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Doctor Who, “The Impossible Astronaut” (6.01)

The Doctor is back, but not for long… The review of the first episode of a whole new series of Doctor Who is right here after the jump…

“I’ve been running, faster than I’ve ever run. And I’ve been running my whole life. Now it’s time for me to stop. And tonight I’m going to need you all with me.” – The Doctor

How’s the Doctor?

First off let’s talk about the Doctor himself. I think this episode solidifies this Doctor’s personality:  Completely loony and willing to take great risks, but deadly serious when he needs to. Reminds me a bit of Walter from Fringe, except his lunacy has much less logic to it, and his seriousness comes out more as sadness.

Now, let’s talk about the real important thing: The Doctor is dead. For real. So yeah… damn. However, that isn’t even remotely the start of it. He invited Rory, Amy, River and Canton (and himself) to his death. Massive, massive questions appear: Does he want them to save him or did he want his friends there by his side? How does he learn about his death, since with Canton’s gas it seems The Doctor very well knew he was going to die? And forget about the implications to the character; let’s go meta on this one: Will this be repaired with some timmey-whimmey-ness or did we witness the genuine death of the Doctor? Does that mean Matt Smith will be the final Doctor? Or just the last regeneration of the same time lord with that name? However things turn out now one thing’s for certain: Balls, Moffat, Balls. Do you ever have them! I’d like to see anyone else try to pull the same trick again if this is just a bluff.

How’s Amy?

Amy’s not lucky when it comes to memory issues. There were her bouts of unknown crying last season. Now, she’s seeing aliens she constantly forgets about.

Oh, yeah and… Pregnant?! Why tell that to the Doctor then? If it’s his, I’m quitting this show. I might have to fight withdrawl symptoms, however. More likely than not, however, it’s an alien memory trick.

How’s River?

Alright, now that the Doctor actually does die, I’m reiterating my previous theory, with some updates: River is the one who kills him. She’s in the suit or at least someone looking like her is and she takes the fall for it.

The relationship between her and the Doctor is so fascinating but the novelty of the mystery surrounding it is fading fast. I hope we start learning more about them fast enough. And, I don’t mean just how she feels about it. That, we did learn about. As she learns more about The Doctor, she’ll be meeting more of his past iterations (apparently, even time travel can act in a linear manner) and thus, as she falls in love with the Doctor, he will know her less and less. And that, in an unsubtle plug to how the Doctor first met River, might end up killing her.

How’s Rory?

Ugh! What happened to “Watch over Amy in the Pandorica” Rory? What’s with him being “Mickey, Rose’s ‘boyfriend'” Rory this time? He even gets all sad when River talks about how the Doctor worked his magic on her, like he did on Amy.

How’s the Story?

Aliens you forget about the moment you turn away? Awesome. Plus, from the looks of the base they found at the end of the episode, they might be related to whatever the Doctor found pretending to be the second floor of a one-story house in “The Lodger.” An ambitious reviewer might go back to that episode and search for clues that might help explain what’s going on…

So… what else happened in this episode?

I’m willing to bet that isn’t an actual kid in that suit which leads me to put the extra condition in my theory that the River who will kill the Doctor might not be the real River. Also the Doctor is pretty good for nicknames: The Legs, The Nose and Mrs. Robinson. And finally, why do most of the American characters in this episode have gruff voices?

In Conclusion

I found that the end of the episode might have had a bit too many “lets talk between us two while we look for stuff” moments, even if they did help enlighten us on some things. But really, this was shocking and brilliant and a heck of a start for this two parter and this season. If they play their cards right with the Doctor’s death (and River, and the Silence – don’t forget that), this might turn out to be one hell of a series.

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