Recap

‘Doctor Who’ Recap: The Impossible Astronaut

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Apr 25, 2011 | 6:20am EDT

Oh golly does it feel good to have the Doctor back! It's been a rough 8 months since we last had an adventure with Doctor Who (yes, there was Christmas, but everyone knows that what happens on a shark-drawn carriage stays in the shark-drawn carriage) but we're finally back and holy hell is it scary.

Now part of the problem with starting a season (series, whatever) with a two parter is that we're left unresolved for a week. We have seven days to squirm, having been teased with some big knowledge bombs. So if the episode felt a little off to you, that's perfectly normal and acceptable. It's not a typical episode, but it was one great way to start off a season.

'Hello Sweetie' - River Song

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Let's start where all good things begin: the end. Amy is pregnant, wildly firing a gun at a girl in an Apollo space suit, Rory and River have discovered an underground lair and are quite possibly under attack. Steven Moffat sure knows how to leave us hanging, yeah? So when the alien (popular opinion has been calling them The Silence and pegging them as the Big Bad for the season but I still think that is up in the air) told Amy that there were two things she needed to tell the Doctor, besides his whole death thing, it turns out she is pregnant. Why couldn't she tell him that? Well pregnant ladies can't run and that's what most companions do: run. And since she wants to keep running with the Doctor, she was hesitant to say anything. But boy did she pick the right time to tell him.

And who might the girl be in the space suit? It'd be too easy to say that's Amy’s child, but she did seem to have a strong gut reaction when she fired the gun at that person. Although it should also be noted that River had stomach pains too when she went below. Perhaps those creepy Dementors-in-a-suit effect women in a negative way like that. Guess we'll find out next week.

'Canton, on no account follow me into this box and close the door behind you.' - The Doctor

Now one of the big problems about having a two parter is that the "next time" segment at the end always seems to slightly spoil the next episode. Like we know Rory and River are about to be in trouble but we clearly see them alive in the next episode. But we do see them (Amy and Rory) with those creepy tally marks on their bodies so who knows what happens to them. And finally, does anyone think that room beyond the hatch that Rory and River found had a vague TARDIS-like feel to it? If those creepy guys are indeed The Silence and are the Big Bad, that would go with the person we heard in the preview saying they've killed hundreds of Time Lords. Interesting thought to mull over (also interesting, in the preview you can definitely see the Ninth and Tenth Doctors' TARDIS interior exploding, so if that is some sort of Time Lord tech that could be a link).

Let’s take a moment and just get in general agreement here: whatever those things are/were, they are SCARY. You forget them after you turn your back? Their mouths open when they blow you up? And that voice? This was definitely a jump behind the couch episode if there ever was one. Though I must say, they look quite spiffy in a suit.

'Her name was Joy.' - Silence

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And that takes care of the end, but let's travel back to tube beginning and see what happens. HOLY SHIT THE DOCTOR DIED IN THE FIRST TEN MINUTES WHAT THE HELL??? Now I highly doubt Moffat has the balls to just flat out call the end of the show like that, but it was one hell of a beginning. And the crazy thing is he really died. No regeneration, they burned his body in a lit effigy (confession time: I’m only a recent fan of Who and I am only extremely knowledgeable of the new series. Most of the classic stuff I’m aware of but I haven’t seen everything. So if the Doctor has died like this before in the classic series, I’m not aware). I'm sure they'll get around it somehow but it's going to be one crazy ride to get there. Will he survive? Of course. Time is bumpy like that.

So who shot him? River obviously. Her story is so vague and seemingly dark that of course the only person she could kill to wind up in jail would be the Doctor. Or it could very well be Amy too. The doctor obviously knows who it is and though he says something to the person before being blasted, he doesn't try to run or defend himself. So it could be Amy since there is something special about her. And it could be Rory too because why not? Just speculating here.

'I wear a Stetson now. Stetson's are cool.' - The Doctor

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But let's not forget about the special guest this episode: America's greatest treasure! The Utah desert! This is one thing I am really digging about the Eleventh Doctor’s adventures: the sheer cinematic scope of everything. The Ninth and Tenth Doctors' adventures were really grand compared to the classic stuff but Steven Moffat has truly turned it up a notch. Everything just feels better and I really doubt their budget was increased that much. But whatever, it looks like this season has some bloody brilliant cinematography and that’s amazing.

I’ve honestly been twiddling my thumbs waiting for this season to start so I could start reviewing it. This season is going to be amazing and I really can’t wait for it to happen. I’ll be going in depth every week so stick around. It’s no fun being brilliant with no one to stand around being impressed, after all.

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