Doctor Who Review: Day of the Moon

My apologies for not managing a review of the first episode of the series. Easter kind of got in the way, and then there was lots of manic work stuff when I got back. I did like it a lot, and would probably give it something in the mid thirties I would think. Anyway, here’s the review of the second part…

Cast and Crew

Matt Smith as The Doctor
Karen Gillan as Amy Pod
Arthur Darvill as Rory
Alex Kingston as River Song
Mark Sheppard as Canton Delaware
Marnix Van Den Broeke as The Silent
Stuart Milligan as President Richard Nixon
Kerry Shale as Doctor Renfrew
Glenn Wrage as Gardner
Jeff Mash as Grant
Sydney Wade as Little Girl
Tommy Campbell as Sergeant
Peter Banks as Doctor Shepherd
Frances Barber as Eye Patch Lady
Ricky Fearon as Tramp
Chuk Iwuji as Carl
Mark Griffin as Phil

Written by Steven Moffat

Produced by Marcus Wilson

Directed by Toby Haynes

Originally shown on the 30th of April 2011

Premise

America, 1969: aliens you can’t remember after you can’t see them anymore are wandering around. What do they want? How long have they been here? Can they be stopped?

High Points

  • “Not Apollo 11, that would be silly. It’s Neil Armstrong’s foot.”
  • “There’s always a bit left over, isn’t there?”
  • On a more personal note, “Yes… he is.”
  • Low Points

    Umm… couldn’t think of any really. The very start might be considered slightly cheap, I suppose, but it resolves otherwise quickly enough to prevent serious dissatisfaction.

    Scores

    Originality: It’s a differently constructed story to what we’re used to, continuing the trend of Moffat embracing time travel and its consequences. The Silence are classically terrifying, but taken to a place that feels very new. 5 out of 6.

    Effects: Generally good effects although not perfect in places, particularly none of the TV screens looked at all real. 4 out of 6.

    Story: A great continuation of the series opener, and lots of hooks for what’s coming later without making it feel completely unfinished. Satisfactory for now, and there’ll be more on this topic later. It was also tense, witty and scary in just about the right proportions. 5 out of 6.

    Acting: The cast seem to have levelled up in acting since last series. All the regulars were great. I wasn’t so convinced by ‘President Nixon’ though. 5 out of 6.

    Emotional Response: The blend of fear and excitement and relief and humour here is now what we expect from a really good Doctor Who episode, and it’s delivered straight to the brain, possibly with some sort of invisible probe which emerges from the television screen. 5 out of 6.

    Production: Some great locations and sets (particularly the orphanage), and a wonderful, wonderful set of sound effects for the Silence. 5 out of 6.

    Overall: 5 out of 6.

    In total, Day of the Moon receives 34 out of 42.

    17 replies on “Doctor Who Review: Day of the Moon”

    1. TwistyHat says:

      Isn’t there a way to get rid of that stupid bar at the top?

      • zocalo says:

        Doesn’t bother me, although it does seem redundant given the box on the top right, but using AdBlock or similar you would need to block the URLs that include the text “admin-bar”

    2. Great episode, definitely wrapped up the current story, but left so much out for the rest of the season. The girl was supposed to be human according to the readings on the space suit, but of course how’d she start to regenerate? My wife suggested ‘Doctor’s daughter’, but if that were the case I suspect he’d have been older… It could go back to the chameleon arch, but that’s an awfully overused device then. I think it goes back to what River was saying, that entire empires would tear the world apart for a single cell. So this might be a Time Lord child, and the Silence were raising it in an environment that they knew some Time Lord’s liked (as in the Doctor.)

      I’m sure plenty of folks think that this child is going to be Regenerating into River (in some form.) That sounds like too easy of an answer for me.

      For it to be the daughter of Amy and The Doctor (which I’m sure is in plenty of fanfic,) that’d put a lot into canon that the long-term fans would seriously hate. I can’t see that happening.

      My favorite part was Amy inadvertently affirming her love for Rory. The ‘He is’ line was awesome, too.

      [This post brought to you by the entire bottle of wine I happened to drink during this episode.]

      • And on second viewing: Eyepatch Girl in the door who’s window disappears… Dreaming? Is this a reference to the Dream Lord episode again, where Amy was pregnant?

    3. MrWin2kMan says:

      Glaring continuity error: In the Valley of the Gods scene set in July, 1969, when Amy Pond was caught by Canton Delaware and the Men in Black, they were driving a Jeep CJ-7…which wasn’t sold until 1976.

    4. J_W_W says:

      I thought that this was an absolutely amazing episode and I have an idea about where its all going…….


      My explanation, with a big assist from my son on a key aspect.

      The girl IS Amy and Rory’s daughter. The TARDIS is messing with the very fabric of her being, and because the TARDIS is a creation of the timelords, she ends up being very much like, or even actually, a timelord.

      The Silence, driven from Earth and on the run, use their time machines (like the one from the lodger) to go and capture Amy and Rory’s daughter. Pure revenge move here. They construct for her a spacesuit, not knowing that its their real undoing (wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey here). The spacesuit is to hold her captive, but it’s also something more.

      My son came up with this bit. The spacesuit is a TARDIS itself. Or at least like the lodger device which itself is like a TARDIS. That’s how the astronaut materializes in the water at the beginning of the impossible astronaut. Other facts supporting this are that the spacesuit is healing itself and that it chases after the girl (the TARDIS sometimes comes after the Doctor when he’s in trouble). Also, the TARDIS has a knack for calling world leaders (i.e. Churchill).

      So now on to why the astronaut kills the Doctor in the first place. Well, as an orphaned timelord (that we see at the end of this episode) she’s very pissed about the Doctor leaving her behind. So making use of the TARDIS she has, she manipulates the Doctor into meeting her in 2011 in Arizona and Kills him. She also shoots him again in mid regeneration to make sure he stays dead.

      But…………

      She comes to feel really guilty about killing the Doctor. Having access to a time machine, she arranges to learn more about the man she killed. Her guilt leads her to eventually turn herself in for “killing the best man she ever met”, which is why she’s in jail. The touching irony is that she falls completely for the Doctor.

      River is the girl is Amy and Rory’s daughter and is for all intents and purposes a Timelord. Her knowledge of the TARDIS comes from having a time machine of her own that is very similar to the TARDIS, complete with a working chameleon circuit and cloak. Which is why they never catch her with it in her cell. Of course her TARDIS’ natural state is a spacesuit. And remember, the first time we meet River, she’s in a spacesuit.

      This gives the Doctor and River’s relationship the circular nature. She kills him at their first meeting from her perspective. She dies at their first meeting from the Doctor’s perspective.

      The rest of this season is going to be about piecing together this whole back story. The Silence will be on the chase for Amy’s daughter. River will have to come clean about what she did. And they’ll have to find a way to save the doctor from her.

      That’s my guess.

      • bsm117532 says:

        Interesting ideas. I agree for the most part. But I was thinking that in order for the child to be a time lord, she should be the spawn of the Doctor, not Rory. Which, if the child is River, makes the River/Doctor love affair rather incestual. And since it doesn’t seem like the Doctor and Amy would ever hook up anyway…

        I find it a bit difficult to believe that the Tardis could manufacture a Time Lord. I’m confused how Time Lords reproduce, given the abject lack of sexuality on the part of the Doctor, throughout the series.

        As to the space suit being a Tardis, spot on.

        So, I still expect some surprises with respect to River’s origin and Amy’s pregnancy. Some wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey bits I expect. Perhaps there’s a deeper reason for their relative direction in time. Perhaps River is not a Time Lord, until she kills the Doctor and absorbs his energy. Perhaps they’re setting up for a new season with a female Doctor…

        And I LOVE the backwards/forwards life idea. How creative! And River’s face when the Doctor told her it was their first kiss!

        • J_W_W says:

          I really think that the TARDIS from knew Doctor Who can do it (turn Rory and Amy’s daughter into a timelord). After all it turned Rose into something more than a timelord.

          • bsm117532 says:

            Good point.

            So the Tardis may be to Dr. Who as the main deflector array is to Star Trek? e.g. the source of magical solutions to problems? That kind of sucks… The audience should at least in principle be able to anticipate…

            I should re-watch the end of Rose’s season…

        • Kiersten says:

          I think Amy couldn’t make a choice in Amy’s Choice, and there are two universes as a result..
          One where she is with Rory and one where she isn’t……

      • madhack says:

        I agree that she’s Amy’s and Rory’s daughter. Amy’s worries about what their adventures would do to an embryo, plus the TARDIS’s pregnancy test results, make me feel confident that she’s just getting a different result depending on when she’s tested.

        I do, however, think it was the older Doctor himself who summoned everyone to Arizona. He’s the one who knowingly told them not to interfere. It’s all part of a larger plan, and possibly one where Amy interferes with the Doctor’s future even though she shouldn’t (yet it somehow works out for the best).

    5. J_W_W says:

      Arrrgggh. Don’t read anything in my post beyond the spoiler text!!

      The whole thing is supposed to be spoilered!!!!

      • But it’s speculation, not a spoiler!

        • J_W_W says:

          True, thanks. But if they hadn’t seen the episode, I did put some things in there that are derived from the episodes.

          I was trying to be safe with spoilers, but didn’t realize they ran out at the end of a paragraph.

      • Kiersten says:

        I want our preview button back!!!

    6. danaris says:

      Hm. The girl seems to be Amy’s daughter—after all, there’s a picture of Amy holding her as a baby (assuming that’s what that picture is, which seems reasonable).

      However, Amy wasn’t the only one to feel nauseous in the warehouse. The only other one to feel so was River—whom we believe to have had a very, very serious relationship with the Doctor at some point in her time stream. Indeed, given the to-do around the kiss, it seems that her relationship with him must be coming up relatively soon in his time stream…which means it wasn’t that long ago in hers.

      So…do the Silence produce nausea—but only, visibly, in women? Or is the answer simpler—was Amy not the only one who was pregnant?

      If the baby is to be born some time in the near future, it’s far from inconceivable that Amy would be present to hold her…

      • Jethro says:

        Exactly. Amy could easily be a godmother or you know. Someone who’s around.We didn’t see all the OTHER pictures. This is going to be fuuuuuun.

    Comments are closed.