I enjoyed “Day of the Moon” a lot more than “The Impossible Astronaut.” In fact, I watched the episode twice, though more because I watched it the first time without Jason. It was still 100x times better than the first one in this two-partner, and it seemed more like a true Doctor Who episode.
That said, there weren’t a lot of answers. In fact, despite the previously on, which reminded us all about the Doctor’s death, there was very little to no new information about how the Doctor died and the Companions seemingly forgot their mission to save the Doctor. Especially as River just waltzed back to prison at the end. You’d think she’d refuse until they figured how to prevent the Doctor’s death.
Additionally, I’m still bothered by the Viking funeral for the Doctor. River said that if they left a piece of the Doctor, then there’d be war to get it. However, Viking funerals typically end with parts of a boat and body at the bottom of a lake in that water is a natural fire suppressant.
Staring at Moffat’s plots too closely reveal a lot of cracks — no pun off last season’s big bad problem intended. Yes, Moffat needs to set up the mystery of the season. However, there’s a different between mystery and big gaping plot holes that I don’t quite believe he’ll wrap up in a logical manner. To me, the entire plot of this two-parter would’ve been more coherent and stronger if an editor would’ve written out the Doctor’s death plotline. Isn’t a mysterious girl and a mysterious woman (River) and Amy’s Schrodinger’s pregnancy enough? Or should I say, little girl who’s possibly Amy and Rory’s child who’s possibly River Song. And if two of these factors were introduced in this plot and aren’t directly related, then why so many plots, Moffat?
And let’s talk about the Silence for a moment. In the Doctor Who universe at large, I have a harder time buying that they’ve been around since stone tools and fire. I get that Moffat’s creating some epicness with his villains, but in a show that’s been around for 40+ years…
I don’t think that the Silence are the “Silence” that those aliens mentioned running away from last year. Perhaps they are heralds of some-sort or attract something bigger and larger than they are. I also have a hard time with those aliens naming the Silence when they aren’t supposed to remember them. I know humans are all “lalala, aliens? What aliens?” but seriously.
Some people were not happy with the Doctor’s ultimatum for the Silence: get out or be killed by your own subliminal messaging. However, given that Ten committed a lot of genocide and so have other Doctors, at least Eleven gave them a running start.
What I understood least about this episode is how the Doctor decided they should go have fun instead of finding the little girl and solving that mystery. The Doctors of the past seemed, if nothing less, more curious about the mysteries which often led into danger. But Eleven is an avoider. He ran out last season ignoring the cracks and Amy’s history being erased. He seemed not to care about the Silence until he was forced — ironically by himself — to care. While he seems somewhat intrigued by River’s history, he doesn’t seem to push finding out anything. And for fuck’s sake, I hope that the Doctor is playing a card up his sleeve about the picture of Amy with the little girl as it being in the same room and going unnoticed by the Doctor seems incredibly out-of-character.
Other random notes:
Amy was super hot in her FBI costume. Way hotter than her short skirts. River was as gorgeous as ever. While the Doctor’s crazy bread made him look vaguely Charles Manson-ish.
Canton grew a lot on me in “Day of the Moon.” I felt Mark Sheppard brought a lot more to the table than he did in “The Impossible Astronaut.” However, while I suppose it worked as a nice joke, I don’t understand why he could build such a futuristic prison (no doubt with the Doctor’s help) and have no qualms about that, he seemed to stumble over the video recording phone.
Really, we had to go to a creepy orphanage in the middle of a dark and stormy night? Especially when I watched this episode at like 2am home alone? We couldn’t have gone during the day?
At the end of her time with the Doctor, will Amy end up like Dr. Renfrew? A lot of people have been messing with her mind.
How did Amy’s and Rory’s clothing not fall apart in those three months? Seriously. Also what were they using to write on their bodies? Which that black ink seemed to rub off, which meant they weren’t bathing.
I’m not really sure how I feel about Amy’s Schrodinger’s pregnancy. Also, she’s not the only Companion to go have children post-Doctor adventures. Jo canonically has biological children and grandchildren. And she can’t be the only one.
I loved the Important flirting between River and the Doctor. And despite frustrations of the “don’t we all know that Amy loves Rory more than the Raggedy Doctor” variety, the scenes with Rory and Amy were very sweet. It also makes sense that Amy does not trust the Doctor to save her (unlike River) since he took so very long getting back to her, and she knows that Rory will wait forever and make the Doctor come back for her.
I love River’s action hero killing sequence and Rory asking her what exactly she’s a doctor of.
While I find the “our lives are back to front” literally thing kind of silly — seriously we can’t go a tad out-of-order? — the kiss at the end did a fabulous job at summing it up. Poor River.
Nixon’s portrayal was certainly better than Churchill’s. However, I wasn’t sold entirely on it and the random Watergate references seemed a little ill-timed or maybe self-congratulatory about knowing American history. (This may just be mean of me.) I did, however, greatly enjoy Nixon’s interactions with the troops and the NASA scientists which seemed very much of the time, and the casual noting that if Nixon were around today, he’d actually be too liberal to be a Republican. I’m still a little confused why he went along with the Doctor.
I think fandom itself is a little too congratulatory of Moffat for finally including a gay character, especially one not out until the end of the episode zinger. Which I did think was a fun zinger, but yeah, Canton would’ve probably fled the country after he was outed in the Cold War era where being gay was considered a weakness easily manipulated by the Communists. Not to mention carried the very real consequence of — even in a large metropolitan city — being murdered, especially as his boyfriend’s black. Instead, they would’ve gone to live in Paris. Haven’t you read any James Baldwin novels, Moffat?
But let’s talk a little more about that zinger, by 1969, interracial marriage was legalized in the United States. Loving v Virginia was in 1967. Ooh, fact fail, Moffat.
Also, fandom, let’s not give Moffat a cookie for having one gay character. And no, fixing the Doctor’s crooked bowtie was not a foreshadowing of his sexuality. Not being able to get married was.