Back from the much maligned Summer long break from Season 6 (or Season 33 for you old school Whovians out there). Did we really need to take this break so that Mr Moffat could have Amy complaining that the Doctor had been away all summer without having found her daughter?
There were bits to like and much to not like in this episode. Evidently Mr Moffat has adopted the LOST-ian style of non-linear story telling for this season. It starts with the “Impossible Astronaut” killing the Doctor in Utah and we get to see all the steps he, along with Amy, Rory and River, not to mention Madame Vastra (because I am sure she will pop up sooner or later), take to get there. I don't mind non-linear story telling – in fact I like the puzzle solving and theory developing aspect of it, but I'm not sure it's the best way to write for this series.
OK – on with the likes and dislikes. . . . .
WHAT I LOVED
The Doctor and crew are back!! Nuff said there.
That Rory, in my opinion, had some of the best lines of the episode, more on that later.
The Tessalector – Justice Department Vehicle 6018 - very cool – especially loved the face change effects where you could catch a glimpse of what lay behind the surface.
Now back to the actual story :)
WHAT I LIKED
Mr Moffat harkened back to the original series with a reference to the state of “Temporal Grace” that existed in the Tardis conso
le room which did not allow for the discharge of weapons there. Over the years it has actually worked , though both the Cybermen and Daleks have fired weapons there. At one point it was a Temporal Grace circuit that had gone wonky, much like the Chameleon circuit, that allowed for weapons discharge, Mr Moffat has now made it one of a long list of the Doctor's lies.
"Rule Number One, The Doctor Lies."
I'm not exactly sure who, in Leadworth, had a genuine red 1974 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, complete with American made tires to steal, but it looked cool sitting there in the crop circle next to the Tardis. An American icon of a bygone time sitting next to the coolest time machine on the planet – what more do you need?
Rory's disbelief that he had just shoved Hitler into a cupboard – too funny. That's on top of him actually punching Hitler in the jaw.
“OK, I'm trapped inside a giant robot replica of my wife. I'm really trying not to see this as a metaphor.” Best Rory line of the episode, I totally cracked up.
Alex Kingston's performance. OK, I have loved pretty much all of her performances in Dr Who, but this time she seemed to adopt Matt Smith's “just got for it” attitude. Not sure how to explain it to anyone who has not acted (yeah, it was community theater, but there are times when you just let it go and have fun with the character you're playing). I know Ms. Kingston is the consummate actress, but she just looked like she was having way too much fun with her post-regeneration self, and that was a good thing. I would love to spend days just playing wither her hair (OK – that's for another time).
I have seen elsewhere that the change in Mels/River seemed to happen way too quickly, her going from brain washed murderer to the River we all know and love, but on re-watching that part of the episode a few times I get it. River is a “Child of the Tardis”. Yes, she was brain washed but she was also conceived aboard the Tardis and we know that effected her genetics. I also think it effected her personality and when she finally connected with Idris, who taught her how to fly the Tardis, she truly became the River Song we first met in that library so long ago.
That The Doctor, rather unsurprisingly actually, gave River her diary, but it was a nice touch.
Antibodies!!!! They were pretty cool and I can see the action figures now. . . . Brothers all over the UK will be chasing their sisters around the house with stuffed Antibodies blathering about how they will feel a slight stinging sensation . . . . . I can see it now :)
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE
Everyone, and I mean everyone, knows that crop circles happen in corn fields, not wheat fields. Get it right Moffat! (being sarcastic here )
One thing that went through my mind in the second half of the episode was “What is Moffat's deal with killing The Doctor?” So far this season we have seen him killed twice. I mean is he setting us up for the 50th anniversary season where the finally do kill off the Doctor, played in his 11th regeneration by an American??? Kidding about the American, not kidding about wondering about what Moffat (and the BBC) are up to
That the “The Silence” is a religious order bent on answering the “ultimate question” that seems to be unknown, at least in the data banks of the Justice Department's Vehicle 6018, as opposed to a bunch of loonies running around the universe looking like they took their form from Edvard Munch's “The Scream” and a blurry version of “Men In Black”.
What I Hated
“Hello Benjamin.” Who the heck is Benjamin???? Did Hitler name his revolver (which looked like an American Smith & Wesson 6 shooter) “Benjamin”? If anyone has some insight on this I would truly appreciate it. I looked all over Google and could not find one gun maker named Benjamin and failed, so if any of you out there can explain who Benjamin is, go for it.
That there are only 5 episodes left before yet another break until, I hope, Christmas.
Conclusions, Questions and Predictions
Prediction – we will find out what the “Ultimate Question” is and nothing will actually happen.
Prediction – the “Ultimate Question” will have something to do with Amy, since this is the Universe she created, even though the writers and Mr Moffat would have us forget that.
Prediction – that the Doctor will not be killed on Lake Silencio, it will either be a Ganger or The Tessalector. The “Sorry” as he was regenerating was from either the Ganger or the ship for not being able to trick the “Astronaut” or Madam Vastra, one or the other.
Question - Seriously??? The Silence is a religious order? And why are they after the Doctor? What's the deal there?? They existed before the amazing Universe re-creation by Amy (Prisoner 0 blathered on about them), did Amy's subconscious create them in their present form?
Conclusion - 1st impression I didn't like the episode, though I liked the performances by all of the actors, it took a few viewings to see where it was headed. I am looking forward to seeing what Moffat and Company try to pull off before we conclude this 6th season on October 1st.
As always, let me know what you think :)