The Impossible Astronaut
1)"Says she's going to some planet called 'America'."
2)"I wear a Stetson, now. Stetsons are cool."
5)"Or, 'Hello', as people used to say."
6)"My life in your hands, Amelia Pond."
8)Ah, he's using the HADS* - haven't seen that since the Troughton era.
9)"The Legs, the Nose and Mrs. Robinson." "I hate you."
10)Cool, the new aliens are goofy-looking! Not "Tractator" goofy-looking, but still goofy-looking.
11)"He won't have the faintest idea who I am - and I think it's going to kill me."
12)It's sort of like that thing that was upstairs in the house where he lived with the fat guy!
14)Cliffhanger: Amy shoots the astronaut!
15)"In memory of Elisabeth Sladen 1948-2011" Very nice - shame they couldn't've worked in something for Nick Courtney.
Day of the Moon
1)"America is occupied."
2)"You're building me a perfect prison - and it still won't be enough."
3)"It's Neil Armstrong's foot."
4)"I'm not pregnant."
5)That guy's not really a convincing Nixon.
6)What's Nick Fury's sister doing there?
7)"Welcome to America."
8)If these things have ruled the world since the dawn of time, how come they never reacted all the time other critters have tried to take over the Earth? Of course, maybe they did, and no one remembers it.
9)"We are the Silence." "We are the Walrus. Kookookajoob."
10)"Rome fell." "I know, I was there." "So was I."
11)"My old fella didn't see that, did he? He gets ever so cross."
12)"Will I be remembered?"
13)The little girl regenerates!
Overall: Well, that was entertaining enough, in its way. One thing our Steven seems to have in common with our Russell is his tendency to write stories with alot of "moments" designed to entertain or shock fanboys, with snappy dialogue but not the strongest story structure - a good deal of style, but not much substance. I think he gets away with it more because the new show is so much quicker-paced. Where a Pertwee era seven-parter tended to drag like nobody's business round about Episode Five - as Terrance Dicks himself would tell you - the new show just races by the fact that the plots often don't make much sense. When you first see it, the momentum carries you along unquestioning, but when you watch a story on disk for the third or fourth time, you realize that the new show has alot of "Wait a minute - how the hell did he know that?" moments.
I'll also say that I'm not a big fan of the character of River Song - nothing against Alex Kingston, who's a capable actress - but, gosh-all-fishhooks, I'll be glad when we've seen the last of this character.
*Stands for "Hostile Action Displacement System"
Last night, I watched The Time Traveler's Wife. I enjoyed this film more than I expected. The traveler can't control where or when he goes. The two main characters meet out of order. She keeps a diary of their meetings. Their first meeting from his perspective occurs in a library. All this is almost disturbingly familiar. There's even a little girl with red hair. Hmm. Still, like I said, I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it.
"Overall: Well, that was entertaining enough, in its way. One thing our Steven seems to have in common with our Russell is his tendency to write stories with alot of "moments" designed to entertain or shock fanboys, with snappy dialogue but not the strongest story structure - a good deal of style, but not much substance. I think he gets away with it more because the new show is so much quicker-paced. Where a Pertwee era seven-parter tended to drag like nobody's business round about Episode Five - as Terrance Dicks himself would tell you - the new show just races by the fact that the plots often don't make much sense. When you first see it, the momentum carries you along unquestioning, but when you watch a story on disk for the third or fourth time, you realize that the new show has alot of "Wait a minute - how the hell did he know that?" moments."
Regarding River Song, I think we're done with her now (or just about). Each Doctor has his own supporting cast, and River Song (as developed by Moffet) is an 11th Doctor thing. By Christmas, she'll have about as much relevance as Jackie Tyler does now.
Well, we always knew that the whole "River keeps meeting the Doctor in the wrong order" thing had a limited shelf-life. I've always thought that the idea of giving the Doctor a "wife" - although Moffat loves to coyly question whether they're "really" married - was a mistake in the long-run. Who knows? If the show goes on long enough, maybe some future producer will decide to go for the "shock moment" of having the Sixteenth Doctor encounter a noticeably older River Song somewhere.
Despite River’s assertion that she and the Doctor are living their lives and meeting in reverse order, there is nothing in these two episodes to indicate that “The Impossible Astronaut” and “Day of the Moon” do, in fact, occur earlier on River Song’s timeline than “The Time of Angels” and “Flesh and Stone.” On the other hand, there’s to to indicate that they don’t, either. There is a scene in a later episode, however, which places “Angels/Stone” at a later point on the timeline, so that’s what I’m going to go with.
[If you’re reading these discussions in broadcast order and have not yet seen all of the episodes, MILD SPOILER follows.] Just as River and the Doctor’s timelines keep crossing, so too are my comments regarding River’s. Because River often crosses her own timeline, sometimes more than once, in certain episodes, when I speak of putting the episodes in chronological order relative to River’s own timeline, I am referring to “the main River” of the episode, that is, the one we know to be River relative to Amy, Rory and the Doctor. Eventually, I hope to sort out the sundry “other Rivers” as well. END SPOILER]
Because so many of the River episodes are two-parters, I will discuss the “main” parts of the story (relative to the Doctor) as (in broadcast order) “Angels/Stone,” “Pandorica/Bang” and Astronaut/Moon.” To reiterate: in River’s timeline, “Pandorica/Bang” definitely occurs prior to “Angels/Stone,” but where does “Astronaut/Moon” fit in? The question then becomes, did the main part of River’s story occur like this?:
…or like this?:
For the time being (no pun intended), I’m going with the latter.
Back to “The Impossible Astronaut,” what follows in more along the line of “summary” than “spoilery.”
There are two Doctors in this episode, which I will refer to as Doctors 903 and 1108 (based on their stated ages). Here is what we are to believe. At some unspecified point (presumably some 205 years from “now”) in the Doctor 1108’s timeline, he learns of his own death at Lake Silencio in Utah and sends invitations to five of his closest friends to attend. The Doctor seems to have advance knowledge of what is going to happen because of his words to Amy, Rory and River (and the “Astronaut”). Doctor 1108 has invited Amy Pond, Rory Williams, River Song, Canton Everett Delaware III… and a version of himself from earlier on his own timeline, Doctor 903.
There are a few problems with this scenario… well, no so much “problems” as unanswered questions. First of all, if Doctor 1108 sent four invitations, why did Doctor 903 arrive late? Well, maybe the invitations weren’t identical. We’ll dismiss that objection. Second, why didn’t Doctor 903 recognize his own handwriting? Well, I didn’t get a close look at the envelopes; let’s assume there were no discerning features on the envelopes and dismiss that objection, too. Third, I can’t help but wonder how the Doctor’s death played out originally, before Doctor 1108 learned about it and invited his friends. What was he doing at Lake Silencio in the first place? How did the Silence know to send the titular “impossible astronaut” to that exact time and place? Well, that could be a “closed loop paradox,” too, as we have already seen in the series five finale, “The Big Bang.”
Any other objections? (Actually, I do have one or two others, but they are based on knowledge gained from future episodes and I will comment on them in due course (in the respective discussion threads of those episodes).
That is what we are to believe.
But “the Doctor lies.”
We are also to believe that there are certain “fixed points in time” which cannot be changed, and the Doctor’s death is one such fixed point in time. BUT… “time can be rewritten.” So the question becomes, is Doctor 1108 lying, or is he telling the truth in an effort to change time?
Jeff of Earth-J said:
I can’t help but wonder how the Doctor’s death played out originally, before Doctor 1108 learned about it and invited his friends. What was he doing at Lake Silencio in the first place? How did the Silence know to send the titular “impossible astronaut” to that exact time and place?
My answer to my own question: “The Death of the Doctor” has attained near-mythical status, but not many details are known. Probably the only thing that is know is: “An ‘impossible astronaut’ will rise from Lake Silencio and kill the Doctor.” It’s treated almost as a prophecy. Speculation: The Doctors enemies (as future episodes will reveal) know just that much about his death and nothing more, and set out to make it come true.
Here’s the sequence of events (as they are presented to us and we are to believe):
The Doctor (1108), Amy, Rory and River are picnicking at Lake Silencio, Utah.
An “impossible astronaut” rises from the water, and the Doctor goes to meet it.
The astronaut shoots the Doctor and he begins to regenerate.
In the midst of regeneration, the astronaut shoots him again, killing him.
The Doctor’s friends immolate him on a floating pyre.
The “prophecy” is thus fulfilled.
That’s as much as I can say here.
This discussion will be continued on “The Wedding of River Song” thread.
Off topic -- I watched Conan O'Brien's show for the first time in a long time last night. His current set may remind classic Doctor Who fans of the old TARDIS sets.