Saturday, 23 April 2011

Doctor Who - The Impossible Astronaut

Its Easter weekend, and finally we’re back on the TARDIS. And the series got going with an almighty bang – literally.

Someone will die in Episode One. That is the message Doctor Who magazine, and various press outlets, have been running with over the last few weeks, with confirmation that either: The Doctor, Rory, Amy or River Song would meet their maker before the first 45minutes was up.

So when, within the first few minutes, an Astronaut rises from a lake to shoot a future incarnation of the Doctor dead, I have to say I was hardly surprised or shocked – indeed it seemed the only logical explanation (Rory and Amy weren’t going anywhere, and we know how River dies)

As this was undoubtedly the best scene in the episode, the fact it wasn’t nearly as shocking as it should have been perhaps detracted from the overall feel of this season opener, which I can’t deny I found to be lacking a certain something.

“The Silence”, the long awaited villain who Stephen Moffat trailed towards the end of Season 5, was genuinely scary – the idea of instantly forgetting them as you turn away is terrifying because it means you can never run away from them. They’re like The Weeping Angels, except creepy looking too.

This notwithstanding though, otherwise this episode seemed simply overlong, and over complicated in and of itself.

Amy’s anguish over the Doctor’s death would not lead her to become a killer, and even the idea that she reached for the gun seems like a complete character assassination. It also felt weird that after not telling him up to this point she suddenly felt the need to reveal her pregnancy. It just felt like Moffat needed a place to throw this line in, and this was the only place it fit. In the build up to the final cliffhanger this just seemed like an odd, and completely jarring revelation, and could just have done without it.

We also saw a weak, vulnerable side to River Song that we’ve never seen before – worried about how they are slowly growing in the wrong direction. As interested as I have always been in her character, I don’t want to see her develop into this whiny, touchy feely person. I want to find out who she is, and who she killed (My money is actually on her being the astronaut in the lake and not the girl – “I know it’s you, and it’s ok” – but I hope Stephen proves me wrong with that, as it’s just too damn obvious)

Honestly, I hope that come next week, as we see the end of this 2 parter, I am able to look back on the story in it’s entirety and find myself happier overall, because currently this just felt like a very flimsy first act, and not really the way I wanted to get underway.

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