The Impossible Astronaut
This episode has an RTD opening – it's historical farce (haha, look at those men in their silly wigs and shoes) mixed with the feeling of The Pandorica Opens – certain people coming together for a certain purpose.
Appropriately enough a storm rages outside the Stormcage and soon a storm will be unleashed. River is privileged enough to get the Doctor’s own theme for her first scene!
MONUMENT VALLEY OMG SO BEAUTIFUL
Why was the Doctor doing all those things in history? Why do I find Eleven’s actions so much more endearing than Ten’s? These actions are something to do with his death but WHAT?
“And RORY THE ROMAN!” *pinches cheeks*
This episode is going to be full of Rory/Doctor moments already, I CAN TELL.
River: “Excuse me while I make my totally badass entrance and continue my vendetta against your headwear.”
This the last time we see the Doctor in a position of power, of knowing more than them. From this moment, “Space 1969”, he becomes the protected rather than the protector.
“Wine’s horrid, I thought it would taste more like the gums.” Oh Doctor, I share your pain.
“A lot more happens in 1969 than anyone remembers,” says the Doctor and we're about to find out why.
Okay, I’m staring at the tiny glimpse we get of the head before the camera cut and it DOESN’T LOOK HUMAN.
“I’m sorry.” This is also what Rory said to Amy before he died in Cold Blood. Is the Doctor apologising to them for dying or for making them stand by and do nothing?
I love how Amy and River immediately go to the Doctor but Rory makes to go after the Astronaut. River reacts in the same way as she did with the Dalek but then she seems to understand something. “Of course not.” IS SHE THE ASTRONAUT? Hmm, she doesn’t recognise what the Astronaut is.
Amy reacts like a child (“What do we do, Rory?”) while Rory and River try to be adults. “We’re his friends. We do what the Doctor’s friends always do. As we’re told,” River says, setting her chin. “If we’re going to do this, let’s do it properly,” Rory declares, showing again that respect for the dead that he demonstrated so movingly in The Big Bang when he covered the Doctor with his jacket. River is devastated but holding on to the promise of the future. Rory is most upset for Amy.
The Doctor's funeral actually reminds me more of a Viking send off than Return of the Jedi, well done, Toby Haynes. And of course, Rory is the one who pushes the boat out, Rory the Roman, who was human but not human, dead but not dead.
River got the number 2 enveloped. She is the person the Doctor trusts most next to himself.
Amy is already getting angry at the Doctor and closing down, lashing out at River and Rory for forging ahead like a devastated child. All of this is blown out of the water by the Doctor's reappearance (from a door that features ELVIS, oh Haynes). The glances between Rory and River start here, with Rory gesturing to River behind the Doctor’s back (how much do I love the Doctor rushing over to hug him?)
Wow, that slap must have stung.
Rory prods the Doctor in the chest(God, I love you, Moffat) and then has a quiet mental meltdown. Don’t worry, Rory, you’re not alone.
“Rory, is everybody cross with me for some reason?”
“I’ll find out.”
The companions gather underneath. Rory and River, so different in personality, are the ones working his appearance out. It can’t be for revenge says River, and it can’t be about saving himself says Rory.
"He's crossed his own timeline before!"
“And in fairness, the universe did blow up.”
RORY, I LOVE YOU, NEVER STOP BEING SENSIBLE.
We witness the painful irony of the Doctor not trusting River when future!Doctor trusted her only second to himself. The Doctor prefers to put his life in Amy’s hands. So she thinks he’s now her responsibility, like a child looking after a parent.
Canton is re-introduced as a snarky badass.
The Silence want Amy to tell the Doctor about his death, I’m pretty certain of that now.
Let’s face it, Rory, out of all of them, you’re the only one who COULD do a decent job of taking care of Canton. The Doctor isn’t interested in the ‘boring’ day-to-day caring, River isn’t the caring type, Amy needs care. Yeah, you go right ahead and get snarky with the Doctor when he attempts to tell you off.
BRAVE HEART, OH FIVE.
“Look how cool all this stuff is!” The little boy Eleven makes a welcome reappearance.
“I think he’s talking about the possible alien incursion.” SERIOUSLY RORY HOW DO YOU GET ALL THE BEST LINES?
The Doctor totally manipulates Rory into following River by appealing to his better nature and seals the bargain with a soulful look and a shoulder pat.
HOLY CRAP, A RORY/RIVER SCENE, FINALLY! I love how this scene showcases the basic fundamental difference between the two characters while also underlining their intriguing similarities. They are the adults in their relationships; River guards the future for the Doctor, Rory guards the world for Amy and makes it real. River spends her life waiting for the Doctor to show up, knowing each time that he does, he will know her a little less; Rory spent one lifetime waiting for Amy to show up and then she didn’t remember him, then another waiting for her to reborn from the Pandorica so she could remember him and be whole. River tells Rory about the worst day of her life because she knows Rory won’t tell Amy or the Doctor. She knows Rory will be discreet and she knows he can handle the knowledge. As brave and smart as Amy is, she can’t handle that kind of emotional burden just yet.
Amy thinks that in order to save the Doctor, she has to kill. Shows a fundamental misunderstanding her own role (as the Mother, not the Crone) and the Doctor himself, who only kills as a last resort.
The Day of the Moon
The first time the Doctor told Canton to ask Amy about the marks, I honestly thought she was already dead. (Also, my mother really liked Matt Smith with a beard. This is bizarre not only because she doesn’t like Matt but because she’s NEVER liked beards and she grew up through the 60s and 70s when practically every man had one. Except my dad.)
Let’s take a moment to note that Rory’s got the most number of tally marks. Why? Because between him, River and Amy, Rory has the LONGEST MEMORY. Because he probably went into the room in his head that comprises the Lone Centurion’s lifetime of waiting and TOOK A LOOK THROUGH THOSE MEMORIES TO SEE IF THEY CONTAINED THE SILENCE. How is this guy not yet insane? I love how Rory just stops and closes his eyes, resigning himself to his fate.
When I realised they were building the Doctor the perfect prison, I thought “LOL but he’s already broken out of one!”
The Doctor runs to Rory first and KISSES HIM ON THE HEAD. Fangirl dreams fulfilled.
Matt Smith’s physical acting is flawless.
River’s fabulous even when she’s drenched.
The Doctor fulfills Moffat’s ambition to give everyone nightmares forever by telling us the Silence are everywhere. Including the TARDIS.
I wonder if Renfrew is a reference to Renfield from Dracula. One of the scariest moments of this episode for me was the realisation that Renfrew had written those messages on the wall to himself (in his own blood?!) and yet he would never obey them. Kerry Shale does an amazing job of making you feel sorry for him.
Yes, that’s right, Amy, SHINE THE TORCH INTO THEIR FACES. I said out loud to my dad “Why doesn’t she turn it off and get out of there?!”
Nixon blinds the scientists with his charm and presence, pretty good work for a man who has no idea what’s going on. Arthur in 60s suit and glasses is so hot that if I hadn’t been sitting with my dad, I might have squealed out loud and licked the television.
"No, it's okay, I think she's just dreaming." WHO’S dreaming? Is it Amy? Or the little girl? And why why WHY is there a photo of Amy with a baby on that dresser? Is it the Silence trying to mess with her mind? Or Moff trying to mess with OURS?
“We have no need of weapons!”
“Yeah.” *BANG* “Welcome to America.” – I love you so much, Canton
Yeah, maybe you’d have been a bit more sympathetic to Rosanna if you’d known what the hell the Silence was, Doctor.
“Our lives are back to front. Your future’s my past. Your firsts are my lasts.”
“Not really what I asked.”
“Ask something else, then.”
“Incredibly strong and running away, I like her!” Maybe because she's like a certain little girl you met in a garden, Doctor.
Amy’s speech is heartbreaking and painful. But you know, Amy, if you’re going to use metaphors, DO NOT USE “dropped out of the sky”. Doctor, Rory doesn’t care about the Silence and their world plan right now, he wants his Amy back.
The Lone Centurion conversation. Just the emotional interplay between Matt and Arthur in this scene, their different sorrows and how they show them, it’s all so brilliant. Maybe Rory’s devotion to Amy reminds the Doctor of Rose. Of how he said “I’m coming to get you”.
“This is kicking the Romans out of Rome!”
“Rome fell.” (God, the dead tone of Rory’s voice.)
“I know, I was there.”
“So was I.” (The affection on the Doctor’s face after he says that.)
When the Doctor asks Rory about waiting for Amy, he’s asking about more than that, he’s asking if Rory is on his level. Because those two thousand years lived the slow way, witnessing history, put Rory on the Doctor’s level in a way that very few people share. The Doctor knows exactly what Rory means when he says that it’s like a door in his head. He gives that little understanding nod.
I appreciate that Amy is snarky and unimpressed even when she’s strapped to a chair with a Silence in the face. Also never looking at the Lodger ship in the same way again.
Amy interrupts River and the Doctor like a child interrupting her parents’ playtime.
“All I really want to is accept your total surrender and then I’ll let you go in peace. Yes, you’ve been interfering in human history for thousands of years, yes, people have suffered and died, but what’s the point of having two hearts if you can’t be a bit forgiving now and then?”
“I’m not really going to let you go that easily. Nice thought but it’s not Christmas.” I wonder if this means he might have been a bit harsher on Sardick.
The Doctor’s plan is a nice illustration of the power of television to unite and inspire the human race.
I love how Rory isn’t even bothered by the attacking aliens and River shooting at them, all he focuses on is Amy.
“Don’t let them build to full power!”
“I know, there’s a reason why I’m shooting, honey! What are you doing?!”
“You’ve got a screwdriver, go build a cabinet!”
“That’s REALLY RUDE!”
“Shut up and drive!”
And one final, lovely scene between River and Rory.
“What kind of doctor are you?”
“Archaeology. *BAM* Love a tomb.”
Amy, River and Rory pose by the TARDIS like the hot badasses they are.
“This person you want to marry: black?”
“I know what people think of me, but perhaps I’m a little more liberal than –”
River made a promise to stay in prison, hmm? I love how Eleven’s torn between kissing River back and just flailing madly. Then he gets all awkward and backs off like a teenage boy.
WHY MUST YOU LOOK SO SAD, ALEX KINGSTON?
Honestly, I do understand why Amy told the Doctor first. Some girls do tell their friends first before their partners and Amy’s best friend just happens to be a time-travelling alien.
“You only live once!” says the Doctor. Which is true, but it's also a lie, because he lives many, many times. Amy and Rory suddenly look very sad and guilty. They shouldn't know more than the Doctor but they do and they will have to cope with the burden in very different ways. This is forcing Amy to be the grown up in her relationship with the Doctor. It's not a natural fit.
Why does it take the little girl six months to get to the point of regeneration? WHY IS SHE REGENERATING AT ALL?