And Then There Are Saturdays
I'll be reviewing The Impossible Astronaut in full alongside Day of the Moon after the latter airs on Saturday. Obviously though, it was briliant. This truly feels like brand new Doctor Who, breaking free of any established formulas the series has settled into.
Before I get round to my review though, here's a few things that have been puzzling me about The Impossible Astronaut:
CAUTION! Some Spoilers :-)
- If the man we see at the beginnning of the episode really was the Doctor from the future (not convinced yet...that alien equipment near the end of the episode looked a lot like some sort of cloning thing), where was his Tardis?
- When River is shooting the astronaut and can't kill it (she can't be missing it, it's wearing a hat), why does she say 'of course'? What has she worked out?
- Some fan speculation suggests that River is the astronaut (given what little we know about the circumstances behind her imprisonment) - wouldn't that cause a massive paradox too?
- I'm also not convinced that the Doctor hasn't worked out what's going on behind his back. He'll have worked out who his letter was from too.
- The reappearance of the copycat Tardis console room The Lodger was a welcome suprise - I knew it was coming (it's in the trailer) but I didn't realise it was going to appear so soon, nor so closely linked to The Silence. The question is though, how do the events of The Lodger tie in at all with the grand scheme of the series. Confused...
- Lastly, Amy's pregnancy is a real mystery. She didn't seem to know about it until after she met the talking Silent. Are the Silence making it up? Will it grow up to be a mini Timelord, mini Silent or a mini...Rory?
Also, there's this brilliant theory (via @mikeshaw101 & @zodiaclung) that pinpoints potential sightings of The Silence of weird moments of forgetfulness that might be caused by their presence throughout Series 5:
The Eleventh Hour -
While hanging from the TARDIS, the Doctor looks up into it and for a couple of seconds has a confused look on his face.
When Rory and Amy exit the elevator on the second floor of the hospital, Rory glances behind him at something, but when he looks back towards Amy, he shakes his head like he forgot something. It is about 42:49.
In the scene at the end of the episode where Amy goes into the TARDIS for the first time. there’s one point where she leans back on the console and is looking around the room. The camera is pointed towards her face, so we can’t see what she’s looking at. She looks around with a sort of awe-struck smile, but then her eyes linger over something and her expression turns into a look of horror. She starts breathing really quickly and turns as if to get the Doctor’s attention, but as soon as she’s facing him she just asks, perfectly normally, “Why me?”, as if she’d completely forgotten about what she’d just seen. Also, she flicks a TARDIS button/switch/lever at this point. Accidental Amy or something meaningful?
The Beast Below - At around 9:25 a black figure walks past Amy, she looks confused/scared for a couple of seconds then shrugs it off.
Victory of the Daleks - Near the end after the Daleks escape, the Doctor moves slowly backwards, as he gets near to the green framed window/doorway he looks to his left with a shock. The camera then switches to Amy and Churchill who both stare to the Doctor’s left with a look of shock before Amy continues on as normal with the line “Doctor, it’s OK you did it, you stopped the bomb.”
The Lodger - At 21:47 for a couple of shots Amy looks in the distance or at the screen and gasps, then shouts for the Doctor’s attention but he doesn’t listen. She looks away and shakes it off.
Vampires of Venice - At the end when Rory, Amy, and the Doctor are standing by the TARDIS, the TARDIS door is open and then shuts on it’s own.
The Big Bang - There are cloaked figures behind the Sarcophagi in the museum; a third figure moves out of shot at the edge of the screen at about 13:31
I think some of these are a bit dubious and I've not had the time to go back through my Series 5 box set and check them out myself (although, on the up side, these are a selection of the best episodes from Series 5 so it wouldn't be too painful). But if Stephen Moffat has actually succesfully woven the Silence into the narrative so tightly, he really is actually a genius.
An evil, cliff hanger writing genius. Why are there 6 irrelevant days between Saturdays?