TV Review – Doctor Who 6.2 Day of the Moon (SPOILERS)

Day of the Moon

While anyone who was expecting Day of the Moon to answer all the questions posed in The Impossible Astronaut will be sadly disappointed, the rest of us are marvelling at another brilliantly convoluted story. Steven Moffat, god bless him, has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at this one, and apart from a few minor niggles at the start this was another astonishingly good episode.

Due to the nature of the plot and all the speculation that goes with it, the following review is INCREDIBLY SPOILERY.

Let’s start at the beginning then, with Amy, River and Rory being chased down by Canton. Wait, wut? It’s 3 months later and the ex-FBI boy is chasing them down, while the Doctor is shackled in Area 51? I’m still not sure about this part of the story. Why, when Nixon is their casual deus ex machina for the whole episode do we need this subterfuge about them being fugitives?

Let’s push that aside for the moment and on with the dance.. So now the Doctor et all know about The Silents but not in any meaningful useful way for any prolongued period of time. By introducing the nano-recorders in hands, and the count markers on skin, Steven Moffat allows the audience to be in a similar position to everyone who encounters The Silents. Suddenly we’re not shown everything that happens, and the confusion and disarray that occurs (especially to Amy in the orphanage) is similar to that which we experience.

It’s a neat trick and allows for a similar style of plotting to Season 5 where sometimes it was all about what wasn’t shown rather than what was. Steven Moffat said in last month’s SFX that he saw no reason why a season opener shouldn’t have all the drama and twists of a season finale and that’s exactly what he’s achieved. And so many unanswered questions:

– Does the Doctor see Canton again (or did his invitation mention gasoline)?
– Who is the little girl?
– What’s going on with Amy’s pregnancy?
– What else happened to Amy in the orphanage and who was the lady with the eyepatch?
– Are The Silents going to return?
– What’s the deal with The Silents’ spacecraft (especially the abandoned one we saw in The Lodger)?
– Who is River Song?
– When will the Doctor’s death by the lake be resolved and when does someone tell him what happens so he can send out the invitations?

It’s enough to give you a tub-thumper of a headache that’s for sure.

Someone cleverer than me has pointed out that with the 3 months between the end of The Impossible Astronaut and the 6 months after the resolution of Day of The Moon is 9 months, surely not a co-incidence when we’ve been talking about pregnancies?

I think most of the current speculation around the little girl assumes that she is either Amy’s daughter, or River Song or both. The fact that at the very least she is full of time energy suggests either exposure to the heart of the TARDIS (as Rose had in Bad Wolf) or that she’s another Time Lord.

The fact that the Silents put her inside the spacesuit suggests to me that they are definitely going to reappear. The Doctor’s incredibly clever trap using Neil Armstrong’s famous speech is not the precursor to “Silence Will Fall” as the human race commits genocide. (Because that’s what they’re about to do, and apparently the Doctor is ok with that? Similarly with River blasting a whole troop of them into oblivion? )

As I’m writing this I’ve just realised we’ve all been making a huge assumption about those TARDIS blue invitations. Maybe it’s not Future Doctor who invited them all, maybe it’s Future Amy (or Rory, or River). I’m thinking about The Lodger and Amy writing notes after the events so that things could happen.

Let’s rein in the speculation for the moment though and talk about the good things in the episode of which there are many. Once again I have to applaud Arthur Darvill for another fantastic performance. Male companions in the TARDIS have always been a mixed bag, for every Harry Sullivan, there’s an Adric, but Rory has real depth and Darvill commits to the role absolutely. I will be LIVID if Amy and Rory undergo the “soap-opera fate” – cute couple that everyone adores has relationship torn about because it’s more dramatic that way. Obviously they’re going to have a very bumpy ride this season, but with luck they’ll both come out of the other side safely. After all, how many times can they die?

The kiss. Gorgeous and wonderful, yet uncomfortable and awkward. A lovely moment where Matt Smith almost gives in to it and then starts flailing again. Superb acting both from Matt Smith (with little twitchy scratches) and Alex Kingston who looks utterly heartbroken.

Nixon as mini deus ex machina. Loved this. Loved it loved it loved it. Super to see Moffat have such fun with a real world character, especially one who’s not remembered terribly fondly perhaps.

The tease at the end. “So it’s all about the little girl, who is she? Or shall we just go off and have an adventure?” MOFFAT YOU TART! Utter genius of course because once again this is the long game, and if you’re going to do a story arc, you can’t deliver all the goods straight away.

Make no mistake about it, this is first class science fiction writing and plotting. That whole “Doctor Who is just for kids” thing has already been blown out of the water this season and we’re only 2 episodes in.

Pirates and mermaids and Amy being awesome next week! Brilliant and very apt with On Stranger Tides starting to trailer everywhere… 😀

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~ by moviegrrlreviews on May 2, 2011.

4 Responses to “TV Review – Doctor Who 6.2 Day of the Moon (SPOILERS)”

  1. “anyone who was expecting Day of the Moon to answer all the questions posed in The Impossible Astronaut will be sadly disappointed”

    Maybe not ALL, but some would be nice. I hated Lost because it never answered questions, and I don’t want to see Who go the same way.

    • I never “did” Lost, so never had that disappointment and don’t have a point of comparison. It does feel to me like Babylon 5 though and those amazing story-arcs that J. Michael Straczynski wrote. I’m excited rather than frustrated at the moment, will have to see how it all pans out…

  2. Thanks for the nod toward our Tom, here’s one from me – if the Doctor gave the instruction for all Silents to be wiped out in 1969, how did Amy see one at the 2011 picnic?

    • I’m assuming they went into hiding, in the same way some Daleks survived The Time War. And I don’t think we’ve seen the last of them, they’re still tied to the little girl somehow. Of course you still have the paradox with Amy and Rory, why don’t they kill a Silent the moment they see it… Timey Wimey…

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