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Wednesday, 30 of September of 2020

Doctor Who – “The Impossible Astronaut” & “Day of the Moon”

Oh, hello, sorry. Were in you in the middle of something?  Just had to say though, have you seen what’s on the telly? Oh, hello, Amy!  You all right, want to watch some television?  Ah! Now, stay where you are.  ‘Cause look at me. I’m confident. You want to watch out for me when I’m confident.

A Silence

I see you.

It’s kind of hard not just to squee. Really. It’s very difficult.

Doctor Who is one of those shows that can be deliriously fun, and this two-parter (particularly “Day of the Moon”) is just that. And it’s not only that it’s fun, but it’s clever and smart, and you’re never able to predict what’ll happen next because, well, who can predict Doctor Who (I mean, aside from River. But she cheats.)

After watching “Day of the Moon,” I feel like I could have reviewed both as individual episodes instead of as a pair, but previous experience with Moffat’s two-parters made me more inclined to review them as a unit. I’m going to focus more on “Day of the Moon” here since that’s where a lot of the meat is and where it seems like Moffat is starting to draw some very tight strings around his narrative.

But first let’s talk a little more about ocularity, a term I just made up (or at least I presume I made up, I’m sure someone has coined that term already) during the last season of Who to deal with the show’s emphasis on seeing and not seeing, and what that means. Last season was all about their being something just in the corner of your eye, whether it be the crack or the Angels or the monsters terrorizing van Gogh, something that could and couldn’t be seen.

Here, with the Silence, we run into a similar situation as with the Angels, but tweaked slightly so that it stills fresh, new, and, frankly scary. The hashmarks on the arms and face are a brilliant way to keep up with it, but are also just really freaky to have suddenly appear. And if you didn’t want cover your eyes as Amy saw a whole brood of Silence sleeping on the ceiling, you’re not afraid of anything (goodness knows I peeked between my fingers!).

Like with the Angels, the Doctor turns their advantage of invisible sight lines and memory loss into their weakness with his glorious broadcast of a Silence ranting and raving about killing on sight. One of the things I liked about this was that while it required high-tech devices to pull off (Amy’s video phone (“Whatever that is.”) and the Doctor’s own tinkering with Apollo 11), it needed the “low-tech” of broadcast television to properly execute and be effective. So now the Silence were seen and it  will always been replayed over and over again. It was a glorious bit of logic.

But let’s talk about some of the larger, crazier moments. Amy in the photo. Amy’s inconsistent pregnancy results. THE LITTLE GIRL IN THE ALLEYWAY. REGENERATING. I don’t know what to make of a lot of this. Is she the first in the long line of Jenny‘s ancestors? How is Amy in that photograph with this little girl? Is it River? (I remain firmly convinced that River and Amy are related.) I, frankly, have no idea. (I suspect that “Amy’s Choice” from last season will become more important than people originally thought.)

I’m not willing to theorize about it too much though, because, well, who can ever predict Doctor Who?

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • One of my favorite bits about “Day of the Moon” was how it poked fun at American history and human history. I love that the Doctor is the one responsible for Nixon’s paranoia, and I love that for all the conspiracy theories about a faked moon landing, it turns out that aliens were responsible for it all along. Brilliant!
  • Matt Smith rocks that Grizzly Adams beard. Beards and bow ties are cool.
  • “She can always hear me, Doctor. Always. Wherever she is, she always knows that I am coming from her. Always.” Sniff. And while sniff, Rory’s jealousy of the Doctor feels a bit undercooked here.
  • So the Angels must really fear the Silence. I mean, the Silence can only been seen when being looked at, but the Angels are always frozen when looked at. Who the hell wins in that fight?
  • I really hope that the Silence’s control room looked familiar to some of you. Because it should have.
  • “We are the Silence, and S/silence will fall.” Predicting their own demise, or something grander?

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