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TV Open Thread: Dr. Who – “Day of the Moon”

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The second part to last week’s Dr. Who, “Day of the Moon,” opened at the infamous Area 51 where FBI agent Canton Everett Delaware 3rd (Mark Sheppard) skillfully assembled Dr. Who (Matt Smith), Amy (Karen Gillan), Dr. River Song (Alex Kingston), and Rory (Arthur Darvill) in order to find out who the creepy aliens are and how to stop whatever evil they have in mind.

Our favorite Timelord was looking all bearded and a little too much like Charles Manson for my tastes — shave that beard! As the team all got into the TARDIS Amy told the Doctor, re: last week’s cliffhanger, that she was wrong, she’s not pregnant. (Huh?) The Doctor didn’t seem to buy it, either.

The Doctor, in his usual fast-delivery-don’t blink-or-you’ll-miss-it style informed the group that he had implanted in the palm of their hand a sort of recorder — they should use it whenever they see one of the aliens, for as soon as they turn away from the creature they will have forgotten what they have seen — and the device will not only record their voice, but will light up to remind them that they have recorded a message. Ingenious of course, but also disconcerting, as a flashing palm also suggests that one of the aliens may be closer than they think.

Dr. Who headed off to NASA and Apollo 11 and told the rest of the crew to try and find the little girl in the space suit. “Apollo 11 is your secret weapon?” “No, no, that would be silly. It’s Neil Armstrong’s foot.” Was there a creature on the TARDIS with them all that time? Is it still there? Dr. Who is starting to get a handle on what the monsters are after. “We are not fighting an alien invasion, we’re leading a revolution.”

Amy and Canton team up and explore an orphanage which they think might have held the child in question. The creepy place, Graystark Orphanage, is visually very reminiscent of Batman’s Arkham Asylum. At the orphanage Amy discovers photos of herself with a child in one of the rooms. As she tries to puzzle this out someone in the spacesuit and one of the monsters enters the room and she, quite reasonably, screams. In another part of the orphanage Canton activates his recorder as another alien tells him that the Earth belongs to them, they rule and have no need of weapons. Canton’s response? He shoots him.

The Doctor gets nabbed while tinkering on Apollo 11 and then gets bailed out by President Nixon. I still don’t get what Nixon has to do with Dr. Who except for a laugh — and he’s very funny, so no complaints here.

Amy has disappeared, but from wherever she is they can hear her via the implant/recorder. Rory hears her say she loves — someone. “It was you, it always was you.” Is she talking to him, or the Doctor?

Canton records the monster, who calls himself and his species “The Silence” on a video phone, “Whatever that is.” The Silence mocks him, “You should kill us all on sight, but you will never remember.” 

As Amy is being menaced by the Silence, the Doctor and the Tardis crew show up. A small B&W television is broadcasting Neil Armstrong walking on the moon — a moment that billions are watching round the world. The Doctor splices in Canton’s video, with the Silence saying, “You should kill us all on sight.” The alien’s challenge is now seen along with “A giant step for man …” and the Doctor tells him it is a call to arms.

A regular western-style shoot-out kicks into play, with River pretty much single-handedly obliterating the Silence. She and the Doctor share a kiss. “You know what they say — there’s a first time for everything. And a last time.” Poor River.

So who was the little girl? And the person in the space suit who shot the Doctor? We will definitely have to keep watching to find out if the Doctor can escape his fate. The last scene in the episode took place “In New York, 6 months later” where a little girl/time lord regenerated … This season of Dr. Who has started off strong and it’s just geting better. Can’t wait until next time.

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  • Scott Deitche

    I thought it difficult for DW to improve upon the Baker years and the reboot with Tennat, but the Smith episodes have been among the best of the series.