Doctor Who: The Impossible Astronaut / Day Of The Moon (2011) Review

Doctor Who The Impossible Astronaut Utah

Series 6 of Doctor Who officially kicks off with “The Impossible Astronaut / Day Of The Moon”, which is quite the grand adventure for the Eleventh Doctor and his gang as they journey across the pond. The Doctor Who revival blew up in the UK during the David Tennant years, and it was during the Matt Smith years that the show started to gain traction worldwide. Back in 2011, there was a lot of excitement and anticipation surrounding this two-parter. Doctor Who had had stories set in America several times before, like “Daleks In Manhattan” in Series 3, but the Series 6 premiere was the first time the whole cast and crew of the show flew oversees to film principal photography – and I have to say, there is a special kind of thrill that comes from watching four British heroes run around the American Midwest in this two-parter. “The Impossible Astronaut / Day Of The Moon” is essentially a Doctor Who western, and I can safely say it really lived up to the hype around it as event television.

In Series 5, the annual Doctor Who story arc started to become more complex and serialized than it was before, with multiple episodes contributing to the progression of it before the series finale wrapped it all up with a bow. In Series 6, that serialization is taken one gleeful, ambitious step further, with the story arc for Series 6 being one great, big puzzlebox. In “The Impossible Astronaut / Day Of The Moon”, we’re essentially watching the Silence’s villainous scheme playing out at three different points at once: the Doctor’s ‘assassination’ in Utah, the Silence manipulating the little girl in 1969, and Amy’s suspicions that she might be pregnant. It’s bewildering on your first watch, but it all pays off well throughout the season, and it’s incredibly rewarding to follow upon rewatch.

Like he did in “The Big Bang” last year, Steven Moffat goes wild playing around with non-linear storytelling in this two-parter: “Day Of The Moon” is chock full of flash-backs and flash-forwards, challenging the viewers to use their heads and keep up with all the new information they’re being given. “The Impossible Astronaut / Day Of The Moon” also demonstrates exactly why I’m glad we’ve kept the same TARDIS crew for Series 6. Steven Moffat spent all of Series 5 building up the individual connections between his four main characters, and as a result, by this point, the chemistry Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Alex Kingston have with each other as a group is on fire and is consistently entertaining throughout this story. Whenever I picture the Eleventh Doctor and his friends in their prime, this two-parter is usually the one I think of.

Doctor Who The Impossible Astronaut Apollo 11 2

In “The Impossible Astronaut”, the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) invites all of his friends on a trip to America. He’s finished his ‘farewell tour’, he’s put all his affairs in order, and he’s in a pretty melancholy mood during the opening act for some reason. This is a Doctor who’s already lived through most of the events of this season, who hasn’t seen his friends in a long, long time, and by now, he’s just tired. And then he’s shot to death, by a complete stranger, in front of his friends. This is obviously a fake-out death: the folks over at the BBC wouldn’t be foolish enough to kill off the main character of their flagship show and end the series prematurely like that. The question isn’t whether or not the Doctor will get out of this predicament. The question is, how will he get out of it, and who would want the Doctor dead in the first place?

Along with the Ponds, the Doctor invited his younger, present day self to America as well, to investigate the Silence, and his grief-stricken friends have to keep their knowledge of his future a secret from him. The Doctor’s a genius so it doesn’t take him long to figure out they’re lying to him, and after a while he gets tired of humoring them, so he decides to lay down the law as captain of the TARDIS and demand some answers. We get another fascinating glimpse at the Eleventh Doctor’s arrogant streak again when he speaks rather coldly and condescendingly to the people who are supposed to be his friends, making it clear they should know better than to think they can deceive him. There’s a reason why Eleven is one of my favorite Doctors: he’s very affable and genial, but if you look underneath the surface, you’ll find all sorts of icy and unsavory personality traits that he keeps hidden as well. The Doctor makes it very clear he hates being kept out of the loop, but he’ll just have to put his trust in his friends that it’s for the best.

Matt Smith is firing on all cylinders in this two-parter, just like he was in “The Time Of Angels“, talking swiftly and with purpose as the Doctor jumps from tangent to tangent without wasting a single word. There’s one impressive scene in particular where he manages to gain Canton’s respect and win over President Nixon within a matter of minutes, by presenting a valid reason why they should trust him. Matt does a commendable job of selling the difference between the future Doctor and the one we spend most of this story with: from his body language alone, he feels noticeably older and more weary than he usually is.

In “Day Of The Moon”, the Doctor is finally confronted with the Silence, the creatures who caused so much chaos and destruction last season and have currently enslaved humanity, but he devises a plan to deal with them, and his leadership skills are on top form throughout the second episode. He and his friends spend months scattered across America, covering as much ground as possible, because he trusts them all to be able to handle themselves and he knows they’ll all have each other’s backs. He ultimately uses the Apollo 11 moon landing to turn the entire human race against the Silence with their own hypnotic powers, forcing them to flee the planet forever. It’s an absolutely ingenious solution, and also an incredibly ruthless one. After the Silence nearly destroyed the universe and almost killed his TARDIS last season, he’s clearly decided to take the kid gloves off, and he won’t be losing any sleep over kicking them off the planet. The Doctor still refuses to trust River Song fully, because he doesn’t really know her, but he’s clearly smitten with her by this point and he loves seeing her again every time they cross paths. The Doctor and River finally share their first kiss in this story and it is a belter, signifying that the two time travelers are approaching a turning point in their relationship.

Doctor Who The Impossible Astronaut Greystark Hall 2

By “The Impossible Astronaut”, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and her husband Rory have settled down into their new domestic life as newlyweds, owning their own apartment now, but they’re thrilled when their old pal the Doctor invites them on a trip across the Atlantic ocean for a reunion. For them, it’s a chance to have some more fantastic adventures, but for the Doctor, it’s a considerably more morbid affair, and they soon figure out why. Amy is absolutely devastated when she loses her best friend and her childhood hero, and Rory is pretty heartbroken by the Doctor’s sudden murder too. The Ponds are still grieving and shell-shocked when they run into the Doctor’s present-day self, and they find themselves talking to a ghost. For the time being, the Doctor is safe, but all of that horror is still to come in his future, as a fixed point in time.

This is a great hook for the season, and a really interesting direction to take Amy and Rory’s characters in: the Doctor is kept out of the loop for the first half of the season while his friends are burdened by a terrible secret, flipping the dynamic that they usually have. Amy wants to do whatever she can to avert his death and save her friend, like anyone would – even if it means defying destiny, despite River’s warnings that doing so could be dangerous or disastrous. She still has hope that time can be rewritten. Amy’s persistence and her belief that she can make a difference makes perfect sense for her character: she’s always been a stubborn lass, and the gang managed to pull off plenty of miracles just last season, when they rebooted the universe. Throughout their adventure in 1969, the TARDIS crew has multiple encounters with the Silence, who seem especially interested in Amy. They imply that they want to make her another one of their pawns, and unbeknownst to everyone at the time, they already have.

Throughout “The Impossible Astronaut”, Amy is a confused and grief-stricken mess who hasn’t been given enough time to process the trauma she just experienced, because the gang keeps dealing with one bombshell after another. It’s pretty clear that it’s only a matter of time before Amy does something reckless out of desperation, and that moment finally comes during the horrifying cliffhanger for the first episode – when Amy almost shoots a terrified little girl in an astronaut suit who was advancing on the Doctor, in an attempt to save his life. This near-miss becomes even more terrifying in retrospect, when you realize Amy almost shot her own daughter. In “Day Of The Moon”, Amy discovers plenty of things that don’t make sense, like a mysterious woman with an eyepatch watching her, or a picture of herself among the little girl’s things, suggesting that there’s a connection between them. Amy’s interactions with the scared child (Melody) are a lot more painful to rewatch in hindsight, because there are so many missed opportunities to rescue this poor girl while she’s still within reach that Amy herself from later in this season would have taken full advantage of.

Amy briefly has a pregnancy scare that she decides to keep a secret from Rory for a while, because she’s afraid and full of self-doubt. Because she knows how much the idea of having a family means to him, and she didn’t want to get his hopes up if there was anything wrong with her term. Amy’s fears are dispelled by the journey’s end, when she realizes she isn’t pregnant after all, but the Doctor isn’t so sure. According to the TARDIS, she somehow is and she isn’t pregnant at the same time, setting up her new storyline for Series 6 that will be haunting her until “The Almost People“. By the coda, Amy and Rory are no closer to figuring out who ‘killed’ the Doctor and how they can stop it than they were before, so everyone onboard the TARDIS is keeping secrets now.

Doctor Who The Impossible Astronaut Eleven's Gang 3

In “The Impossible Astronaut”, Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) continues to grow leaps and bounds as a companion and a husband. Karen and Arthur were already good in their roles as the Ponds last season, but they’re noticeably showing signs of further improvement in Series 6: they convey a lot of emotion non-verbally in their reaction shots, all throughout this two-parter. Rory’s trust in the Doctor has grown exponentially over time, and nowadays, it seems to extend to River as well. He frequently defers to her in this story, since she seems to know what she’s doing, and she’s the only one of them who’s on the Doctor’s level of pure genius. Rory and River grow a bit closer in this adventure. They’ve rarely ever been paired up on missions before now, due to the circumstances, but he spends a lot of time with her in this two-parter and gains a greater understanding of what makes her tick as a person, which is a bit sweet to watch, because whether Rory knows it or not, he’s her father.

It would seem that some of Rory’s insecurities still remain, his lingering doubts about who Amy might really love and whether or not he’s good enough for her, even now that they’re married – which is painfully realistic. Years of nagging self-doubt don’t go away right away, after all. When Amy is kidnapped by the Silence, while the rest of her friends have a direct link to her thoughts, Rory mistakenly comes to believe that she considers the Doctor to be her knight in shining armor. After the events of Series 5, Rory has grown to the point where he’s not even jealous or resentful of the Doctor anymore, he just feels sadly defeated. In his head, if the Doctor is really the man Amy wants, he’ll accept it – the only thing that matters to him right now is getting her back safely, putting his trust in the Doctor’s crazy plan to do so.

After “The Big Bang” previously left it ambiguous, “Day Of The Moon” confirms that Rory still remembers waiting 2,000 years for Amy in an alternate timeline, and it has changed him. He doesn’t always let on, because he doesn’t want to worry Amy, and there’s a part of him that’s still a bit in denial that it all happened. He’s grown more assertive from his experiences as the Last Centurion, but he’s also grown a bit more weary and jaded and shell-shocked. He’s essentially a war veteran now – of many, many wars – and he can give Captain Jack competition when it comes to how much history he’s seen. Like Amy, he’s got a whole other life in his head now that never really happened as a consequence of the cracks in time storyline, and for the sake of his sanity, he prefers not to think about it. But he’s willing to use the skills and the courage he gained from his time as a Roman soldier whenever he needs it, like right now (or in “A Good Man Goes To War“). During the climax, Rory discovers he was the man Amy was waiting for the whole time, and his doubts about her feelings are finally put to rest for good.

On a similar note, Amy keeps her pregnancy scare a secret from Rory, because she was afraid of disappointing him, and because she still has a habit of trying to avoid uncomfortable conversations. Instead of talking to Amy directly, Rory chooses to eavesdrop on her conversations with the Doctor, and fret about his insecurities. A relationship needs a healthy amount of communication to survive and thrive, and while Amy and Rory are married now, there’s still room for improvement in that department, since both of them are really bad at knowing when to step forward and be honest with each other about how they feel. Still, they’re learning and growing from their mistakes, and their relationship is growing stronger all the while as they mature.

Doctor Who The Impossible Astronaut Showdown 9

River Song (Alex Kingston) is a delight as always in this story: she’s a shameless thrill-seeker, so she leaps at the prospect of having another adventure with her sweetie. In light of River’s backstory, this two-parter is a fascinating one to rewatch when you pay attention to her reaction shots and keep her perspective on things in mind. The little girl in 1969, the one the Silence are holding captive and forcing to wear a spacesuit all the time, that little girl is River at the start of her life. Back when Melody Pond had no agency of her own, and she was at the mercy of monsters because of the special gifts she had. Throughout our heroes’ investigation into the Silence, River is doubling back on her own past – one of the only things a time traveler is not supposed to do, because it’s insanely risky – and revisiting her childhood. She’s recontextualizing some old memories, and making sense of things that happened to her a long time ago by seeing them from a different perspective.

River is way ahead of everyone else in the TARDIS, because she’s the only one who’s lived through some of this chaos before in “The Wedding Of River Song“. She does her best to console Amy and Rory and guide her parents along, while also keeping the truth of what she knows a secret from the Doctor (to protect the space-time continuum): feeding her friends just enough information to give them answers without revealing too much. She also finds a handy and plausible reason to leave the room, whenever she might risk running into her past self. It’s a difficult line she’s having to constantly walk here, but she’s being the most responsible member of the party in this story. In “The Impossible Astronaut”, Steven Moffat explores how hard it can be being River Song (as Amy and Rory are given a taste of what it’s like withholding tragic foreknowledge), and he dives into the emotional toll that her twisted up, non-linear life can have on her.

The Doctor still doesn’t trust her fully, because he doesn’t know who she is, something she literally can’t tell him yet, and the distance between them stings. Since the Doctor and River always meet each other out of order, it feels like their lives are back to front. During one captivating scene where River and Rory are all alone, River confesses her doubts to her father about what kind of future she and the Doctor might feasibly have together. Wandering in and out of each other’s lives from time to time is fun, but it’s not exactly emotionally fulfilling, and she knows it won’t last forever. Alex Kingston is always at her best when we get to see some of River’s humanity beyond her bravado and her mad skills, and this scene hurts all the more to watch because we already know how River’s story ends, we saw it happen in “Forest Of The Dead“.

Since “The Impossible Astronaut / Day Of The Moon” is essentially a Doctor Who western, it needs a good showdown for the climax. River is the lancer of the team and an excellent marksman, so she takes turns serving as their main line of defense, alongside Canton. When the enraged Silence realize what the Doctor has done, they make one last attempt to kill our heroes, which leads to a quite frankly awesome shootout where River slays all the Silence in the room like an old west gunslinger. Considering the Silence were her old tormentors as a girl who were horrifically abusive towards her, even as she entered adulthood, I imagine River getting a chance to blow them all away in this adventure felt immensely cathartic. As the Doctor and River part ways for the time being, they share a fantastically romantic and passionate kiss: their very first one from the Doctor’s perspective, and River worries it might be their last one from her perspective, as she suspects their time together might be coming to an end.

Doctor Who The Impossible Astronaut Canton 4

Canton Everett Delaware (Mark Sheppard) becomes one of the Doctor’s many one-off companions in this adventure, providing some local knowledge, and he proves to be a fun addition to the gang. Canton is an ex-FBI agent who got kicked off the force for being gay in 1969, before he’s recruited by President Nixon himself to solve an alien conspiracy. He’s a gruff but sensible man who isn’t a trigger-happy idiot just because he carries a gun to defend himself, and he has his own natural charisma from his dry wit. He’s quickly impressed by the Doctor, because he knows a genius when he sees one, and he gets brought along for the ride when our heroes start looking deeper into the Silence’s operation. From the Doctor’s estimation, the Silence are almost definitely influencing the US government, which means they could be everywhere and nowhere in the country is safe. Canton proves to be an invaluable ally as a man on the inside: he helps our heroes pull off a ruse to trick the Silence into thinking they’re locked up and they’re not a threat, and he provides the Doctor with a crucial part of his plan to bring them down. It’s a shame he’s only a one-off character, because I wouldn’t have minded seeing him make another appearance down the line.

And of course, Canton isn’t the only ally the TARDIS crew have in 1969. The Doctor teaming up with Richard Nixon of all presidents to save America and liberate humanity is something I never thought I would see in this show, but it’s an enjoyably bizarre experience. Nixon’s characterization feels pretty on the mark: he’s a paranoid, distrustful man who the Doctor doesn’t like for obvious reasons (everyone in the future knows all about Richard’s dirty laundry), but our heroes could not have pulled off this mission without his connections, since they frequently ask him to throw his weight around as America’s commander-in-chief whenever they hit a roadblock.

After their presence was alluded to loads of times last season, the Silence – the primary villains of the Matt Smith era – finally appear in the flesh in “The Impossible Astronaut”. The Silence are alien creatures that you forget as soon as you look away from them; they have mind control powers and they can hypnotize people to do their bidding whenever they choose; they tower above most humans; they can shoot fucking electricity out of their hands to defend themselves; and worst of all, they always seem to travel in packs. They’re the ones who made the Doctor’s TARDIS explode last season in “The Pandorica Opens“, and in Series 6, they’re back at it again with a brand new plan up their sleeves.

The Silence prove to be some creepy-ass villains, and they’re a fantastic concept for a monster, with a simple but effective gimmick in the same vein as the Weeping Angels. Design-wise, the Silence take a lot of inspiration from Edward Munch’s painting, “The Scream”, as well as “The Men In Black”: Steven Moffat wanted to suggest that images of the Silence have appeared periodically throughout human history, influencing a bit of pop culture over the years. Since the Silence’s most notable trait is their ability to mess with people’s heads, Steven Moffat exploits that power for maximum tension over the course of these two episodes. It’s not uncommon for the Doctor and his friends to have encounters with the Silence between camera cutaways, with the only indicators being the tally marks they left on their skin and the messages they left for themselves as a tell-tale sign that they’re not alone: like a scene where the Silence frighten Amy to death, when she stumbles upon a whole hive of them in a creepy orphanage. As a result, the viewers can’t trust what they see in this story, anymore than the characters can, due to the cameraman being an unreliable narrator.

Doctor Who The Impossible Astronaut Greystark Hall 6

The Silence are incredibly ambitious villains, but they’re also pretty lazy. They’ve been influencing the progress of human society for quite some time to get humans to do their work for them and make them the technology that they need, using them for slave labor, so they’re essentially parasites. They’ve grown cocky and arrogant, because they’ve gotten away with working in the shadows as puppetmasters for so long: and as a result, they make rookie mistakes that prove to be their downfall. During the space race, the United States made history by sending mankind to moon: one of our greatest achievements. That event marked the point where humanity officially started to leave home and become a spacefaring species. In Doctor Who, we’ve seen dozens of futures where mankind is flying out there among the stars. Since the Apollo 11 moon-landing is such a pivotal historical event, that every human would have seen footage of at least once in their lives, the Doctor uses it to turn the Silence’s own hypnotic powers against them. They can never return to the Earth again, or else they’ll be hunted down by their slaves, which is an extremely fitting bit of justice.

Throughout this two-parter, the Silence seemed to be fixated on a girl they were holding captive. They forced her to wear a spacesuit as a life support system, to keep her healthy and under their control at all times: giving her an abusive, nightmarish childhood. After they’ve been forced to flee the Earth to plot another day, leaving the girl on her own, we finally discover what made her so special, so precious to them in a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. She’s a time lord like the Doctor, one of the rarest things in the universe, and we certainly haven’t seen the last of her. If last season was all about Amy Pond and the cracks in time, Series 6 is all about Melody Pond and the Silence.

Toby Haynes steps forward to direct his third and final story for Doctor Who, and he predictably knocks it out of the park, making the scope and scale of this two-parter feel huge as we journey from set-piece to set-piece. The cast and crew of the series did a lot of location shooting overseas to capture the gritty, iconic look of the American Midwest: filming primarily in Utah and Arizona. The lighting department should be praised for their work as well. Series 5 featured a lot of bright and colorful mood lighting, to match the optimistic tone of that season, but once his new vision for Doctor Who had been firmly established, Steven Moffat wanted to take the show into darker territory in Series 6 and try a bit harder to spook the kids in the audience. That’s why almost every episode in the first half of Series 6 is either set at night, or takes place in deep space – where the sky is always pitch black – to amplify the creepy vibes with sharper shadows everywhere.

Murray Gold’s score features a distinctively American country music twang, with plenty of acoustic guitars and electric guitars mixed in with his traditional orchestra, in tracks like “I Am The Doctor In Utah“, “1969“, “Help Is On Its Way“, “Locked On“, “Apollo 11” and “Day Of The Moon“. Mae McKenna lends her soothing, beguiling vocals to tracks such as “The Impossible Astronaut“, “The Wedding Of River Song” and “Melody Pond“, the last of which is especially beautiful. The most notable piece though has to be “The Majestic Tale (Of A Madman In A Box)“, a proud riff on the Eleventh Doctor’s theme. Bits and pieces of “The Majestic Tale” were previously used in a few episodes last season (like “Amy’s Choice” and “Cold Blood“), but the pieces finally come together to form a rousing and cohesive whole during our heroes’ shootout with the Silence in the climax of “Day Of The Moon”.

“The Impossible Astronaut / Day Of The Moon” sits alongside “The Time Of Angels / Flesh And Stone”, “The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang” and “A Good Man Goes To War / Let’s Kill Hitler” as one of the best stories the Matt Smith era has to offer. It’s one hell of a ride from start to finish, and a banging start to Doctor Who’s sixth season.

Rating: 10/10.

Side-Notes:

Day of the Moon 26

* “Hey, nice hat” “I wear a Stetson now. Stetsons are cool!”

* “I’ve been running, faster than I’ve ever run, and I’ve been running my whole life. Now, it’s time for me to stop. And tonight, I’m going to need you all with me” “Okay, we’re here, what’s up?” “A picnic, and then a trip. Somewhere different, somewhere brand new. Space, 1969“.

* “The moon landing was in ’69. Is that where we’re going?” “A lot more happens in ’69 than anyone remembers. Human beings. I thought I’d never get done saving you”.

* Fun fact: Canton’s older self was played by Mark Sheppard’s father, William Morgan Sheppard. I wonder if Canton and his boyfriend ever got married by 2011.

* “I’m assuming that’s for something I haven’t done yet?” “Yes, it is” “Good, I’m looking forward to it” Heh, Pirates of the Caribbean reference.

* Guys, the TARDIS has a thin glass floor. If you don’t want the Doctor to know about his oncoming ‘death’, maybe you shouldn’t talk about it somewhere he’ll almost certainly hear you.

* “I’m being extremely clever up here and there’s no one stand around, looking impressed! What’s the point in having you all?!”

* “I understand that you have a problem with authority” “Thank you” “That’s not a compliment, son”.

* “Richard Milhous Nixon. Vietnam, Watergate. There’s some good stuff, too” “Not enough” “Hippie!” “Archaeologist”.

* “Fellows, the guns, really? I just walked into the highest security office in the United States and parked a big blue box on the rug. Do you think you can just shoot me?” “They’re Americans!” “Don’t shoot! Definitely no shooting!”

* “Nobody shoot us either! Very much not in need of getting shot!”

* “I’m your new undercover agent on loan from Scotland Yard. Codename: the Doctor. These are my top operatives, the Legs, the Nose, and Mrs. Robinson” “I hate you” “No, you don’t”.

* “I’m going to need a SWAT team ready to mobilize. Street level maps covering all of Florida. A pot of coffee, twelve Jammie Dodgers and a fez!” “Get him his maps” Oof.

* “Are you handling this?” Why is it always my turn?” “Because you’re the newest”.

* “Dr. Song, you’ve got that face on again” “What face?” The ‘he’s hot when he’s clever’ face” “This is my normal face” “Yes, it is”.

* “So we’re in a box that’s bigger on the inside, and it travels through time and space?” “Yeah, basically” “How long have Scotland Yard had this?” Man, I love this show.

* “Why would anyone want to trap us?” “I dunno. Let’s see if anyone tries to kill us and work backwards”.

* “Cool aliens?” “Well, what would you call me?” “An alien” Damn, Amy.

* “You’re coming with us, Dr. Song. There’s no way out this time!” “There’s always a way out”.

* “You’re building me the perfect prison, and it still won’t be enough!” That’s a nice touch. The Doctor took some inspiration from the Pandorica for his little ruse with Canton.

* “The Apollo 11’s your secret weapon?” “No, it’s not the Apollo 11. That would be silly. It’s Neil Armstrong’s foot”.

* “Ahem, America salutes you” Rory, you massive dork.

* “Are you armed?” “This world is ours. We have ruled it since the wheel and the fire. We have no need of weapons” “Yeah? Welcome to America” High grade savagery.

* “She can’t hear you. I’m sorry, but it’s one way” “She can always hear me, Doctor. Always. Wherever she is, and she always knows that I am coming for her. Do you understand me? Always”.

* “We should be trying to find her” “Yes, I know. But how? Anyway, I have the strangest feeling she’s going to find us” Oh, Doctor. If only you knew.

* “So they’re parasites, then?” “Super-parasites, standing in the shadows of human history since the very beginning. We know they can influence human behavior any way they want. If they’ve been doing that on a global scale for thousands of years then… why did the human race suddenly decide to go to the Moon? Because the Silence needed a spacesuit”.

* “Doctor, a unit like this, would it ever be able to move without an occupant?” “Why?” “Well, the little girl said the spaceman was coming to eat her. Maybe that’s exactly what happened” Wow. The Silence are so fucked up.

* “Guys, sorry, but you’re way out of time. Now, come on. A bit of history for you. Aren’t you proud? Because you helped. Now, do you know how many people are watching this live on the telly? Half a billion. And that’s nothing, because the human race will spread out among the stars. You just watch them fly. Billions and billions of them, for billions and billions of years, and every single one of them at some point in their lives, will look back at this man, taking that very first step, and they will never, ever forget it. But they’ll forget this bit”.

* The climax is one of those times where Murray Gold’s music adds so much to the show. The way the choir in “The Majestic Tale” soars as the Doctor and his friends fend off the Silence’s attacks and fall back to the TARDIS is just glorious.

* “My old fellow didn’t see that, did he? He gets ever so cross” “So, what kind of doctor are you?” “Archaeology. Love a tomb” More high grade savagery.

* “What’s the matter with you?” “You called me stupid” “I always call you stupid” Again, damn, Amy.

* “So we’re safe again?” “Safe? No, of course you’re not safe. There’s about a billion other things out there just waiting to burn your whole world. But, if you want to pretend you’re safe, just so you can sleep at night? Okay, you’re safe. But you’re not really” Never change, Doctor.

* “This person you want to marry. Black?” “Yes-” “Hmm. I know what people think of me, but perhaps I’m a little more liberal-” “-He is” And just like that, that conversation got a bit too spicy for Nixon’s liking.

* “I’m dying, but I can fix that. It’s easy, really. See?” Man, Melody put the fear of whatever deity that homeless prayed to inside him, when he saw her start to regenerate.

Further Reading:

Doctor Who The Impossible Astronaut Showdown 14

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