Saturday, 30 April 2011

Doctor Who: Day of the Moon (2)

The Doctor: 'You're building me the perfect prison. And it still won't be enough.'

Calling this a two-parter is perhaps something of a misnomer. We've had two parts, granted, but was anything truly concluded? Virtually all of our questions were left unanswered. Sure, they managed to defeat the Silence (although I'm pretty sure that's not the last we'll see of them), but what exactly is going on? And then the little girl started to regenerate and, suddenly, I found myself grinning from ear to ear. What a turn up for the books. What a cliff hanger. Actually... just, WHAT?!

It's difficult to judge the effectiveness of a story when we don't yet know what it means. If the resolution is impressive, then we'll no doubt be singing its praises in the weeks to come (and pretending we knew what was going on all along.) Until then, it's hard to say how I feel about 'Day of The Moon.' There's so much we still don't know. Like: who is the little girl in the space suit? Given what we do know (and I use the term 'know' loosely), it's almost impossible to infer anything. Amy being pregnant, along with that photo of her holding a baby, seems to suggest that the child's hers. That's if she is pregnant. Even the TARDIS didn't seem sure.

Was Amy's comment about having a baby with a 'time head' meant purely as a wind-up for Rory (and, of course, for us?), or is Amy genuinely worried about the long term effects travelling in the TARDIS could have on her unborn child? (Again, assuming she's pregnant.) Of course, the emphasis on Amy being pregnant almost certainly means we're being mislead, but who else could the girl in the suit be? An old Time Lord in a new body? All of the known Time Lords are either dead, presumed dead, or locked in the Time War.

Song didn't say 'spoilers' once tonight. She even managed to keep her 'sweeties' to a bare minimum. How depressing that her first kiss with the Doctor was, for her at least, also her last. That dive into the TARDIS' swimming pool had me shaking my head in disbelief, but it was played for laughs, so—mission accomplished—I laughed. But the question must surely remain: who is River Song? And how many more times must I ask that question before we get an answer? Can we really rule out Song being a Time Lord? Her gun toting skills are, clearly, second to none, and we already know she can write in High Gallifreyan, has an extensive knowledge of Time Lord anatomy, and can pilot a TARDIS better than the Doctor. (Who, let's face it, is stylish... but totally rubbish.) Yet, if she is a Time Lord, then why can't the Doctor sense it?

It's feasible that the Moff might've come up with some fiendishly clever way of hiding her in plain sight. That kiss at the end (at last) seemed to confirm that her and the Doctor will become a couple at some point in the future. Song and the Doctor flirting was priceless, as was the Doctor's reaction to her kiss—with the face scratching, the hair twizzling, and the cringeworthy awkwardness. Could the child be theirs? Would a half Time Lord be capable of pulling off a full regeneration? Or would it be more of a half-arsed affair like Jenny's was back in 'The Doctor's Daughter'? Will she regenerate into another child, or will her next incarnation be an adult we all recognise? I'm guessing they won't go down the route of a cross gender regeneration (despite what happened in 'Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death'), otherwise, we could've had a future incarnation of the Doctor on our hands. Now that would be interesting—albeit totally unlikely and probably impossible, but, you know, wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey and all that.

The whole 'Stupid Face' misdirection felt a little contrived. No wonder Rory was confused—although his face is kind of funny looking. But 'dropped out of the sky' being a figure of speech did feel like a bit of a stretch. So why that long, lingering look between Amy and the Doctor? And why was Amy in a photo back in 1969? And who the hell was that crazy woman with the silver eye patch? Now she must be significant! Is Amy dreaming? That would certainly explain the pregnancy. (Or lack thereof.)

I like the way they're developing the Silence. Moffat has this habit of blaming the creaks and groans of our everyday existence on unseen alien terrors. It's ironic that the very thing which makes the Silence so powerful —the fact that they can erase themselves from people's memories—is also their Achilles heel. Their inability to be remembered means mankind can wipe them out without ever knowing they've done so. It's the perfect crime. And let's face it, the Doctor's not exactly averse to nearly wiping out whole species. The Daleks for example. Or his own people. It was a nice turn around, too, that, for once, they weren't fighting off some generic alien invasion—they were leading a revolution. Changing the moon landing footage was a clever solution to the occupation, although it didn't make for a particularly spectacular showdown. Not that high octane blow-outs are Moffat's forte.

So what other questions are we left with? Why do the Silence need a space suit? And we still don't know who killed the Doctor. With the space suit now vacant, anyone could step into it. Unless the girl came from the past to kill him. But if she is a Time Lord too, then why would she want to kill the Doctor? Unless she's an old foe. It's clearly someone the Doctor recognises—but, again, there are so few clues, it's virtually impossible to know who. Or are there clues all over the place and we're just not seeing them?

Other Thoughts:

—Great opening scenes: with everybody dead and the Doctor locked inside a zero balanced dwarf star alloy prison.

—Is the life support suit the reason River's bullets didn't kill the little girl last week?

—What a magnificent full beard on Matt Smith. It was like a character in itself.

—The Nixon plot, despite providing some vaguely amusing gags, felt a little superfluous. I think I'd have preferred less Nixon and more answers. Oh, and has a nose ever looked more like an arse? I didn't think so.

—Loved the nano-recorders.What could have been an absurd plot device turned into a useful emotional trigger. They were also a useful means of ramping up the tension.

—Loved the tip of the hat to David Frost.

—The Silence's spaceship was first seen in 'The Lodger'. Was that planned I wonder? I know Moffat says yes, but really?

—One review, twenty eight questions. If half of them get answered by the end of the season I'll be a happy chappie.

—An excellent episode overall, which may one day be deemed a classic... providing the pay-off doesn't stink.

Quotes:

Doctor: 'This isn't an alien invasion, they live here. This is their empire. This is kicking the Romans out of Rome.'
Rory: 'Rome fell.'
Doctor: 'I know, I was there.'
Rory: 'So was I.'

Doctor: 'Oh this is my friend River, nice hair, clever, and has her own gun. And unlike me she really doesn't mind shooting people. I shouldn't like that...kinda do a bit.'
River: 'Thank you, Sweetie.'
Doctor: 'I know you're team players, and everything, but she'll definitely kill at least the first three of you.'
Song: 'Oh the first seven, easily.'
Doctor: 'Seven? Really?'
Song: 'Eight for you, honey.'
Doctor: 'Stop it!'
Song: 'Make me.'
Doctor: 'Yeah, well, maybe I will.'
Amy: 'Is this really important, flirting , because I feel I should be high in the list right now?'

Doctor: 'Why did you tell me?'
Amy: 'Because you're my friend. You're my best friend.'

Amy: 'I don't want to tell Rory his baby might have three heads. Or like a time head or something.'

Song: 'Our lives are back to front. Your future's my past. Your firsts are my lasts.'

Nixon: 'This person you want to marry? Black?'
Canton: 'Yes...'
Nixon: 'I know what people think of me but perhaps I am a little more liberal...'
Canton: '...he is.'
Nixon: 'I think the moon is far enough for now. Don't you, Mr Delaware?'
Canton: 'I figured it might be.'

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