Doctor Who Series 6 Episode 1 – The Impossible Astronaut.

Saturdays, BBC 1.

Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD.

Saturday saw millions tune in to watch the opening episode of the new series of Doctor Who, what they saw was probably the most ambitious opening episode in modern Doctor Who’s history. I’m not going to attempt to summarise it – I think I’d need to watch it a lot more times before I could begin to think about doing that. Instead I’m going to share some of my favourite things about the episode, in no particular order.

Start with a bang.
We’d been told that one of the four main characters was going to die during the first two episodes, I felt fairly confidant it was either going to be Rory or River (despite the warning it was a proper death I suspected there would be a get out clause so it didn’t matter that we already knew how River dies), never once did I think it would the Doctor who died. The shock of his death combined with the rather spooky way it happened (I found the spaceman walking out of the lake pretty creepy) left me feeling that anything could happen.

A welcome addition.
As I said in my preview post I was really excited about Mark Sheppard’s guest spot for the opening two episodes, when he appeared I was thrilled with the role he got. I thought using his father to play his older self was a great choice, far better than the original plan of using ageing make up! The use of Rory as Canton’s guide to everything TARDIS worked really well, I can’t wait to see what else Canton gets up to in the second part of this story.

Attack of the greyliens.
From the promotional images of the Silence I didn’t really know what to expect from the alien species, I certainly didn’t expect to be quite so creeped out by them. The Silence are a brilliant creation because, like the Weeping Angels, they could actually exist in our world. The combination of this and the way they just appeared kept me feeling uneasy for the majority of the episode.

A dynamic change.
Moving the power and knowledge from the Doctor to the companions was a bold move and one that I think has really paid off. The scene where they had to persuade the Doctor to trust them was particularly effective. The balance of having River Song back along Amy and Rory definitely helps this, I think her experience and knowledge is essential.

In addition to all of these things I loved the performances turned in by the four lead actors, each of them was at their absolute best in this episode. If this is how series 6 starts I can’t wait to see how it ends, but for starters I want to see how that cliffhanger is overcome!

What did you think? How do you think that cliffhanger will be resolved?

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