Check out our review of part 1, “The Impossible Astronaut”: ‘Doctor Who’ Season 6 Premiere Review & Discussion
The second half of the Doctor Who season 6 premiere, entitled ‘Day of the Moon,’ not only kicked-off off Matt Smith’s sophomore season as the Doctor with a bang, but also instilled the notion that if this is a sign of things to come, Doctor Who fans can look forward to what may be the series’ best season yet.
As “Day of the Moon” begins, the gunshot heard from Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) firing upon the little girl can still be heard. Picking up 3 months later, we find Amy being chased through the Valley of the Gods in Utah. With companion Pond cornered by Canton Delaware (Mark Sheppard), an empty body bag thrown to the ground is a sign of things to come for all of the Doctor’s familiar compatriots.
With the time-shifting storyline that Doctor Who mastermind Steven Moffat started in “The Impossible Astronaut,” realizing the actual fate of Amy, Rory (Arthur Darvill) and Rivers Songs proved to carry with it a heavy barrier for entry in terms of believability. Fortunately, the imagery of watching each of the Doctor’s friends being selectively executed served to delay any form of logical conundrum enough for Moffat’s beautifully crafted story to reveal itself.
Since the Silence is intending to reclaim Earth as their own planet, the Doctor, Amy, Rory, River (Alex Kingston) and Canton must venture out into the unknown and unravel the wonderfully rich story of these memory-controlling monsters.
In what may be called a slight shift in genre, “Day of the Moon” quickly finds itself moving from the realm of science fiction into horror. While these two categories tend to blur the lines, and Doctor Who (especially with Steven Moffat) has had its fair share of terrifying episodes, the inclusion of one tiny element proved to top all of the hair-raising moments in “Blink”: a blinking red light.
When the Doctor (Matt Smith) first suggested that everyone implant a blinking voice recorder in their hand, one could not help but think back to Russell T. Davies and his ability to fall in love with nonsensical (and sometimes ridiculous) plot progressors. Of course, Steven Moffat is no Davies, and within the first two minutes of mentioning what appeared to be an absurd story point, Moffat once against proved why he is one of the best, as this little blinking light turned out to be one of most successful emotional triggers ever seen in the medium of television.
Venturing through a seemingly abandoned children’s hospital, Moffat used his blinking lights to breathe life into what would have simply been empty rooms. Each corner, no matter how well lit, had the potential to contain the Silence. With their memory-wiping ability in full force, both the characters and viewers were unaware if they had actually encountered these beings until after it had already happened.
Since a break in focus will allow the Silence to wipe their memory, it was the little blinking light that ramped the tension level to its highest possible setting, as a blinking light meant that something had already happened – but you just cannot remember what.
The ability to put so much power in a simple element takes the talents of truly great writer. Even though Moffat has clearly proven this with his past writings, this episode was a sign that there’s much more to Moffat than perplexing mysteries of time and space, or terrifying tales of the world’s overlooked aspects.
While the eventual conclusion to the monsters known as the Silence wasn’t as fulfilling as the adventures that preceded it, every single supplemental storyline that was seamlessly added certainly made up for it. With Amy Pond both pregnant and not pregnant, and River Songs hinting at something happening for the “last time,” Moffat has certainly planted the seeds for some terrific stories to come.
Of course, the most shocking revelation came from Amy Pond’s inadvertent gunshot victim, as the little girl, who was the focus of much of this episode, finds herself transported to an alley. With a homeless man attempting to help her, the little girl proclaims that she’s dying, and then… she regenerates – she’s a Time Lord!
As this season claims to see the Doctor’s darkest hour, there’s no doubt that this little girl Time Lord will certainly play a part in it.
Until that happens, say, “Hi,” to David Frost for me.
Doctor Who airs Saturdays @9pm on BBC America
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