s daughter
  • The DNA stolen by the escaped Krillitane in School Reunion

So I think you can guess I fall into the really enjoyed the Doctor Who The Day of the Moon camp.

 

 

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