REVIEW: Doctor Who – Day of the Moon

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Just when I think this show and its creators can’t outdo themselves, they do. Details about this past weekend’s new episode of Doctor Who, Day of the Moon, will follow. If you haven’t watched the show, I highly recommend that you do. They do a much better job of telling the story than I could possibly hope to. I’m just thrilled to have the show back for another season and can’t wait to jump right in.

Spoilers ahead.

How do you top killing The Doctor in the opening minutes of the season premiere? Kill everyone else to open Episode Two. After a three-month gap following the end of The Impossible Astronaut, the show begins with the Doctor imprisoned and his companions on the run from Agent Delaware and his colleagues who appear to be under the complete control of the Silence. The Doctor’s friends are utterly desperate in their search for clues about the enemy and have taken to marking their skin each time they encounter the Silence to remind themselves of what they’ve seen. The look is incredibly creepy and typifies this insane scenario that is only made greater by the twist that resolves it.

The action in this episode is only matched by the mind-bending nature of the threat our heroes are facing and the lengths they go to save the Earth. The Doctor finds a way to save the day, and while it’s brilliant I’m not sure how to feel about the violence it’s steeped in. I love the concept that they’re not fighting an invasion so much as leading a rebellion, but I feel like the solution was still a bit extreme for The Doctor. While the acute threat of the Silence in 1969 appears to be resolved, we know that one of them is present at the lake when The Doctor dies in 2011. For an enemy that claims to have controlled humanity since “the wheel and the fire,” it’s not unreasonable to think they’d find a way to endure. It’s interesting to note that one of the Silence in 1969 indicated knowledge of what happens to the Doctor in 2011. After their defeat, we get some answers about the abandoned time machine The Doctor discovered during last year’s episode, The Lodger, and this may give some clues as to what’s to come.

The Silence are a terrifying new addition to The Doctor’s rogues gallery and it’s clear we haven’t seen the last of them. While I love classic villains like the Cybermen, Sontarans and Daleks, new creatures like the Ood, the Weeping Angels and the Silence are really tremendous. I look forward to seeing where they’ll show up and how they’ll be used each season. It’s really impressive that the relaunch of the show has been able to capitalize on its history and drive so many interesting new elements forward.

There really isn’t a lot to complain about as this season is off to an incredible start. Day of the Moon may have featured a little too much Nixon, and commercials for Doctor Who action figures was surreal. Seeing The Doctor share an intimate moment with someone was also surprising, but thankfully Matt Smith sold every bit of its awkwardness. The Doctor’s death, Amy’s pregnancy, River Song and the astronaut on the beach are mysteries that will continue beyond the first two episodes of the season. We get a hint here that the space suit might be able to act without an occupant to kill The Doctor, but what we learn of the little girl that we last saw inside makes for an unbelievable ending. The suit contains a dozen alien technologies and may have been an incubator of some kind. When we see the little girl at the episode’s end she’s dying, but it’s OK as she begins to regenerate. Of course, we don’t get to see what form she takes just yet. This was completely unexpected and it remains to be seen if she’s truly a Timelord or one we’ve seen before. Those answers will have to wait because next time, it’s all about pirates.

Read more Doctor Who on MyLatestDistraction,
including reactions to each new episode on BBCAmerica.

The Impossible Astronaut / The Curse of the Black Spot

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