Sat
Apr 30 2011 10:41pm

Doctor Who S6, Ep 2: “Day of the Moon”

I had the privilege of seeing the first two episodes of this season of Doctor Who in advance. So, when I told people who hadn’t seen them that the Silence outdid the Weeping Angels, and they watched “The Impossible Astronaut” when it aired, they didn’t believe me. That’s because we don’t truly see how frightening they can be until the second part of their story, “Day of the Moon.”

Wait...what are those tally marks on your face?

“Day of the Moon” begins six months after the end of “The Impossible Astronaut.” And - SPOILER ALERT - everyone dies! The episode opens with heart-pounding events that lead to the apparent deaths of all of our main characters and the imprisonment of the Doctor. They don’t all stay that way, of course, and the bulk of the episode deals with the TARDIS crew and River Song, accompanied by Canton Delaware, tracking down the mysterious little girl with a direct line to President Nixon. Along the way, Canton and Amy discover an orphanage where the Silence have driven its caretaker, Dr. Renfrew, insane; Amy is captured by the Silence; the Doctor, Rory, and River rush to save her; and the Doctor defeats the Silence by the magic of television.

And how about that crazy final scene?! Huh?!

 

The one criticism I would make of this episode is that I wish it hadn’t been broadcast a week later. Sure there have been other two-part episodes that have worked just fine that way in the past, but the way these episodes were structured, separating them by a week took the air out of the first episode. They are definitely best-viewed together, and I’d be curious to hear how other viewers responded to the split.

That said, this episode was even more exciting - and terrifying - than “The Impossible Astronaut.” There is something absolutely frightening not only about memory loss itself, but knowing that you’re experiencing it and are helpless against it. Steven Moffat is great at preying on our most basic fears in his work, and memory loss is something that people might not think about too often, but ties in to our deepest fears about getting older and our own mortality. It’s wonderful, then, that while everyone is dealing with these beings that they can’t remember once they stop looking at them, River is dealing with the thought of the Doctor not remembering her, tying the story lines together thematically. In the scene in the orphanage, it was both heartbreaking and terrifying to watch Dr. Renfrew (Kerry Shale) walk past warnings he’s written on the walls (in blood? red paint?) reminding himself to get out, only to forget that he’d done it and continue to wander around and around alone in an empty building for years, his brain seemingly short-circuited from all the experiencing and forgetting. The terror is taken up a notch when Amy goes to search the dormitory for the mysterious girl and ends up infiltrating a Silence nest (where they all sleep like bats, apparently), promptly forgetting that she’d done so, only to see tallymarks all over her face and listening to a message she’s left for herself.

Something else at which Moffat excels is giving the audience visual and oral cues upon which to hang our fear. In “Forest of the Dead”/”Silence in the Library,” it was those data recorders that replayed the echoed consciousness of a person who had died. That voice on a loop started playing, and those green lights started to dim one by one, and the creep factor was turned up to eleven. (Incidentally, those episodes also used mysteriously animated spacesuits. Moffat has a thing for those, apparently.) Here, we have the tallymarks that Team TARDIS mark themselves whenever they encounter a Silent so they can keep track; and we have the recorders the Doctor implanted into each of their hands to record their descriptions of the Silence. Those red lights start blinking, we know there’s trouble. And worse? When the Doctor and Rory find Amy’s recorder on the floor in the orphanage, we know that she’s had it dug out from her hand and that she’s in for something horrible.

Performance-wise, the ladies deserve focus, as Karen Gillan and Alex Kingston both gave mesmerising performances in this episode. Gillan’s terror as Amy was palpable, and the scene in which she sees the photo of herself with a baby only to be face-to-face with the mysterious girl in the spacesuit was wrenching. Kingston has never been more compelling as River Song as she was here. The shootout at the end? What an amazing moment of badassery. Yet it was her final scene with the Doctor, where they kiss and he doesn’t remember having done that before, that was really devastating, and she did so much with just one look. Arthur Darvill continues to impress as Rory, finding a beautiful balance between humor and drama, and he and Gillan continue to make Amy and Rory’s relationship one of the most interesting marriages on television. Mark Sheppard, in an outstanding two-episode guest spot, gave a funny, nuanced performance that genuinely made me proud to be an American.

“Day of the Moon” is a well-structured, beautifully performed conclusion to this story about The Silence. The resolution of how the Doctor used “Neil Armstrong’s foot” to save the day was brilliant, and we were left with a lot of food for thought:

  • Is Amy pregnant? She said she was, then she denied it, then the Doctor tested her with the TARDIS, but we were left not knowing what the Doctor saw in the result. It would be very easy to assume that she’s pregnant because of the picture she saw of herself with a baby, but....
  • Who was that woman with the silver eye-patch? As Amy explored the orphanage, Silver Eye looks through the door at her and says, “I think she’s dreaming,” then shuts it again. Is someone making Amy think the things she’s thinking? Is she actually dreaming all this and is really somewhere else?
  • What did the Silence do to Amy? She was with them for five days in an attempted TARDIS that looked like the one in “The Lodger.” What happened to her there? And how is she going to “bring the Silence?”
  • Is the little girl is a Time Lord? At the end of the episode, she says she’s dying, then begins to go through the now-familiar regeneration process. We know that River identified her as human according to what was keeping her alive in the spacesuit, but we also know that she must posses a huge amount of strength to have pulled herself out of the spacesuit in the first place. Increased strength, human, regenerates, and was doing an awful lot of running. Is she the Doctor and Amy’s child? Have the Silence somehow gotten their hands on some of the Doctor’s DNA to put into the child the way they used other alien tech for the spacesuit? Did the Silence then spend five days taking organic material from Amy to blend with the Time Lord material to create her?

All of these questions, including “Who is River Song?” (or so we’ve been told), will be answered on Doctor Who - Saturdays at 9PM ET on BBC America.

 


Teresa Jusino is the Thirteenth Doctor. Her “feminist brown person” take on pop culture has been featured on websites like ChinaShopMag.com, PinkRaygun.com, Newsarama, and PopMatters.com. Her fiction has appeared in the sci-fi literary magazine, Crossed Genres; she is the editor of Beginning of Line, the Caprica fan fiction site; and her essay “Why Joss is More Important Than His ‘Verse” is included in Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon By the Women Who Love Them, which is on sale now wherever books are sold! Get Twitterpated with Teresa, or visit her at The Teresa Jusino Experience.

70 comments
Ciel F.
2. Shadaras
The kid -- I think she might be Amy's with the Silence influenced by being brought to term in the TARDIS. Which is such a creepy thought.

Brilliant episode just in general, though.
Ray Radlein
3. RayRadlein
Even the plot holes in this episode had their own plot holes; but then, I suspect that at least half of them will be filled in later in the season.

Which is sort of par for the course for Doctor Who, of course; their classic Tom Baker-era story structure was to drop the viewer (and the Doctor and companions) smack in the middle of someone else's ongoing story, with a whole bunch of new characters, and to trust that the viewer could wait on gradually filling in the missing bits and pieces of the story as they went along. This may be just a larger version of that same thing.

I sure hope so; because, otherwise, huge chunks of this whole episode make no damn sense.
F Shelley
4. FSS
I think the little girl is Ginny - 10's cloned daughter...

Oh - and I was right last week! Amy is no longer pregnant (I guess).
imnotanexpertbut...
5. imnotanexpertbut...
Just a question but whatever happened to Jenny, the Doctor's daughter ?
imnotanexpertbut...
7. RobinM
I'm still confused. Is the the Doctor dead? Who was in the spacesuit? Who is the little girl Ranni? Romana? Susan or someone new? Finally who the heck is River Song and who did she kill? The Doctor has forgotten her but now what? This season is going to be fun.
Ray Radlein
8. RayRadlein
What happened between the end of part one and the begining of part two? How did they get from the inexplicable underground tunnels of Florida (as a Floridian: HA!) to running around Monument Valley?

Like I said, I sure hope (and expect) that they will revisit much of this episode later on.
imnotanexpertbut...
9. Mary Arrrr
So, Doctor Who came to America. And did an X-Files episode.
L S
10. foundling
@6 Jenny died at the end of her episode.
Matt Petersen
11. Sovtjek
@10 She revived at the end of the episode, after the Doctor left. Interestingly, the idea of her being revived at the end was Moffat's idea. So she's probably still out there.
Ashe Armstrong
12. AsheSaoirse
@10 And then she came back to life and stole a shuttle.

I was yelling "WHAT?!" at my screen for 5 minutes in disbelief at the end of the episode. It did lose some of its impact being separated but I dunno, I'm a straight up addict so I was back in like a week hadn't passed.
L S
13. foundling
Oh wow, you're right. I'd totally forgotten she revived. I think I was trying to blank that entire episode out of my head.
F Shelley
14. FSS
@10 - as others have said, she came back to life (without regenerating, either) and took off in a spaceship to explore time and space.

@11 - wow I had no idea it was Moffat's idea to revive her. Thinking back, it is sorta stuck on the end, isn't it?
imnotanexpertbut...
15. CraigWhoisDoctor.Song
Doctor River Song has told the Doctor Who that he will learn who she really is very soon. At the end of episode "Day of the Moon" the little girl, Amy Ponds little girl, began to change just like a time lord. Also Amy pond asked the Doctor just befor if she had been pregnant would she have some kind of time baby from all her time travel. I say yes, that little girl is somehow her time child. But here is the kicker, I believe that child is also Doctor River Song! and this is how they will tie all the loose ends together with the Doctor and the time child and Doctor River Song, who drives the Tardis like a time lord and is also called a Doctor, Doctor Song. There I have said it, Doctor Song is the timelord(time travel child) of Amy Pond and Doctor Who could only love and be with another Timelord. Wait and see, I know I am right!
Ray Radlein
16. RayRadlein
Here's another one: Rory and Amy, being from our time, have seen that moon landing footage thousands of times.

So why didn't they try to kill the aliens on sight?

I know, I know: Timey-wimey.

(One could, of course, further handwave that they were originally from some weird time pocket, as evidenced by the numerous strangenesses about Lesser Felching, or whatever their town was called, in their first-ever episode last season).
Ray Radlein
17. RayRadlein
Speaking of which: Man, are there going to be some mysterious stinking invisible corpses all over the damn place.

Also: For The Silence, the Earth has now become not unlike a zombie movie, with themselves as beseiged protagonists surrounded by hordes of mindless killing machines from whom they can only hope to hide temporarily.
imnotanexpertbut...
18. Forrest Leeson
I'm assuming that 1103!Doctor X'd himself in ASTRONAUT so his Magic Regeneration Energy could save the girl in MOON, and that she's the future River Song, hence Mrs Robinson ("Jesus loves you more than you can know").

I'm also assuming that the entirety of Moffat's run thus far is an exercise in grand scale psychic paper, with Amy seeing things as she expects to see them rather than as they are, and that the Red Nose Day mini-episodes were in fact Ha Ha Only Serious. ("We're entering Conceptual Space now...")

But then I was sure right through LODGER that the Moff had a Secret Grand Plan going back as far as EMPTY CHILD (and maybe even rooted in CURSE OF FATAL DEATH) designed to pay off hugely in PANDORICA/BANG, which of course it didn't.
Darren James
19. b8amack
I thought the Tardis was showing that she was both pregnant and not pregnant. Sort of like a baby hiding itself from technology...
Ray Radlein
20. RayRadlein
I think that means that the father of the baby is Erwin Schrödinger.

Sorry, Rory!
JOhn Johnson
21. smileyman
This is why I so love Steven Moffat. He can take me on these wild rides all he wants. I adore these multi-story plot lines. There's lots of weird, wacky stuff that's not been answered in this episode that I'm assuming will be cleared up in the finale.

Some unanswered questions
1.) If Amy is pregnant at the beginning of the episode there was enough time in the two parter for the child to have been conceived. (one break of 3 months, another of 6)

2.) Where was Amy broadcasting her signal from that Rory was picking up on the handset?

3.) How did the girl get out of the spacesuit (my theory is that Amy busted her free)

4.) At the end of The Impossible Astronaut Rory looks like he's being zapped, then we flash forward 3 months in Day of the Moon and nothing is said of it. What happens.

5.) If the Silents are killed off because of the broadcast than how did Amy see one at Lake Powell. Likewise how did the alien TARDIS go from run-down in Day of the Astronaut to nearly complete in The Lodger?

Regarding the death of the Doctor I have two possible theories. The first is that the old Doctor is a clone and got stuck 200 years in the past and had to live life normally, which is why he tried to get into as many history books as he could (because the young Doctor had the TARDIS). This would also explain why there was no TARDIS to be seen when they all meet on the road (unless the chameleon circuit is working again and disguised the TARDIS as a classic American car).

The other option that's really intriguing to me is that there's a paradox here of two separate timelines. The Doctor should be dead. He flew into the exploding TARDIS (which was being controlled by the Silents?) and died. That's one timeline, where Rory is still plastic, and where 47 years of Doctor Who history ended. Then there's a new timeline created by Amy when she pulled the Doctor from whatever void he was in and somehow the two timelines are converging. This would explain the whole pregnant/not-pregnant thing going on with Amy, since in one time-line Rory's plastic and unable to father a child and in another he's human, but stuck with 2000 years memories.

Plus I always am amused that technically Rory is older than the Doctor. I giggle a little every time I think of it.
Ray Radlein
22. RayRadlein
Re: (4) Likewise, we never did find out what happened after Amy shot the spacesuit, who cold-cocked Canton, or anything else about the last two minutes of part one.

Re: (5) I think you have "Impossible Astronaut" and "The Lodger" reversed; the 1969 Florida one looked much more complete and funcitonal than the wrecked one atop the building in "The Lodger."

Of course, if the Silence built those spaceships, why did they suddenly decide to double-park one aboveground in England? Heck, if they were going to park one aboveground, Florida — where any hole six feet deep will have two feet of water in it — would seem to be a much better location for that.

Of course, The Doctor and River have characterized The Silence as scavengers and parasites; it's quite possible, therefore, that neither of those spacecraft consoles are actually theirs.

Oh, and ditto about the Rory thing. Between Rory and Captain Jack, we now have two human Doctor Who characters who are older than the Doctor himself. Heh.
Chris Robertson
23. theantichris
Was anyone else bothered by the tally marks? They looked great/terrifying on their faces, but leaving a note for yourself on your own face? The flaw in the plan, in this case, is the plan.
Ray Radlein
24. RayRadlein
I just popped off a tweet about that. It's not like Amy had run out of room on her arms, either, as that photo above shows.
Chris Meadows
25. Robotech_Master
Wonder if I'm the only one who thought the tally marks were also supposed to call back to that two-parter which revolved around the devil being chained just outside of a black hole.

What I want to know is, where they got the neutron star cinderblocks (and for that matter, if they were neutron star matter how people were able to lift them). Right, fine, the Doctor probably had a room full of it in his TARDIS, but it kind of defeats the purpose of building a "prison" to plan in secret by having the prisoner provide his own cell material—material which the host race hadn't been able to provide for itself. "Don't throw me in that briar patch."

Of course, my biggest problem with the episode was one people also had with Torchwood, only more so: how did the Doctor never notice any of this while he was putzing around on Earth in his previous incarnations? (For that matter, how did Torchwood never notice this? They've been on Earth more than the Doctor has, for the last hundred-odd years, and they've certainly had enough experience with altered states of consciousness to notice something odd about memory lapses.)
imnotanexpertbut...
26. marian
@20Ray -- you stole my line! LOL. Exactly what I thought.

The kiss between River Song and the Doctor struck me differently. I think time has been rewritten. She knows that he only somewhat knows her at this point, but she obviously thinks that they've kissed at least. Even if they haven't been to Easter Island yet.

Loved the episode however. They didn't waste time in exposition. It was hold on and keep up all the way through.

I hope that this business of "rewriting time" does not become the Holodeck of Doctor Who. The holodeck was used to prop up far too many Star Trek stories. I hate to see Doctor Who get out of writing dead-ends by simply rewriting what came before.
Ursula L
27. Ursula
Not only is there a question about why the Doctor never noticed the Silence during previous adventures around that time, there is also a question about what the Silence were doing when other species were trying to invade a planet they considered their own.

Torchwood is a governmental, or quasi-governmental, agency. The Silence have been all about controling and manipulating human governments. I'd think that they'd know about Torchwood, and use it, manipulating them as needed. Perhaps they fostered Torchwood's anti-Doctor attitudes, to keep them focused on the Doctor as the fundimental alien threat?
imnotanexpertbut...
28. soru
The Silents may have been running everything from the shadows for hundreds of years, but it's an open question for how long that was the case. Maybe only a few months, if it was the events of the Big Bang that spread them throughout time and space.

If so, they could well be based on an old episode of X Files that Amy watched...
Chris Meadows
29. Robotech_Master
And speaking, as I did, of "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit", did anyone notice that the Silence seem to be a re-eviled version of the Ood? Invoking the uncanny valley in the same way with human clothing from the neck down, bulbous funky head from the neck up? (I guess once the Ood made the jump from mind-controlled minions of Satan to creepy wise men, there was an unfilled ecological villain niche.)

Funny to see two callbacks to the same episode at once. Or three if you consider the fact that the episode name "The Impossible Astronaut" harks back to "The Impossible Planet". And then there's "Planet of the Ood" and "Day of the Moon". Though I may be reaching a bit there.

(I wonder if Neil Gaiman's episode, "The Doctor's Wife," will include a callback to "The Doctor's Daughter"?)
Katie Pi
30. Darth_Katie
@Robotech_Master

You know, I think the deal with recurring aliens who have human clothes from the neck down and funky heads from the neck up is that it's easy to do budget-wise. ;)
imnotanexpertbut...
31. Lesley A
They haven't rewritten time for the Doctor and River Song - each of them is living their time in different directions. So the first kiss for the Doctor is the last kiss of many for River, because all the kissing is in her past and from now on the Doctor will not really know who she is because he doesn't know her yet, right back to Silence in the Library, where he hasn't met her and she knows all about him.

And the Silence is not defeated immediately by the film clip. What it does do is put the Silence in the position of the humans in the library faced with the Vashta Nerada. Not all the shadows have Vashta Nerada, but any of them might. Not all humans will kill a Silent on sight, but any of them might. That might be enough to make the Silence abandon the world and look for easier targets.
imnotanexpertbut...
32. Snowkestrel
Okay-some things:
a) There's nothing saying that the Doctor's plan actually worked. There's no evidence that the Silents don't countermand the televised order later, either planetwide or piecemeal.
II)Someone asked "Why didn't the Silents intervene in previous invasions?" That's the diabolical part of it- who's to say that they didn't? Think about all of the lame attempts at invasion that have happened in the course of 40+ years of Dr. Who. How many of them really should have been stopped by one guy, however scary smart he may be? How many of them should have been stoppable by regular humans without the Doctor's help?
and 4) Yes there were some apparent holes, but it's very possible that this entire season is going to be dealing with the aftermath of the exploding TARDIS.
(Pardon my numbering, my mind was blown by those episodes)
imnotanexpertbut...
33. Tatterbots
Lesley A: I know River kept saying she and the Doctor were moving in different directions, but I think it's a bit more mixed up than that. Surely this latest story comes after The Big Bang for her, because in The Big Bang she didn't recognise Rory other than as "the plastic centurion".

My biggest problem with the story was, why didn't the Doctor realise that it must have been his future self who summoned them all? Because he's definitely clever enough to work it out, and from some of the things he said, he was nearly there. Or maybe he did work it out, but for some reason he isn't saying so.

I was very interested to hear in what manner Rory remembers his 1,894-year vigil. It's about what I hoped: he does remember it, but not in a way that overshadows the rest of his life.
Teresa Jusino
34. TeresaJusino
Also, why didn't The Doctor notice the Silence before? Despite his love for the Earth, many of his adventures are elsewhere. And if he's in the middle of tackling one problem on Earth, he's not necessarily going to notice another, because he isn't looking for it. Yes, The Doctor is smart, but he's not infallible fercryingoutloud. :) He's allowed to make mistakes!
imnotanexpertbut...
35. Christian K
@33. I think he has worked it out, or at least worked something out, probably something we don't know yet, based on the "letter licking scene". He asks questions of River about the space suit and he seems to already know the answers. Smith plays the scene more like he is prompting to River to figure out an answer he already has, rather than figuring out something together. Then he goes from the space suit to the letter, and has "the strangest feeling that she's going to find us."

I have a couple of whackadoodle theories on Amy Pond, River Song and The Little Girl. I was trying to figure out if you could make them the same person. I don't think you could make that work, but you could make Amy be Rivers mother. That would work. The negative/positive results from the TARDIS would be because you have two "Rivers" at that moment in the time stream. You can still hear the TARDIS's noise (is there a name for that?) when he performs the scan, so they haven't quite left yet. The theory would be that sometime after Silence in the Library, River get's out of the computer and becomes a Time Lady.

I actually hope the Little Girl is not Amy's child, or River. I hope she's the Doctor, and the Twelfth Doctor is a woman.
imnotanexpertbut...
36. BMunro
Just a thought, but how do we know Earth is the only place they ran? The spacesuit has technology from a dozen alien races: perhaps the Silence are on pretty much every planet where the inhabitants aren't telepathic/scary advanced/made of acid.

(Or Daleks, who wouldn't need a hypnotic suggestion to shoot them on sight. :) )

Bruce
Ursula L
37. Ursula
I have to say that I really liked the way they handled Amy's pregnancy. They neatly eliminated all of the more cliched and melodramatic options.

Amy talked to the Doctor for the sensible reason that she was concerned her travels may have lead to possible birth defects - a reasonable concern given that River treated her for radiation exposure at the Byzantium. She's concerned that *Rory's* baby might have been harmed - no "who's the dad?" nonsense.

Rory overheard their conversation - and promptly confronted them. No secrets between Rory and Amy about the pregnancy, and no nonsense from Rory about overhearing and misunderstandings from catching half a conversation.

Instead, we get a genuine mystery about how the TARDIS could be confused about whether or not Amy's pregnant, and whether TARDIS travel might affect any pregnancy.
Ursula L
38. Ursula
Also with the pregnancy - there was enough time in the episode for Amy to have been pregnant, and suffered an early miscarriage. Particularly if she used a sensativel test that detects very early pregnancy, at the stages where wo men used to not know they were pregnant, and where pregnancy and miscarriage can occur undetected or nearly so. A lot also depends on what sort of technology the TARDIS uses to detect early pregnancy? Hormonal tests? Some type of x-ray type physical scan?

So "was she pregnant?" is as much of a question as "is she pregnant?" And if she was but is no longer, then there is the question of "why?" which can range from ordinary miscarriage to nefarious alien influence.
imnotanexpertbut...
39. Drakenmark
Very good review - Moffat is in full flow and heaven knows how this will play out, but I'm confident I'll enjoy the ride.

But... hate to break this to you Teresa: Mark Sheppard is British!
Teresa Jusino
40. TeresaJusino
Drakenmark @39 - Oh, I know the awesomeness of Mark Sheppard from Firefly, and already know he's British. That's why I included that comment as a positive review! Because his performance as this American FBI agent (who was also gay and wanted to marry a black man) made me proud of my country! It's a hell of a thing for someone who's not from here to do, but there you are! :)
imnotanexpertbut...
41. ChrisG
I think a little more plot-fu love should be directed at the Doctor's moon-landing video trick. For the trope of uber-clever resolution to a seemingly intractable problem it was both feasible and effective without undue technobabble or abstraction. And if I heard correctly, it nicely explained Neil Armstrong's famous "man/a man" glitch by having the Silent's insertion coming right at that point. Fantastic!

Perhaps the silence could devise successful countermeasures, but it's plausible enough that they couldn't that I'm willing to suspend disbelief.
And as with @31, this does not mean that the Silence are defeated completely or everywhere. So bravo.

As to the Doctor and Torchwood not noticing them before, my read was that they stayed in the background influencing as necessary, not being perpetually out there in numbers a la "They Live". Again, with @34, I'm willing to give them that one.

As to the week's wait, I rewatched part 1 just before part 2, so the week didn't really ruin it for me.

Loved the episode and am looking forward to more.
imnotanexpertbut...
42. Pendard
I would bet money that River Song is the little girl and that Amy and Rory are her parents. I don't think she's a Time Lord, exactly, but I think she's a Silence experiment that has some strange abilities, including superhuman strength, which isn't a Time Lord trait, and regeneration, which is. Could it be possible that, at the same time as they're trying to build a TARDIS, they're trying to build someone to fly it for them?

Where I disagree with CraigWhoIsDoctorSong (#15) is this: there is no way that the Doctor can be the little girl's father if the little girl is River. None. I think we're all familiar enough with Steven Moffat's tone for Doctor Who to recognize that it doesn't include incest. Even accidental incest is probably not someplace he's going to go with it. Maybe she's one, maybe she's the other, but there is no way in hell she'll turn out to be both!

@RayRadlein(#22): We did find out what happens when Amy shoots at the girl. She says she's sorry she tried to shoot her and she's glad she missed. There's a bullethole off-center in the faceplate of the spacesuit.

@Robotech_Master (#25): Maybe they got the dwarf star alloy from the Roswell spacecraft. We know there was one in the Doctor Who universe (the Doctor mentioned it in "Dalek") and it is traditionally kept in Area 51. As for how they can lift it when it's the densest material in the universe... you've got me there. I think it's meant to be core material from a neutron star (the only type of dwarf star I can think of that isn't still burning). If that's what it is, that prison they built for the Doctor probably weighed more than the entire Earth!

@Tatterbots (#33): I'm pretty sure this episode happens before "The Pandorica Opens" in River's timeline -- otherwise she would have tried to kiss the Doctor goodbye at the end of "The Big Bang." River didn't recognize Rory in "The Pandorica Opens" for the same reason that Amy didn't recognized Rory in "The Pandorica Opens" -- he had been erased from history. (Of course, for time travelers, the cracks could only erase the memory of someone from their own timeline. More evidence that River is Rory and Amy's daughter?)

@Ursula (#38): Similar to your idea, if the Silents' TARDISes are functional, they could have held Amy prisoner in there for any amount of time. They say she's been there for "many days." It's a scary thought but she could have brought the baby to term, delivered it, and never been aware of the passage of time. (However, I'm under the impression they might not work right yet.)
Ray Radlein
43. RayRadlein
Well, yeah, we find out that her shot missed the face of the girl in the spacesuit; but that's still a bit short of finding out how Amy got from there to Monument Valley.
imnotanexpertbut...
44. Dr. Thanatos
My crazy theory: Dr Song=The Doctor.

Gives us a female Doctor; and who else could get away with calling himself/herself "Sweetie" all the time?
imnotanexpertbut...
45. Bryan Rasmussen
ok well I had a theory that I thought the points of Impossible Astronaut pretty much undid, although now I am watching it again and there are phrases and such that are also found in Day of the Moon that I am starting to think again my theory is correct and that they intend to write their way out of the holes they've put themselves in.
River Song is Amy Pond.

The reason I think this is it allows for some very satisfying conclusions to things that are still left open.

It is implied that River Song kills a man who was a great hero to many. The implication is that she kills the Doctor. I think that is too simple for Moffatt - I know I would not care to do it because it is so damn obvious especially after drawing it out over several years with implications that it is the Doctor she kills - act like it is a big mystery for several years imply it is the doctor and then have it actually be the doctor - pretty boring.

She has said that was the best man she has ever known that she killed.

From what we know of River the Doctor is the best man she has ever known, but Rory is the best man Amy has ever known.

It would be extremely satisfying to have it be Rory that is the great hero for many. Shades of Donna Noble. He is killed after saving probably all of existence - or more likely as part of saving all of existence. Amy is transformed to River Song somewhere in the process.

I thought that this theory is broken by River and the Doctor kissing - and I think for my theory to work best River and the Doctor should remain flirtatious but platonic as is the current assumption with Amy.

However this could be handwaved away with Amy/River being especially cunning, or just with Amy/River having the Doctor as the fallback after Rory's death.

so other reasons why I think it could be:

1. River always calls the Doctor Sweetie, but in the Pandorica opens she said forgive me my love. Since it is evident Moffatt is working in a multi season arc I think it could be that she says it for Rory, and the reason is that River has several times looped through the same situation trying to keep from blowing up because it will turn out that something to do with that has to do with Rory getting killed in the future by her. (one of the timey-wimey things Moffatt does well)

2. River evidently shares Amy's ability to remember the Doctor at the end of the big bang, otherwise why drop off the book to Amy. But if so why didn't River just bring him back with her memories, because of course she knows it is Amy's job to do being Amy.

3. The use of the phrase dropped from the sky to describe the doctor by River in The impossible Astronaut which Amy uses in the Day of the Moon - supposedly to describe Rory. (this is somewhat forced since as Amy observes it is a common phrase, everyone uses it.)

4. River's description of her experience of first meeting the Doctor mirrors Amy's well enough that Rory says he doesn't need to imagine it.

5. The River Song Amy Pond name similarity (although that is probably just being named by the same person)

actually those are just off the top of my head there are a bunch more.

arguments against -

1. River should know a lot of stuff happens beforehand if she was Amy Pond - explained away with partial amnesia from her transformation, handwavy timey-wimey stuff due to looping through time several times trying to save Rory's life, or she is just hiding it- manipulating things to try to save Rory's life because she is very disciplined about this matter.

4. It does not seem that the Doctor would necessarily agree to have a physical relationship with Amy Pond - whether or not she was transformed to River Song or not (then again a lot more likely to be agreeable for that then to agree to having an incestuous relationship with a River Song that was the daughter of him and Amy as per some theories or to agree to take up with the daughter of his best friends - if River turns out to be the little girl grown up and that she is the daughter of Amy and Rory.)

5. This would basically remove Amy from the series because River does not change back to her at any point - she goes on to be archived in the library.
Ashe Armstrong
46. AsheSaoirse
Why does Amy need to turn into River at all, though? Why can't they just be their own characters? I realize that it's just the "What If?" Game (and so much fun, that game) but I dunno. This whole Amy/River thing just seems to be stretching.

Also, if River is the little girl and the little girl has regeneration, why would the future Doctor have altered his screwdriver to save River's consciousness in the library? Why wouldn't she have just gone, "It's okay, watch," done the thing and regenerated?
imnotanexpertbut...
47. Bryan Rasmussen
As far as the doctor not noticing the Silence before - Timey-Wimey.

I'm going to quote from something I said at
http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/doctor-who-day-of-the-moon-one-small-step :

"......
One of Moffatt's greatest strengths is his refusal to
be hampered by paradox when involving time travel, in fact it is
something of a signature of his to have an explicit paradox and to not
even bother explaining it.

The implicit theory is that these
things that are paradoxical to us as humans are not necessarily
paradoxical to someone with a better understanding of time,
unfortunately a time lord cannot convey this understanding to us, just
as there are many concepts we cannot convey to dogs.

As I noted
it is one of his greatest strengths as a writer in doing this, most
writers wouldn't think of it or dare to do it without a lot of
explication.

It is of course also a weakness - as most strengths
are at some point - because he is writing for us and we understand all
these things as paradoxes. At some point he will have to wrap up some
paradoxes or provide some explanation less handwavey than normal to explain not all paradoxes but some of them or what is a really admirable bit of bravery as a writer will start to seem like a cheap trick."

Well he has already made some implied explanations of how timey wimey alterations of the past worked in the Christmas special, in how the changes of the past started to show up in the memory after they happened, so that there was a cognizance at least momentarily that both the things were true - these things had not happened and they had happened. I think the explanation is sort of a rippling out almost immediately through all time of such changes with some seconds of change in the mind as they happen - after which the new reality replaces the old.

time travelers remain aware of the changes but it is not certain that others do.
Why does the old man remember the changes - probably because he had the real memories engaged in his mind at the moment.

Let us suppose the Doctor changes a fact in 1969, if we are not thinking about thing he changed at the time he did it we would not have it in our heads and the next time we thought about it we would remember it the way it is now. If we were thinking about it at the time we would perhaps have a sensation of remembering it both ways - "I remember Niel Armstrong said A Man but also just Man!" A quick look at a reference work that reflected the change would tell us that of course he said just Man, and probably our little doubts would be forgotten as just a weird example of the human brain doing weird things and memory being not a precise thing.

So, let us suppose that the Silence were not always here. In the Vampires in Venice episode of last season the vampires were here to escape the Silence. Perhaps due to parts of last season, such as the destruction of the rest of the univers, the Silence came to earth. And from that point they were always here.
Not sure how they get reconstituted in the new reality given that they are always forgotten, even by little Amelia Pond. Maybe in fact they are a side effect of her strange memory powers. Probably not though - still I think it will turn out that they technically haven't always been here.
imnotanexpertbut...
48. Bryan Rasmussen
"Why does Amy need to turn into River at all, though? Why can't they just be their own characters?"

obviously they can stay their own characters, and if they stay their own characters then the problems associated with them being their own characters will have to be solved.

Problems:

Who is River Song - why is it such a big damn mystery woooo thing.
you're gonna find out soon enough and I'm sorry thats when everything changes. woooo
come on, whoever she is gotta be a big deal for all that build up.

And who does she kill. The Doctor? The most obvious one to have her kill? Sort of tedious to draw out the hints for two seasons.


So yeah they can be their own characters. But then mysteries need resolutions appropriate to their build up, no doubt that can be done as well in any number of ways. My theorizing is basically how I would end up doing it.
Jason Henninger
49. jasonhenninger
As has been said in many other places by more articulate folks, Moffat's storytelling in Doctor Who is more fairy tale than science fiction, and I am fine with that.

Never the less, I have a billion questions (many of which are asked above by other people). One in particular...please help me out with this. Why was it necessary for the Doctor to be imprisoned, all the fake deaths, etc? I feel like I missed the explanation for why such subterfuge was required, neet-o though it was.

Other thoughts:

I didn't really care for River or Rory early on, but they are becoming more and more fantastic with every episode.

I think the Silents are the Moffat equivalent of Joss Wheadon's Gentlemen from Hush (best Buffy ep ever, I say). Disconcerting powers, nice suits, freaky heads. I'm glad the two races can't team up. We'd be screwed. (Hmm... if Gaiman can write an episode, surely Joss could too. How fabulous would that be?)
Ursula L
50. Ursula
From what we know of River the Doctor is the best man she has ever known, but Rory is the best man Amy has ever known.

I'm not sure. The Doctor is certainly the man that River loves. But you can love someone and still see that they have flaws.

And the Doctor is flawed - a hero to many, but also profoundly destructive, reckless, etc. He may come to love River in time, and certainly forms some sort of long-term relationship with her, but it is a relationship that is about adventure, not necessarily virtue.

Rory may not be as powerful as the Doctor, but I tend to think of him as the better man. He's smart, gentle, nurturing, incredibly responsible, loyal, loving, etc. He's already been a hero to many as the legendary lone centurian in the starless world, famed for his protection of the Pandorica (with Amy in it.)

River is wise enough to see the Doctor's flaws, even while loving him. If she's going to kill the "best man" she's known, I'm far more worried about Rory than the Doctor.
Ursula L
51. Ursula
Also, if River is the little girl and the little girl has regeneration, why would the future Doctor have altered his screwdriver to save River's consciousness in the library? Why wouldn't she have just gone, "It's okay, watch," done the thing and regenerated?

Remember that River stopped the Doctor because she knew that the force of fixing the computer would kill the Doctor without letting him regenerate. If it was merely a choice about which of them would regenerate, then she might well have let the Doctor do as he wanted.

Having the ability to regenerate is not the same as being immortal. It makes it harder to kill you, but not impossible. The Library was a situation where regeneration couldn't save the Doctor, and it couldn't have saved River either. The only thing she could preserve was her past with the Doctor, and his future with her.
imnotanexpertbut...
52. Bryan Rasmussen
'If she's going to kill the "best man" she's known, I'm far more worried about Rory than the Doctor.'

Maybe, but I think she would need to know Rory a lot better than she does now to think he was the best man she's known...
imnotanexpertbut...
53. Bryan Rasmussen
actually maybe that is reasonable, gets rid of complications. She kills Rory after story demonstrating that Rory is the best man, a hero to millions.

She stays in Prison only breaking out when necessary due to promise to Amy?

I don't think she is the little kid or anything like that though. The kid is probably Amy's, and it has a timehead.
imnotanexpertbut...
54. Dr. Thanatos
All this is too complicated for me.

Dr. Song is a timetraveler. She knows way too much. In my mind she must be a Timelord; and this means she is either the Master, the Doctor, or someone else who somehow escaped the Time Wars. Romana, anyone?

Of course she could be Captain Jack, but that would be wrong on so many levels...
imnotanexpertbut...
55. Marian
@54 - oh you made me laugh!

I liked the idea that someone posted a year ago (maybe) that Dr. Song was an avator of the Tardis. He always fondles the Tardis as if it was a woman and calls it Honey. Unfortunately, she went and blew that for me when she said that she met the Doctor when she was a young woman. Blast!

I was going to ask how Rory can remember being plastic, but I guess he's a time traveler now also. He remembers both possibilities. What a horror. If Amy can be both pregnant and not-pregnant (and don't you love the fact that the Tardis has a pregnancy filter? Why, I wonder?), then Rory can be both plastic and not. Can remember being older than the Doctor, but not be truly older.
Teresa Jusino
56. TeresaJusino
JasonHenninger @49 -
"(Hmm... if Gaiman can write an episode, surely Joss could too. How fabulous would that be?)"

I've always wondered if they've ever had an American writer (or a writer not from the British Isles) on Doctor Who before?
imnotanexpertbut...
57. Bryan Rasmussen
ok well here's a thing I am wondering - what the hell does Silence will Fall mean?

Last Season I thought it was a physical phenomenon - Silence will Fall (over all existence - meaning existence will be extinguished)

Then with the introduction of the Silence it seemed reasonable to assume it was a prediction of the downFall of the Silence made by some second anti-Silence party of force that the Doctor has yet to encounter.

Then the Silence that was shot said Silence will Fall like it was a threat.
It is stretching it a bit to have the aliens refer to themselves as The Silence and have it mean the same as the first physical phenomenon theory. It would seem to be a highly ungrammatical usage. It would have been as silly if he had said Silence will Spring (as in 'into action!')
imnotanexpertbut...
58. Dr. Thanatos
Does "Silence will fall" mean the same as "Amy will shut the heck up?"
imnotanexpertbut...
59. Pendard
@jasonhenninger(#49): I also wondered why Amy, Rory and River were being chased by the FBI while the Doctor was imprisoned, but I assume it was so they could gather information on the Silence without the Silence feeling like they needed to get involved. The Silence are used to having humans do their dirty work for them. Maybe with the Doctor out of the picture, they were less inclined to view River and the Ponds as threats.

@Ursula(#50): I see what you mean about Rory being arguably better than the Doctor. But if they kill Rory one more time, I expect someone in the episode to say, "Oh my God! They killed Rory! You bastards!"

@Bryan Rasmussen(#57): I don't think there's anything to decode in the Silence's catchphrase. When someone says, "Silence falls," it usually means that the state of silence is coming into being. So I think the Silents would probably want Silence to fall. It probably refers to some sort of ultimate victory for them -- what Suzanna Calvieri referred to as "silence and the end of all things" in the last season. We saw the Silence attempt to destroy the universe in "The Pandorica Opens" (and heard Silence falling at the end of the episode). The more interesting question to me is: what do they get out of the destruction of the universe and the end of all things? Why would they want that?
imnotanexpertbut...
60. Christian K
The Little Girl is a child, so... we assume that she must be the younger version or the daughter of someone we know. It would be more fun if she was someone's future, an older version of a current cast member, in a timey why-me sort of way.

So I am predicting that the Little Girl is actually the 12th Doctor. :) Which means we just saw the 12th to 13th regeneration.
R O T
61. rogerothornhill
Watching "Day of the Moon," I kept getting this odd little tickle at the back of my head: how much of this was memories implanted by Silent suggestions? Because, if you think about it, they could get you to do their will and make you *think* you were vanquishing them. (And yes there is a relevant X-Files ep on this one too.)
imnotanexpertbut...
62. Dr. Thanatos
Okay, finally saw 6-2 last night.

The little girl is clearly a Timelord. Who ? She could be the Doctor's Daughter; she could be the Master; she could be the Monk. Is she going to grow up to be River Song? That would be a bit too weird, especially as our our second-favorite pistol-packing archaeologist should remember being eaten by a spacesuit as a child.

I vote for: Dr. Song=The Master; kid=Doctor #17 1/2; Amy=Luna...
imnotanexpertbut...
63. sofrina
what was the point of all this? to save the doctor from an ultimate death? to save the little girl from the silence? to stop the silence from splicing time lord DNA into amy pond's baby? to save mankind from the silence?

who was the doctor running from? the silence? or the little girl?

why did the doctor know who the little girl was? and why did he allow her to kill him? i notice he was all prepared for this. we never see his t.a.r.d.i.s. so he must have sent it away to somewhere unreachable.

river song isn't all that mysterious. she's been dropping heavy hints all along. it would be a thrill if they cleverly turn all these hints into red herrings and give us a juicy "true" story. but she clearly is the doctor's wife somewhere down the line - she knows his real name. and she's doing time for killing him, which must have been necessary to resolve some terrible adventure and yet easy because she knew he would regenerate. or maybe because she knew she'd still be seeing him for years.

and i think river would have been less shocked about the kiss if she had remembered to sync diaries with this doctor when he showed up at the diner.
Ian Rapley
64. Alfonso Baronso
I need to rewatch the lake scenes, because i don't recall them that well but:

- the doctor says to the astronaut something like 'it's ok, i know who you are' before it opens its mask. We don't see its face. Presumably it was the girl, but we don't know for certain

- the doctor lets the astronaut kill him. IIRC, he was killed with the same powers as the silence have. This is puzzling.

- River Song says that alien races would make great efforts for the body of a time lord. This explains why the silence are protecting the girl.

- Later, the silence pay some sort of compliment to Amy Pond when they capture (but don't kill) her. This is a clear hint she's the mother.


So my vote is that the little girl is the next doctor/Amy's daughter. But I'm not sure why she should have the Silence's powers.
imnotanexpertbut...
65. sofrina
the little girl shot the doctor with some sort of gun. she didn't use that electric thing the silence used.
imnotanexpertbut...
66. Lesley A
I had this sudden horrible thought that the little girl might be Susan, but as Jenny's daughter - but that would be just too confusing!
imnotanexpertbut...
67. Dr. Thanatos
Lesley@66,

Are we holding out for The Master being Susan's father? His being the Doctor's son-in-law would explain a great deal!!!!!
imnotanexpertbut...
68. Lesley A
Nah - from watching Jon Pertwee and Roger Delgardo, I always thought that the Doctor and the Master were either brothers or childhood best friends.
imnotanexpertbut...
69. Dr. Thanatos
That was my take also. But it amuses me to think that somewhere in Timey-Whimey Land, the Master is dealing with the Doctor and River Song telling him and Jenny that they don't know how to raise Susan right. Although there's a creepy aspect to the Doctor taking his grand-daughter with him when he steals a Tardis and runs off as a fugitive...
imnotanexpertbut...
70. erehweb
I liked this episode, but the general concept (an unseen race running mankind's destiny) is really far too similar to "They Live", especially because the ending (the aliens are done in by their own hypnotic control powers) is pretty much straight from the story "Eight O'Clock in the Morning" that "They Live" was based on. I did like the twist of forgetting the aliens when you look away from them.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/43784308/8-O-Clock-in-the-Morning-Ray-Nelson

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