Monday, April 25, 2011

Doctor Who Season 6 Episode 1: The Impossible Astronaut

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 a 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...
(From the BBC site)

The start of a new Doctor Who season is always one of the high points of my year.  I have been a big fan of the Doctor since the reboot that began 6 years ago.  I know that sometimes the show gets sentimental, sometimes the aliens seem hokey, and other times the stories can be silly but for the most part I have found something to enjoy in every episode.  Many of my favorites were written by Steven Moffat.  When the announcement was made that he was the new show runner beginning in season 5 (counting the seasons based on the new version of Doctor Who), I was excited.  Although some were disappointed with his first season at the helm, I liked it.  At some point in the future, I plan on going back and reviewing all of the "New Who" seasons.  This episode shows that you need to re-watch some episodes to pick up on all of Moffat's clues.
I am sure that a visit back to River Song's previous appearances will help.  Of particular interest is "Silence in the Library".  It features River's first time on the show (depending on who she really is).  With the big villain for this season being "The Silence", I am confident that the title is showing us that Moffat is connecting the episodes.
The Silence is an intriguing race.  When you quit looking at them, they vanish from your memory.  I can't wait to see how the Doctor counteracts this ability.
"The Impossible Astronaut" sets many plots in motion.  Based on Moffat's history, some of the questions will be answered next week.  Others will continue to develop during the season.  A few will carry over until next season.  And that is part of what I like about this series.  All of the questions are not wrapped up by the end of the episode.  I like the way Moffat builds the suspense and plots over each individual story but allows it to continue to build throughout the season.
For now, many people are speculating on the true identity of River Song.  With the main companion named Amy Pond, fans are thinking that she is connected (River-Pond).  Two theories seem to be taking the lead.  One is that River is the future version of Amy.  Another is that River is Amy's child. At this point I tend to side with River being Amy's daughter.
Even new fans can jump aboard with this episode.  It can be enjoyed "as is" but many of the "Easter Eggs" planted by Moffat will only appear after you have watched the previous episodes.
Overall, it is an excellent start to a new season.


Chimeradave said...

I'm going Dr. Who crazy too. That first episode was really good.

Since I can't see the next episode for a week, I went back and re-watch so old ones from last season.

Stephen Moffat is such a fantastic writer. every episode he's written has been A+ with the exception of "The Beast Below" which I was disappointed with.

Jim Black said...

I agree with you. Many of the Doctor Who writers are good but Moffat is my favorite. Second on my list would probably be Paul Cornell.

Moffat's "Blink" is one of my favorites even though the Doctor is not the star of the episode.

I thought the special effects were very good on "The Impossible Astronaut". I can't wait to see how they explain this one.

Chimeradave said...

"Blink" is one of my favorites too. It won a Hugo for best screenplay.

Paul Cornell wrote "Father's Day," an excellent episode and "Human Nature" two-parter. The thing that sticks with me about that one is the ending where the doctor goes medieval on those aliens. That's one of my favorite sequences of the series. Very dark stuff.