Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Day of the Moon" Series 6 Ep 2

A long week later, and the wait is over. It is time for the conclusion for the amazing episode that opened the season, "The Impossible Astronaut". I will blog this as I watch it live on BBC America.

After the catchup, we find Amy running across the Utah desert, where she is shot by Canton. WTF? The Doctor is a prisoner, in a straight jacket, with a full beard. River is a fugitive in New York, and every time she sees the aliens, she marks on her arms. Back in Area 51, Canton is building a prison for the Doctor out of Dwarf Star Alloy, and his companions are brought in to the prison in body bags ... alive.

They got rid of the voice intro, which is great. I didn't like that intro. Canton is an ally instead of an antagonist. The Doctor implants sub-demal micro-recorders to help them remember the aliens. He heads off to NASA, and sends Canton and Amy off to find the child. They enter a children's home that is scheduled to close in 1967, two years before the story is taking place. As Amy is talking with the Doctor, we learn that he is tampering with the Apollo 11 Space Capsule, and that the children's home is being used as a breeding ground for the aliens. While he is being questioned by NASA security, River brings President Nixon to spring him. As he is leaving, Rory gives the NASA guards a Benny Hill salute (way too funny!).

the custodian of the Children's Home says the child must be cared for, and Amy sees a hatch on a door that doesn't exist. She has discovered the child's room, along with pictures, one of which seems to indicate that the child is Amy's daughter. The astronaut walks in and is the little girl, and Amy gets trapped. The Aliens tell Canton that this world is theirs, and that they have been here since fire and the wheel. Canton shoots the alien, and the little girl escapes the suit. Amy is missing and her implant is on the floor transmitting what she is saying at the time. The custodian brings the Doctor to the wounded alien, who reveals that they are called "the Silence".

OK, marching the president around is strange ... the suit is now shown to be an exo-skeleton. The Silence apparently influenced the decision to go to the moon in order to get humans to create space suits. River speculates about the suit being able to work without an occupant, and wonders if the suit "ate" the child. Amy says that she loves the Doctor and Rory hears it via her implant. The Doctor reminds Rory of his 2,000 year wait for Amy in the Pandorica.

Any is being held in the ship, and the Silence tells her that she has been there many days, and as they are tormenting her, the TARDIS materializes. The Doctor comes out of the TARDIS with a TV, and He and River spend some time flirting as he is barging in on the Silence. The Doctor hijacks the TV feed from Apollo 11 to instruct the human race to attack the Silence. In the process, Rory learns that it wasn't the Doctor she is in love with, but him, and River kills all of the Silence in the ship (which is totally HOT). Oh, and the Doctor "helps" her by waving his sonic screwdriver around.

As the Doctor parts company with Nixon, he tells him that he will always be remembered and calls him "Tricky Dicky." As he parts with River, she kisses him, and he is confused by it, telling her that they had never done that before. The Doctor questions Amy about why he told him and not Rory that she is pregnant, and she worries about traveling in the TARDIS affecting the pregnancy. The TARDIS scanner keeps bouncingbetween showing Amy as pregnant and not pregnant. The episode ends with the girl "dying" ... and she REGENERATES. WTF?!?!?!

Looks like this year's story arc has just been revealed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"The Impossible Astronaut", Doctor Who Series 6 Episode 1

Welcome back to a new series of Doctor Who! "The Impossible Astronaut" has finally hit our TV screens here in the US, and for once, we aren't waiting weeks, months or even years after the story is shown in the UK before we get a chance to see it. Thank you, thank you, thank you BBC and BBC America!

Now, a little prologue before we get into the episode. Matt Smith. He is ... well, he is the Doctor. Like Peter Davison, he faces the daunting task of following an immensely popular actor in the role. Like Peter, people are still a little unsure about him, even after a full season. Personally, I like him. He is fresh and even just a little edgy. He hasn't really shown any "doctor quirks" other than saying things are cool. There are times when he seems to be trying to channel David Tenant (grabbing his head in confusion when he is trying to figure something out). Gone are the days of the Doctor who knows it all (pretty much all of the classic Doctors and Christopher Eccelston ... rarely did they NOT know something or show so much angst while figuring something out). Instead of doing the "squeaky voice" (Peter Davison and David Tenant), he does a deep, dusky voice from time to time. Mostly, he acts like the Doctor should act: strong sense of right and wrong, and a desire to correct problems and injustices. So before you can say "regeneration", lets strap in and check out "The Impossible Astronaut" again.

The opening scene is, well, strange. a naked doctor hiding under a victorian lady's skirt, a story being researched by Amy and Rory, showing up in a Laurel and Hardy movie ... personally I think that is a little over the top. But what has happened in between? Why are Amy and Rory no longer traveling with the Doctor? They left with him at the end of "The Big Bang", and they were still sort of with him during "A Christmas Carol", so why are they home and living the quiet life? How much time has passed? Then the invitation arrives.

Seeing River Song get her invitation begs the question ... are prisons in the future like hotels or something?

Ok, the little introductory monologue by Amy? lose it guys. When have we EVER needed that? I mean, sure, it would be nice for someone tuning in for the first time, but most people who watch for the first time are doing so usually in the company of a long-time viewer.

The Doctor dies! Wow ... holy crap! A death and funeral pyre are the last things I expected to see ten minutes into the episode, especially the Doctor's death and funeral pyre.

Then, Amy, Rory and River meet the younger Doctor in the cafe. I don't blame River for being mad and slapping him, and now here we are with a younger Doctor (200 years younger, anyways ... when you are dealing with the Doctor, it's all relative). Like River, there is a day in my future that scares me, but for different reasons ... but more on that some other post.

The TARDIS trip to Washington DC in 1969 gives us a little glimpse into the personality of Matt Smith's Doctor. He is petulant, and quite frankly a little childish, somewhat like early Peter Davison, but more intense. The introduction of Canton Everett Delaware III, the younger version, as a G-man. The TARDIS has a stealth mode and a cloaking device. Interesting. The Doctor seems to understand that River knows how to operate the TARDIS better than he does, but like any other male with a basic type A personality, he won't admit it.

For once, the Doctor has a hard time convincing the people in authority to trust him. Then the aliens start showing up ... apparently they are protected by a limited perception filter. Unless you are looking right at them, you not only can't see them, you forget them. The aliens can apparently able to conduct and manipulate electricity. The alien wants the Doctor to be told about his future death. Not sure why, but hey, it is Doctor Who ... it will eventually make sense.

In Florida, they discover a ship identical to the one in last season's "The Lodger." The question is, are the aliens in this episode the same ones that are absent from "The Lodger"? So many questions!

Of course, of all the cliffhangers to have, the astronaut arriving right after Amy tells the Doctor she is pregnant. She shoots the astronaut, who turns out to be the little girl. However, remembering "The Lodger" the ship would project a hologram of someone who needs help in order to tempt people into the ship to test their compatibility, so I would surmise that something similar is happening here too. I guess we will find out next week, now won't we?

Welcome to Watching Doctor Who!

This blog will be an ongoing project of me watching and commenting on episodes of Doctor Who. The commentary will range from on the spot reaction to background information to researched facts. I had intended to start this blog with the first episode of Matt Smith's second series, but circumstances kept me from doing so. I watched it live, and my next entry will be to watch "The Impossible Astronaut" again on my DVR and comment on it.