One Silent Step For Mankind
Doctor Who: Day of the Moon
Airdate: April 30th 2011. UK. BBC1
There you go... this is all to be expected at this point. Episode two of the new series really didn’t resolve much from last week's episode, it has to be said. It also, and I’m really sorry to say this and I hope I get proved wrong, seems to be getting a bit too clever for its own good.
You know those Italian Gialli of the late Sixties and early Seventies where almost everyone in the film is a suspect for the killer’s identity - there are so many red herrings that it could be randomly anyone and that’s the way it’s been designed? Well tonight’s episode felt a little bit like that.
This is going to be a short review because a lot of the time I wasn’t sure what was going on... but this is not always a bad thing and it wasn’t such a bad episode... just one which required a lot of concentration and a strong grasp of your “it seemed random, let it go, you’ll find out in 7 months” head! Because that’s what this episode was, one giant set up of seemingly random events which are definitely all going to sink in and make sense somewhere down the line but which you don’t have all the necessary threads to unravel yourself yet.
This episode started off about three months after Amy shot at the astronaut-girl at the end of last week's episode. New guy Delaware has been hunting down and killing off (yeah, right) the Doctor’s companions who have feigned death (it turns out) and gathering them to him to a special prison he’s building to hold the Doctor which is actually a way of keeping new series baddies The Silence out of earshot... all apart from River of course... she takes a dive in the Doctor’s swimming pool. No I’m really not going to elaborate here... if you’re actually reading this little autopsy of a blog post before seeing the episode then “Shame on you!” Go back and watch the episode and then come back here and finish this thing off when you're done, okay? I’ll wait for you!
Right... so where was I...
The Doctor plants nano-recorders in everyones hands so they can leave themselves messages when they’ve seen The Silence and also they’ve been decoratively marking notches on their faces when they’ve seen one (Good grief... I suppose the face looks prettier but, seriously guys... aren’t their easier places for you to mark? Oh well, I guess you can at least see each others faces).
The Silence are, in this episode, vanquished by mankind by posting a video of them ordering their destruction which will only be remembered by people when they’re “in the moment and face to face” with The Silence. Thus The Silence have poetically ordered their kulling from the planet and resolution and closure is achieved... isn’t it? No of course it isn’t... like we won’t be seeing these guys again.
Last week our real concerns were... a) The Future Death of the Doctor (although I know think he might have swapped bodies with a little girl and shot back in time to um... maybe not... not enough pieces of the jigsaw yet) and b) the Pregnancy of Amy Pond.
This week we still have the death of The Doctor to worry about... and something tells me we’ll be left worrying until the last episode of Series Seven unless that’s a red herring... and I’m also hoping that writer Steven Moffat uses this to finally get rid of that stupid “12 regenerations and yer out” rule that the show introduced back in the Eighties.
But things have also gotten a bit muddier... and here’s what we are left with.
The TARDIS seems to think that Amy Pond is both pregnant and not pregnant... and only The Doctor knows this at the moment... both Rory and Amy assume she’s now not. This is pretty much a Schrödinger's Cat kind of theoretical situation and I’m betting at some key point in the series (and we won’t necessarily know it when it happens until we’re told at some point later)... someones going to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak and she’ll either be locked in to a pregnancy or not.
Okay, what else... well there’s the little girl in the spacesuit who is dying back in 1969... except she’s just started to regenerate. Oops. A few theories to throw at you on this one... none of them probably correct but I am trying here people... very trying is my guess. Okay, so theories... The Doctor swapped places with the little girl when she killed him somehow... or maybe that regeneration stuff she possibly grabbed off of him at his death allowed her to regenerate and turn into a new Doctor who we can have time and space adventures with (well they did say it would be game changing) or maybe she’ll just turn into Matt Smith or maybe... just maybe... she’s either The Master or The Doctor already (well they can do that stuff naturally) or then again... she could be regenerating into River Song or Amy Pond I guess... or both... or the love chld of Amy and The Doctor who has timelord genes perhaps? Oh, golly, that was a long sentence wasn’t it. So sorry... had to get it all out.
Right... thing number three and this one is possibly important. At one point in the story a one eyed woman popped open a grate, looked at River and said something along the lines of... “It’s okay, I think she’s still dreaming.” She then winked out of the reality of that episode but... yeah, you know this will all catch up with us again some point down the line don’t you? It’s a throwaway little bit of “stuff” which they wanted to just put in and get past your radar by distracting you with something else later so they can re-surprise you with it several months from now. Even so... I still think this could be the most important clue we have to what’s going on right here.
Oh... and lastly... this is where it starts to get dark because... River Song has got her Doctors confused. She was all over him because she thought they were on more intimate terms by now... they weren’t and... well if she’s losing the plot then I think I can feel perfectly fine with the fact that I seem to be losing the plot too at this point.
Okay then... lets have one last little look at what we’ve got here...
This episode is probably going to annoy the buggery f*ck out of some people who were hoping for a little more closure on the events of last week... not a shakier set of card houses built on the foundations of last weeks little intrigues. But you know what... when all is said and done... it was quite an entertaining little episode... just a bit useless as a stand alone. It was definitely fast paced... just a tad discombobulated perhaps. Doesn’t matter... it may not make sense now but it certainly will do by the start of the 2012 series (I hope). The editing was jarring and choppy and that may not possibly have been just a stylistic decision... more an avoidance of “give aways” but that’s okay too. For the most part, what was actually happening on screen at any one time made sense mostly, apart from maybe the face at the grate, so I can cut them some slack there.
And thank goodness next weeks episode doesn’t look like it’s got anything to do with this storyline so we can all give our bamboozled brains a rest and enjoy some fresh, Doctor Who piratey goodness. Arrrrrr! Avast ye Crimson Gallifreyan!
So... my final verdict has to be.... not such a great episode but not an unnecessary one. After all, you can’t have the brilliance of Back To The Future Part 3 without having to watch the set up in the less than stellar Back To The Future Part 2 first. This episode doesn’t mean so much... yet. But it will do at some point this year. Miss it at your peril!