Doctor Who Series 6 Episode 2 – Day of the Moon.

Saturdays, BBC 1.

Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD.

After last week’s strong start I was hoping that this week’s episode would be an equally strong episode to complete the two-part story. I sat down to watch it expecting answers to at least some of the questions raised by The Impossible Astronaut, more brilliance from Canton Everett Delaware III, and more scares from The Silence. I was certainly not disappointed. I can’t begin to write about all the parts I’d like to talk about, so I’ve picked just a few.

Jump around.
Day of the Moon was definitely an episode you had to pay attention to. I watched the set up where Canton “killed” Amy, Rory and River and delivered them to the special prison that was being built around the Doctor wondering what the twist was going to be – whilst I didn’t expect them to be dead I didn’t also expect it to be an elaborate hoax that took advantage once more of the TARDIS’s ability to be invisible. The following sequences where story threads appeared to be left unfinished but were then woven in later made sense by the end of the episodes but a couple of times the seemingly abrupt move between threads did feel a little jarring.

Continuing creepiness.
I expected to be scared once more by the Silence and I absolutely was. The scene where Amy was exploring the children’s home left me tempted to grab a cushion in case it got any scarier. Added to this was the new scare that came in the shape of the woman in the door who then disappeared. Her appearance was enough to make me feel nervous about her whereabouts. I’m assuming that the fact that she never reappeared means she must be coming back in another episode.

Brilliant Canton.
I am sure that Mark Sheppard’s Canton Delaware will now be making his way onto many fans’ wishlists for returning characters. I loved the way the balance was kept between him getting involved and him still being wowed by the new things he was being introduced to. I would definitely be very happy to see him aboard the TARDIS in the future.

The end may be a beginning.
Once the storyline with the Silence was finished (though I’m not sure they’re done quite yet) it was nice to see that Steven Moffat wasn’t going to let the episode fade to an end. From River’s realisation that her kiss with the Doctor was his first, to Amy revealing that whilst she had thought she was pregnant she wasn’t (though the scan done by the TARDIS seems unsure on that matter) and then the final revelation that the little girl has the ability to regenerate it felt like the last few scenes were all pointing out that this series is one great long story.

Whilst some of my questions from The Impossible Astronaut were answered I thing I ended up with even more by the end of Day of the Moon. I’m more than willing to just sit back and trust Steven Moffat to fix everything in my head at some point either this series or some time in the hopefully not to distant future.

What did you think? Who do you think the little girl is? Where do you think this series is going?

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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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Doctor Who Series 6 – Just 24 hours to go.

With just twenty four hours to go until the start of the new series of Doctor Who I thought it was time that I had a think about what I am most looking forward to. I’m a bit of a spoilerphobe so I’ve not been seeking out information about the series, though as a keen follower of a number of Doctor Who and general geeky blogs and a Doctor Who Magazine subscriber I have managed to absorb enough information to be feeling really excited.

There seems to me to be a whole lot to be getting excited about, though for me the main things are:

  • The two-part opening – for the first time since Doctor Who returned to our screens in 2005 the series will open with a two-part story. All the reports from the press screening have been excellent, and it boasts some great guest stars (I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been waiting for the brilliant Mark Sheppard to turn up) and the return of fan favourite River Song. Add in the backdrop of US location filming and I can’t wait to get watching.
  • The mid season finale – this year we’re getting Doctor Who in two sections, seven episodes now and then the remaining six in the autumn. Whilst the idea of having to wait for half of the series doesn’t excite me (once it starts I know I’m going to want to see it all) the idea of a cliffhanger worthy of a mid season break does make me think that it’ll be worth it.
  • Pirates – the idea of a pirate themed episode fills me with glee, adding Hugh Bonneville to the cast list is just the icing on the cake.
  • Neil Gaiman – like many I love Neil Gaiman’s writing and am thrilled that he has written an episode for the new series. I have really high hopes for it.

It wouldn’t be right to finish this post without acknowledging what a sad week this has been for Doctor Who fans. The news on Tuesday evening that the wonderful Elisabeth Sladen had died left me both shocked and saddened. Like many I was new to Doctor Who when it returned in 2005 but by the end of the episode School Reunion I could understand the love long term fans had for her and her character Sarah Jane Smith. I was really pleased when Sarah Jane got her own series, and enjoyed every episode. Fans Tony Lee and Susie Day, and the children who’ve posted on the Newsround story say it better than I possibly could.

I’ll be back every week with my thoughts on the latest episode.

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