Monday, 25 April 2011

Doctor Who 6.1 The Impossible Astronaut

On TV: Saturday 23rd April 2011
Channel: BBC One 6pm
Episode Type: First of the opening two parter of series 6!

In 1 Sentence: Stunning cinematography, coupled with shocking plot twists and genuinely scary ‘monsters’ equates to event television of the year
BBC Summary: The Doctor is back in the biggest, most mind-blowing series opener ever. Amy, Rory and River also return for an adventure that combines humour, shocks for our heroes and one of the creepiest creatures they've ever encountered...
The Doctor is engaged on quest that takes him from the visually stunning Utah desert to the White House where he's enlisted by President Nixon himself to assist enigmatic former-FBI agent Canton. His mission - save a terrified little girl from a mysterious spaceman.
Prepare for the return of the galaxy's greatest hero. Prepare for excitement. And prepare - if you can - for the Silence...

My Review: Wow. Simply wow. This was my response Saturday evening and that was at 6.01pm! This first episode certainly holds no prisoners, the first 5 minutes are the fastest-paced television I’ve seen... ever. I still struggle to keep up and I’ve watched it twice! But it couldn’t be more perfect. It was so lovely seeing Amy and Rory at home, although there were no explanations as to why they left the TARDIS. Also seeing the Doctor run about time for Amy and Rory to spot him was a nice touch, a little light relief for what was about to come.

Because, as you would have seen, the Doctor dies. Now there had been various speculation about who out of the four leads could possibly die in the first episode. I know I batted around all them, but it was certainly quite a shock when it happened. But of course he dies! That genius of a Steven Moffat knows what he’s doing (at least I hope he does!) and put us right where he wanted us: gripped to the edge of our seats wondering where the story could possibly go next.

I’d to add here that the visuals in this episode (and from what I can see the whole series) look simply magnificent. It couldn’t look more stunning, and certainly better looking than many films I’ve seen. The american landscape really helped give the episode a certain scale that just couldn’t have been achieved in a quarry in Cardiff. And so on to the rest of the episode, the memorial scene for the Doctor was gosh... harrowing. Karen Gillan has really proved herself as last series I wasn’t completely convinced but I’ve been absolutely won over - maybe it was the lack of skirt ;) Also the score is on a whole other level.

After meeting the younger Doctor in the diner, the pace picked up again, and many of the best lines came about. 
River: He’s interacted with his own past. It could rip a hole in the universe.
Amy: Yes, but he’s done it before.
Rory: And then the universe did blow up. 
And then of course...
Doctor: I’m being extremely clever up here and there’s no-one to stand around looking impressed. What’s the point in having you all? 
River: I could just slap him sometimes.

Landing, invisible, in the Oval Office was hilarious as the Doctor attempted to watch the President’s conversation with Canton Everett Delaware the Third while standing right in front of them (“Oh look, this is the Oval Office. I was looking for the... Oblong... room.”). And then came the best lines of all, which have been quoted countless time already: 
Nixon: Who are they and what is that box?
Doctor: It’s a police box, can’t you read? I’m your new undercover agent on loan from Scotland Yard. Code name, The Doctor. These are my top operatives, The Legs, The Nose and Mrs Robinson.
River: I hate you.
Doctor: No you don’t.

The Silence look set to be one of the scariest monsters since the Weeping Angels. The White House bathroom scene was particuarly powerful and their ‘trick’ as it were (making people forget that they’ve seen them as soon as they turn their backs) is genius. 
Seeing The Lodger’s TARDIS was fantastic and I cannot wait to see what happens there. With rumours that James Corden will be back, it looks like we’ll find out soon. 

Well, this has turned into one of my longest ever posts so I will summarise with this.
The sharpest, slickest writing from Mr Moffat yet and I am dying to see more. 

Score: 9.5/10

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