‘Doctor Who’ Season 6 Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 4 years ago by , Updated April 30th, 2011 at 10:36 pm,

doctor who season 6 trailer america Doctor Who Season 6 Premiere Review & Discussion

Check out our review of part 2: Doctor Who: ‘Day of the Moon’ Review & Discussion

Fear not – the Doctor has returned! After many months of waiting, Doctor Who season 6 has officially begun.

With Amy (Karen Gillan), Rory (Arthur Darvill) and the always elusive Dr. River Song (Alex Kingston) on his side, the Doctor is ready to take on the world – or so we hope. In tonight’s Doctor Who season 6 premiere, entitled “The Impossible Astronaut,” the Doctor may have met his match.

When President Nixon begins to receive calls from a mysterious child, the Doctor (Matt Smith) investigates what preternatural being could be causing this telephonic abnormality. But, is the Doctor in over his head? Could certain events bring about the end of the Doctor?

The Impossible Astronaut episode description:

The Doctor is back in the biggest, most mind-blowing series opener ever. Amy, Rory and River also return for an adventure that combines humour, shocks for our heroes and one of the creepiest creatures they’ve ever encountered…  The Doctor is engaged on quest that takes him from the visually stunning Utah desert to the White House where he’s enlisted by President Nixon himself to assist enigmatic former-FBI agent Canto(Mark Sheppard). His mission – save a terrified little girl from a mysterious spaceman.  Prepare for the return of the galaxy’s greatest hero.

Prepare for excitement. And prepare – if you can – for the Silence…


In tonight’s premiere episode of Doctor Who, The Doctor, and his faithful companions Amy, Rory, and River Song, went somewhere they’ve never been before (and when you’re traveling in the Tardis, that’s impressive) – America. Yes, the famed British sci-fi icon (played in his current iteration by the wonderful Matt Smith) has made his way to the United States, and as a new American Doctor Who fan, it was exciting to see. Be advised that this is a full review with a number of plot spoilers – so if you haven’t seen it yet, stop reading.

SPOILERS for Doctor Who Season 6 Premiere

In the beginning of the episode, Amy, Rory, and River all receive notes (in Tardis blue envelopes) with a date, time, and coordinates. Assuming the notes come from The Doctor, the three make their way to the U.S.A. to meet up and plan a trip to 1969 – the year of the moon landing.

Of course, as with all things related to The Doctor, nothing is quite as it seems. For one thing, The Doctor is 200 years older than when we last saw him. For a time-traveler, that’s not necessarily too strange. However, things get really crazy moments later when The Doctor meets a mysterious astronaut walking toward him out of a lake (in a completely surreal shot that could only work in the deserts of the American West) and is killed in front of his friends (in mid-regeneration no less).

That’s right, The Doctor dies in the first five minutes of the episode. But can The Doctor ever really die?  The version that was killed, and subsequently set aflame by Rory and cast out into the lake, was actually The Doctor’s future self. Moments later in the episode, The Doctor comes back – or rather his old self (or current self) appears for the first time.

Doctor Who Season 6 Premier Doctor Who Season 6 Premiere Review & Discussion

If you’re confused, don’t worry, I was too. And the rest of the episode didn’t do much good in clarifying the situation. Of course, that’s why it’s a two-parter! Besides, when you’re having this much fun along the way, what difference does it make?

I’ll try and recap the plot as best as I can, but again, it was pretty confusing, so please feel free to clarify my summary in the comments. Basically, after The Doctor shows up (the 900-year-old version), nobody can tell him what’s going to happen in his future – lest they create some kind of time-space explosion. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t try and stop the astronaut that killed him from ever making it to 2011.

And so, the gang makes their way back to 1969, with The Doctor reluctantly trusting his companions – who he knows are holding something back. In 1969, President Richard Nixon has been receiving a distress call from a little girl somewhere complaining about a malevolent “spaceman.” After a few minutes, The Doctor figures out the girl’s location and takes ex-FBI agent Canton Everett Delaware III with him to investigate (In the beginning of the episode Delaware III was issued an invitation to meet the 1100-year-old Doctor and witness his death).

Here, the episode begins to come together a bit more clearly. Throughout the premiere, Amy has been spotting alien creatures (who wear sharp suits) out of the corner of her eye. Whenever she stops looking at them, however, she completely forgets that they ever existed. Later, River and Rory both see the aliens and experience the same phenomenon. The aliens are a formidable enemy, and one that rivals the Weeping Angels in the creepiness factor.

Once The Doctor arrives at his destination, Rory and River investigate a series of tunnels that appear to be created by the alien creatures (of course, they don’t know this, because they keep forgetting the aliens exist). Eventually, they end up in what seems to be the control room of a spaceship (extremely similar to the partially constructed spaceship found in the Season 5 episode “The Lodger”).

If the partially constructed craft is related to the earlier episode, then it makes sense that the cries for help were actually a trick intended to bring The Doctor to the ship – since he’s likely to be the only one capable of defeating the aliens. In previews for next week’s episode, however, it appears that The Doctor and his crew are facing a pretty formidable foe. According to some brief lines in the preview, the aliens have been living among us for years, completely unknown to humans. How will The Doctor and his team fight off an enemy that they can’t remember? I don’t know, but I’m definitely excited to find out.

Doctor Who The Impossible Astronaut Doctor Who Season 6 Premiere Review & Discussion

Speaking of finding things out, we learned a bit more about River Song’s mysterious past, though we still don’t know what she did to land her in prison. During a conversation with Rory, River reveals that she met The Doctor when she was just a young woman, and that he knew everything about her. Every subsequent time she’s met him, she knows more about him, but he knows a little less about her. They’re moving in separate time-lines, and, eventually, River knows that there will come a day when he won’t know her at all.

In addition, Amy is pregnant. On one hand, way to go Rory! On the other hand, why does that matter? It’s hard to imagine what role Amy’s pregnancy will have on the narrative going forward. Does it mean she won’t be able to go on as many adventures – out of fear for her baby’s safety? The revelation was squeezed into the episode at the very end, right before Amy shot at an astronaut, whom she believed was the same astronaut who kills The Doctor at the beginning of the episode – so I’m hoping they flesh out what it means in part two.

Anyway, I thought the premiere, while very complicated, was also very enjoyable. The show made great use of its American settings, providing an epic scope to the episode that was fitting – given that it involved the death of The Doctor. Also, I really enjoyed all of the core actors in the episode, particularly Matt Smith, whose fun-loving and fast-talking variation on The Doctor has been exciting to watch.

I think the alien enemy featured in the episode was extremely spooky, and a great challenge for The Doctor. The preview for next week’s episode seemed to show things getting especially bad, with The Doctor in shackles and Rory cut-up beyond belief. Obviously, The Doctor will make his way out (like he always does) but it seems as if Steven Moffat is going to give another season of episodes that toy with the darkness inherent to The Doctor’s life – while also delivering on the action and adventure that made season five so much fun to watch.

Let us know what you thought of the episode in the comments, and feel free to speculate on what River’s relationship with The Doctor is – as well as what Amy’s revelation means for the rest of the series.


Doctor Who airs Saturdays @9pm, on BBC America

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  1. feat not eh? well as a great man once said: “There is nothing to feat but feat itself.” :D

  2. So if I’m experiencing ‘feat’, does that make me ‘scated’?

  3. Ugh. Nothing like having the very first word be a typo….

    Fixed, thanks.


  4. The episode was great!! Dr Who is back!!

  5. Ah, I see you finally actually put the review up. Rather sneaky trick earlier with that title and no review.

  6. So my caveat is that this is the first episode I see of the restarted Doctor Who. I grew up on the Fourth and Fifth Doctor and since the beginning of the year I’ve been making my way through Doctor Who from Series 1. Yes, 1963 Series 1, not 2005 Series 37 or whatever it would be. I don’t know about Nine and Ten, but my first impression is that the actor chosen to be Eleven is not a very strong one. I felt like he was constantly upstaged byAlex Kingston and Mark Sheppard.

    I also have to disagree on the complexity of the episode. As soon as he said he was 1100+ and, well, him being a time traveler, that part was easy. In addition Amy running around looking nauseous was obvious considering when the 1100 y.o. shows up he says something to her and the husband along the lines of “yes yes you two go off and make babies.”

    Anyway, in general I wasn’t particularly impressed and I was left wondering if they still consider their target audience to be children as it was once upon a time. And considering my just having seen “The Three Doctors” this morning and how relatively little time and melodrama was given to the Doctor of different ages being in the same time point, I guess they expected more of children in 1973 and didn’t belabor the point.

    • On the one hand those were three discrete Doctors, not three versions of the same Doctor – therefore easier for kids to understand they’re different people. Additionally, they could easily have thrown in more temporal speak int he Three Doctors (“no, don’t tell me about what happens in my own timeline!”) but I’m guessing they chose not to because in those days time travel was not as well fleshed out a theatrical concept as it is today. There was rarely cause and effect, instances of changing history, the grandfather paradox etc. Moffat loves time travel as evidenced by the Christmas special, and the Comic Relief special, so he’s stretching what us viewers expect as the norm. He’s the first Who writeter to do this – the first in almost 50 years of a series about a TIME traveller, where until now that was just a gimmick to get him into new situations every week. Nowadays it’s part of the plot.

      • Moffat is by no means the first to do this. One only needs to see the Doctor Who serial The Ark to see a brilliant tale of cause and effect. There are others, but The Ark will always stand out in my mind as one of the best in this regard.

        As for last nights episode. I rather enjoyed it. However, I did find that I was being hit over the head with the plot points, whereas others somehow find it all rather confusing. I found it to be as subtle as a hammer to the head at times. But overall great episode.

        • Part of the reason your being Hit over the head with a hammer with many of the plot points, is because it was written(as are all first episodes of the Revived Series) for someone who has NEVER even heard of Doctor Who, let alone grown up watching it. For those people many of the “rules” have to be reexplained, and they tend to do it bluntly, so they can move on with the plot.

          That’s why they added a new “Companion” as well so they can explain to the audience, what is going on.

          Trust me latter in the series the plots will become far less blunt.

          If you don’t believe me go watch the final episode(s) of Series 5(Revived)

    • Get back to us when you watch more of the new Doctor Who. Watching one episode of Smith and none of the other new Doctor episodes isn’t a good place to come in on. It’s like coming in in the middle of a book.
      Smith is fine and I think you would see that if you did more research.

      • I think this is as good a time as any to come in. And if you want to split hairs, the new Doctor episodes is what I would consider coming in in the middle of a book. I watched Matt Smith, I enjoyed Matt Smith, but his performance, though a different take on The Doctor is no Patrick Troughton or Tom Baker. I think this stems from his youth, and having not really had the time to hone his acting chops.

        But again, I’m not slagging on Matt Smith here, because as I said, I enjoyed him and his take on The Doctor, and look forward to more.

  7. Great start! I know I’ll prob be wrong but is it just me or does anyone else think River is the Doctors killer? However it ends up it looks like a good season ahead.

      • Yeah, I was concerned when we found out last season that River was in prison for killing, in her own words, “A good man, the best man I’ve ever known” that she was going to eventually kill the Doctor, but given her shooting at the astronaut and her talk with Rory as she was picking the lock, it would seem extremely unlikely. BTW, that little talk was very touching, IMO.

  8. Regarding River and the Doctor, the story she told Rory, we’ve already seen.
    It was the Doctor and Donna in “Forest of the Dead” two parter.

  9. In regards to the pregnancy thing.. im going with, Amy and River song are of have both been impregnated by the aliens, both had that exact reaction, the ‘feeling sick’ after initially seeing the aliens…which is why it featured so late in the episode..

    at least thats my take on it

    • I think that’s a good thought and it crossed my mind as well – but how would Amy have then really put together that she was pregnant so quickly is the one question. First time mothers don’t put it together instantly like that. That’s the one thing I wonder with her declaring it like that – but the two women both being sick definitely seems like a good point to me.

      • I assumed she knew before this all happened but hadn’t told anyone.

        • Except she was drinking wine at the picnic. Usually pregnant woman don’t drink the first trimester.

          • interesting take, i had just assumed that after someone sees the silence and then forgets them, the only feeling that remains is the sickness they felt.

    • Has anyone thought for a moment that perhaps River Song is Amy and Rory’s baby?

      • duuuuuude that would be crazy and maybe River somehow ends up killing Rory or being involved with his deaht because she said she killed a good man, the best she’s ever known and all little girls think that their father is the best man in the world (well most of the time). lol idk really.

  10. Actually, the doctor has been to america a few times…
    The Daleks in New York episodes for example.

    • They filmed the exteriors in Wales for that one though, TQ; the shots of New York were done minus Tennant, so this is the first time the Doctor himself has (ahem) “travelled across the pond”…as it were…

      • Didn’t they film the TV movie with the 8th Doctor in the US?

        • That was set in San Francisco but shot in Vancouver, I believe.

    • Two things about the “First time in America” thing.

      First, they are talking about only the Revived Series, and not what went before. Though I don’t think they actually bothered to look back and see for certain one way or the other, so they are just playing it save and only talking about the current era.

      Second, This is the first time, in the revived Series, that a crew from the BBC, packed up and came to the USA to film parts of an episode or two on US soil. Up until now every episode “Set” in the US(and there have been a few) where actually filmed with Welsh stand-ins, and the use of stock footage and CGI.

  11. oooh I love a good start. And this one was SUCH a good one! I had wondered how they were going to tie together all those disparate previews. And River, I totally agree with you; he IS so hot when he is being clever…

  12. Excellent start to Series 6, IMO. There’s a bit of customary recaping here and there, but overall it was very cleverly constructed.

    I also got a kick out of seeing The Doctor being all (as one of my friends put it) Jack Sparrow-like by messing around in time, during the prologue.

  13. My sister, a Who-uber-fan, informed me yesterday that the Amy, Rory, and River Song actors are not slated to re-signing for next season. Ergo, perpetuating the constant “new companions-every-two-seasons” arc that DW employs. So! Amy’s pregnancy is probably a convenient way to initialize this transition that will come at the end of this season.

  14. Correction to the review: Actually that same paradox-inducing logic is exactly why they aren’t supposed to stop the astronaut. Amy just couldn’t handle it and decided to try anyway.

    This episode was great and I can’t wait to see the second part next week. I could’ve sworn I heard River mention something about a daughter when she was talking about her relationship with the Doctor. So maybe both River and Amy are pregnant. Not sure. And as someone else pointed out pregnant mothers don’t generally drink wine.

    • @ Mike:
      i’ve been wathing since the early ’80s and this is my most favorite version of the Doctor and of the show ever. i record every episode, as i want to watch them over & over. i think that in every aspect that the current show is as good or better. i love the companions and i love Matt Smith’s take on the Doctor. i feel that he encapsulates what it might be to be a centuries old traveler who loves good & mercy, and is compelled to fight evil.

      i can’t wait to have this season unfold.

      • Danjak,

        100% I agree, watch & tape all the shows, I was just pointing out a trend others have discovered ( not me) that indicates a move from Must See TV to Maybe See later programming. The message of what the Doctor encapsulates again I am 100% in your camp, the difference being I don’t get that from Matt Smith, probably a good guy & I can see as a fine actor but not right for this role. Regarding Steven Moffat, check out Season 4′s Silence in the Library. That is the type of claustrophobic, slow developing, almost Horror-Drama he does well. In fact in Season 5 he achieved much the same with the Weeping Angels storyline. His comfort zone appears to be in telling a smaller ( in terms of sets, cast,budget etc, etc) slower developing, shadow laden tale. Not good enough for me, in fact I have no checkmarks in any column where the current Doctor Who Program tops any other in recent memory. Part of last years TV numbers was a collateral benefit of the David Tennant Doctor, now going into their second season, look for the hammer to fall & changes to happen, the safety net is now officially gone!

        • You mean the trend that is happening to ALL OF TELEVISION. Granted it is likely slower to catch on in the UK because one of the best reasons to use DVR doesn’t apply to BBC One(skipping Commercials). But here in the US, it is very common, and since BBCA is a Commercial Station(unlike BBC1) and since more and more Americans are watching the show(including me), that also could be the reason for the uptick in DVRing.

          That and people have lives and work and such. I myself just finished watching it after working 10hrs “flipping burgers”. It was the first thing I did when I got home…but I did DVR it…would you say that was or was not “Must See TV” for me?

          • No after looking back over my comments I see I did not make it clear, my fault. It was specific ( if memory serves me correct)& dealt only with Doctor Who ( it was in one of the UK publised monthly mags.)& in as many words noted there was a shift from people watching it live to now ( with last season’s new Doctor) more often recording it. Why do you think that abrupt a change? Take your time on that one. My comments were not a statement about your situation, was that a rhetorical question? My take ( which I think I made clear)is that info tells me the show was not that good but some people wanted to collect it to watch later because they were fans of the show but wanted to keep up with it to some extent. It became less of a necessity, look at it that way, that’s how I view it, again just my impression to what was brought up.

            • Just because your reading a magazine that ONLY covers Doctor Who, and they are ONLY talking about a trend they noticed with Doctor Who, does NOT mean that the particular trend is NOT part of a much larger trend that is happening to ALL of TV. In the US people DVRing shows has gotten so bad, that Networks are not putting “Special Segments” inside the commercial breaks in an attempt to get you to not skip them.

              Correlation does not equal causation. Just because there is an increase in the number of people DVRing a show instead of watching it live. Does not mean that the people are going from “Must See” to “Watch it Latter”. I could even in fact be a positive thing, going from I’ll watch it if its on, to I MUST tape it cause I can’t miss it. Also seeing as how we don’t have numbers for people using the VCR to tape the show(it shows up as live watching if anything at all), the shift also could just be people who are finally replacing their VCRs with DVRs as the prices for DVRs continue to drop.

              • Hi,
                don’t you think a pro Doctor Who Mag would have been the first to cite an industry trend had that been the case? Really I am sorry a reasonable explanation is not that palatable to you. Read ( really read this time )what a number of other Doctor Who fans are saying. Comments & queries like ” is the show targeting a younger audience”, “every other Doctor Who works, not Matt Smith” ( that was me), there is a serious “lack of emotion” in the current shows or concepts like, Stephan Moffat has good ideas, plots etc but needs someone to smooth the edges or finish the product. I hope if nothing else I have softened the inevitable blow a major show re-work will deliver come seasons end. Again just my take.

    • I think the only problem that I have with this new Doctor Who series (5 and now 6) is that it lacks the raw emotional charge that series 1-4 had. Each episode wasn’t always about the Doctor and companion it was about humanity in general. Take for instance Love and Monsters it was told completely from Elton’s point of view. He was just some guy we don’t even know and yet it was so powerful saying that the world is so much more stranger and madder and better than we have been told. It made us really question could this all be real, because the whole show sorta paralled our own reality. It connected to us. All the previous series made us think and made us shiver. That’s what I miss about the old Doctor Who, relatively old I suppose. I miss how it was more of an art and how the main focus in the end was people even if the story took place during the 4th Great and Bountiful Human Empire it all came down to people and the small victories and devastating defeats that make life wonderful and fantastic. Honestly Doctor Who hasn’t been turned into a terrible show its just not the same show that I fell in love with.

  15. Well, there are always some fans who aren’t happy with the latest version of the Doctor. That said, Matt Smith certainly isn’t my favorite. I guess my favorite would be either Pertwee or Tennant. OTOH, I don’t agree that Moffat has done a poor job as the showrunner. IMO, the stories have been pretty good, and Amy may be my favorite companion ever, but I’m just not impressed with Smith’s performance.

    BTW, with regards to the no drinking while pregnant “rule”–isn’t that mostly a US thing?

    • No, it’s a medical thing, as it can damage the fetus.

  16. It was really awesome, but I have two major contentions that are really bothering me:

    1) Isn’t it supposed to be IMPOSSIBLE to cross into your own time-line once it has been “established?” They’ve done that twice now – once in the Part Two Season 5 finale and now with the opener for Season 6. I’m sort of cross about this because it disregards tons of plot-lines in the previous seasons.

    2) Is Matt Smith eternally young and have a contract to play the Doctor for the next 200 years? If not, then the 1100-year-old Doctor shouldn’t have looked like Matt Smith. I’m hoping that the writers are aware of this and that this is actually a clue of some sort for what really was going on in that scene.

    • they’ve said that you can’t cross into your own timeline, but the Doctor has been doing that for ages. multiple times has the doctor met up with his other selves to do something. But then Rory did say, “and the universe exploded” who knows, there’s no restrictions even when they say there are.

      and the doctor doesn’t have to age like normal people do, so 200 years isn’t very long, especially for him. The doctor never ages like humans do. So that isn’t actually a problem and I am sure the writers are well aware of it.

      • Right, but it seemed like they didn’t do that hardly at all in Seasons 1-4 except for in season 1 when Rose tried to save her Dad. I understand the loop-hole they’ve created of it being “dangerous but possible”, but I don’t like it. I liked it better when there were clearer restrictions or at least when they behaved as if the rules were more restrictive than they are now. Sure the universe might blow-up, but they don’t seem as worried about it anymore. Writing-wise, it’s just not as interesting to take away that restriction. It’s just the way I feel.

        I just meant that Matt Smith isn’t going to have a 200-year long contract to play the Doctor. Many other actors are going to be playing the Doctor between Matt Smith and the decades to come. I’m fully open to a Doctor aging slowly, but I’m thinking about casting.

        • i think the important thing to remember is that the doctor is a time traveler. so, there is no reason why matt smith couldn’t be the ‘doctor’ for 200 year. however, we don’t need to see all of those 200 years. i mean they other doctors still have comics anf radio shows written about them, about other adventures they do that we never saw on tv. Like the xmas special, all in that one hour of Amy and Rory nearly dying the doctor goes and spends years with Kazran. So the Doctor was ‘gone’ for 2 month and then comes back 200 years later. So he can go off for as long as he wants then come back. his age doesn’t matter really. all it means is that the 11th regeneration has a long life before 12. its just something that we’ve not seen before, regarding the age difference.

    • 1) It could be potentially extremely bad to cross into your own timeline and change things…however time also can be rewritten. There are some fixed points in space/time, and some that can change. Only Timelords can really tell which is which, so it is just safer for the Novice to play it safe and Not do it. If it was impossible, then “The Two Doctors”, “The Three Doctors” and “The Five Doctors” are also disregarding those plot lines. (BTW, he also did it in the episode with the Weeping Angels).

      2)Um, Timelords age MUCH slower then humans do, it would take more then 200 years for his apparent age to change drastically. Second, the past can be rewritten, and anything could happen this season that could change what happened at the lake. Without blowing up the universe. BTW, it is the whole “its very dangerous to cross into your own past thing” that is PREVENTING from telling the Doctor, who it was that “requited” them. Or did you miss the part under the TARDIS control room, where they basically said, IF we tell the Doctor the whole truth, he will be VERY MAD at us, and it could rip a whole in the Universe, and the LAST time he did it(in series 5) the universe exploded.

      • I didn’t mean that the Doctor couldn’t age slowly. I mean that Matt Smith isn’t going to be playing the Doctor for the next 200 years. There are going to be other people playing the Doctor, so they probably shouldn’t have had Matt Smith appear as SUCH an older version. I’m talking about casting, not plot.

        • If I remember correctly the first Doctor said he was somewhere in the 700s as far as age was concerned…last I checked it hasn’t been 200+ years since Doctor Who, started airing. Like any show, we only see certain bits of the Doctor’s Adventures. Heck, I was all set…right up until he died, for current Doctor to just BE 200 years older so there could be far more room for side adventures.

      • And yes, I’m well aware that there are other episodes when that happens. I was just naming a few.

  17. Great first show. Fanillay we get to see who the are the aliens that created that spaceship from the “lodger” episode from last season. Always wondered about that since it was powerdul enough the prevent the tardis from “landing” and thr Dr did say (when he first entered the fake second story flat) that it appeared somebody had attempted to build their own version of a tardis. This would put the aliens on the level of timelords. Quite the villains. Im looking forward to see how this develops.

    • Ok maybe not as powerful as timelords since the thing would have blown up had he touched it because in the Dr word he was simply to much for it. But powerful enemies none the less.

  18. Rory is not cut up.. those are marks from the permanent markers they have hanging on strings around their necks.. little hash marks like counting days.. i think they must be something to do with how they remind themselves of what they have forgotten.. if you look carefully at the preview you will see rory and Amy have those markers hanging around their necks on strings.. and you can see the marks on amy and River song too..

  19. The best thing about Dr. Who these days is everything but the Doctor. The stories are good (though in need of a fresh set of editorial eyes to clean up the loose ends) and the ensemble is fun. But ever since Moffat became showrunner the episodes have felt forced in ways that Blink, The Empty Child-Dr. Dances, and Girl in the Fireplace didn’t. Partly, I think its because he’s expanded the narrative horizon to embrace multiple seasons ala BSG. Personally, I think that’s a huge mistake.

    But it’s also the little things like the signature phrases (“Come along, Pond”, “Hello, Sweetie”) that are supposed to sound — I don’t know, cute? — but make me cringe. Maybe it would work better with a different actor in the lead role. People seem to like Matt Smith, but he just doesn’t seem to jell with the role. While D. Tennant, T. Baker and P. Troughton could be frenetic, they also projected the watchfulness of a man with 900+years of life experience.

    • I couldn’t agree with you less… Except about the “sweetie” thing.. Cringe!

    • I’ll take “Come along, Pond” over “Allons-y” any day… :-P

      Strange, I’d say the exact opposite about Tennant: I buy Smith as an older presence in a younger body – mind constantly racing ten steps ahead of itself – more than I ever did with him. To me Smith can slip into a serious or darker mode effortlessly where Tennant had to work at it. I think the only danger is Smith’s essential peculiarity coming off as cockiness or arrogance. That can get tiresome pretty quickly, which was one of the reasons I became less enamoured of Tennant’s Doctor as the seasons went by. The likes of Jon Pertwee or Tom Baker could project self-confidence without making it seem as though they knew exactly what to do in any given situation.

      • Although I agree with you about the fact that Smith does a very great job at seeming older despite the fact that he is in fact a younger actor than Tennant I thought that Tennant’s doctor got more interesting as his journey went on. After 9, Tennant’s Doctor had to find his role once again in the universe. Once he began to deal and accept the death of his people he started to get cocky. He thought he was better than everyone else hence the Timelord Victorious (shiver). He was knocked off of that pedestal pretty quick and in his last stand against his long time foe the Master, 10 realizes that he has perhaps “lived” too long and sacrifices hiself. The 10th Doctor was fraying at the seams by the time of his death it was a growing up period. I think the whole downfall of 10 was organic and beautifully written. Also it was wholly neccessary.

        • Good points all, bruu – I just felt that Tennant’s metronome-swings back and forth from jack-in-the-box gurning to morose self-examination (aided, abetted and encouraged by RTD) simply dragged on for an age, becoming relentless and unseemly. To the point of exasperation where I was willing him to just regenerate, put us all out of our misery and get over it. :-)

      • To me, this Doctor is coming off as an immature smart-ass with an over-protective mother-figure (Song). I prefer a Doctor who is a mature smart-ass who can take care of himself while having fun and protecting the innocent from malevolent forces.

    • I couldnt agree with you more, Spot on mate!

      • The comment above is regarding big yodas comment

    • Big Yoda I agree, your assessment is spot on. If you don’t buy Matt Smith as the Doctor the foundation gives way. He could pass pre adult no problem but then you compound the problem by bringing in Amy & Rory & voila you have the not ready for prime time Doctor Who Youth Squad. You nailed it as well ( in my opinion) though it doesn’t have to go to the 900 year mark, simply stated the dialogue is another major disconnect. The Doctor’s phrases ( as you point out) again to me come off as condescending & lame rather then cute when someone so youthful ( in appearance) is uttering them to another just as young. Kids playing adult, some will say. Remember not everyone tuning in is going to be familiar with the character history,The Verdict: click, next channel. It’s a bigger problem then expanding the Doctor Who story, Steven has a problem producing meaningful minutes of content. A lot of last season’s shows could have fitted nicely into a half hour time slot. When Russell & Julie were in charge the DVD extras clearly showed there was to an extent a family atmosphere present on set & management was more by committee, which benfitted the final product. With the current version whether right or wrong I perceive Steven in one office & everyone else in another, with memos being the only form of acceptable communication, oh to be a fly on the wall.

  20. The Doctor has come to America. Brought to us by BMW with limited commercial interruption. What a Joke. This episode was nothing more than a profit-making squeeze of Doctor Who fans. Should have been called “The impossible Capitalism”. 15 minutes spread out over an hour. Shame, shame, shame. Doctor Who has gone money hungry. From Timelord to Moneylord.

    • What in the world are you talking about? Clearly you need to learn how to tell time. The episode was 45min; the same amount of time of every single doctor who episode. It wasn’t some capitalist money making machine, it was simply a good episode.

      • Actually, Doctor Who is a money-making maching for the BBC (though I’m sure the BBC is loath to admit it). And that’s a good thing, ’cause there’s a word for shows that don’t make money–”cancelled”.

        And if you thought that the pacing was slow, go watch some classic Who, with 6-parters that could have been condensed down to 2-parters. Though I don’t mind stories that take their time in the telling, since I have an attention span longer than 6 seconds.

        • I agree that the show makes money. I just don’t agree with Ricky’s take on it. Cause obviously making money is good, so that we can keep watching the show.

          that is true, watch some old ones! the old school shows were pretty epic with their 4 to 6 parts. I thought the pacing was fine. Brilliant start to the series!

  21. Yay. Kill the Doctor – a tired plot-shock routine that we hadn’t seen … since the last episode of season 5 (forgot the stairs already did you?), and let’s stick on cliffhangers on every show instead of writing a complete story because – that’s um … hard. (Seriously – every episode except Neil Gaiman’s (who can write) – is a 2-parter. That way they can just throw random crap against the wall and explain it all away the next show – brilliant!)

    It’s going to get old fast. “Hi I’m the Doctor – BLAM” – again? It’s the all-new Kill-the-Doctor In Every Show … show.

    Ya that’s so dark Moff – I’m so impressed. Perhaps they can stuff the Doctor in a garbage disposal next week. That’d be SO DARK! Because it’s a garbage disposal. And they’re dark.

  22. The next time they “kill the doctor” they need to replace Matt Smith in the episode or they need to just change the name to the “Amy Saves Doctor Who” because that’s what it’s turning into. Karen Gillan is the star of the present cast anyway. Matt Smith is ok, but just ok and the other two characters don’t even approach interesting. I also think this is the last time they can use the “thing you see in the corner of your eye” explanation for anything. (Prisoner Zero, Screaming Angels etc). I’m glad the show is back but for a season premiere it’s troubling. It feels like they didn’t have anything new and threw together a bunch of stuff they’d already done.

    Also don’t want to see much of Dr. Who in America – most of what’s on television is set in America, one of the minor selling points of Dr. Who is that it’s generally not.

    • Um
      a) the WEEPING ANGLES, are NOT a thing you see out of the corner of your eye, they are a Statue, that comes alive when your NOT looking.

      b) Prisoner Zero also was not a thing seen out of the corner of your eye, it was an alien using a perception filter. Something that nearly everyone in the Who Universe seems to use, including the Doctor with his TARDIS. The only way you can see something/one using a perception filter is out of the corner of your eye, or by knowing what your looking at is there in the first place.

      c) These aliens are NOT something seen out of the corner of your eye, as they are BEHIND YOU, and therefor can’t be seen by you. The big thing with them are though that you FORGET everything about them, except when your looking right at them.

  23. I think what we saw Saturday was Matt Smith’s ‘death scene’. American soap operas used to do it all of the time: Shoot a new character’s death scene so that it could be shown when the actor was leaving the show. In this case, I think that the Twelfth Doctor ‘killed’ the Eleventh Doctor. We’ve seen this situation before when the doctor regenerates and the new doctor is standing in front of him.

    Considering that Matt acted like he was expecting his killer and knew him, I would not be surprised to see that everything that happens this season sets up the future transition for when Matt leaves the show.

  24. The most important critics for Dr Who are my 4 5 and 6 year old granddaughters. They both gave it a thumbs up and the monsters were scary enough that they were wanting to leave the room but kept looking back over their shoulders. We had a blast an can’t wait till next weeks.

  25. i really liked this episode, but my only problem is that it was excellent!!! :) thiis means that they will have to keep this standard all the way through the season which may be a bit difficult, but if i have faith in anyone it’s Steven Moffat :D