Doctor Who: ‘Day of the Moon’ Review & Discussion

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doctor who day of the moon Doctor Who: Day of the Moon Review & Discussion

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.

doctor who day of the moon prisoner Doctor Who: Day of the Moon Review & Discussion

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.

doctor who day of the moon mark sheppard Doctor Who: Day of the Moon Review & Discussion

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

Follow me on Twitter @anthonyocasio

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  1. I don’t like the whole horror concept.. i was never much for horor. But I love Dr Who, sooo AMAZING! Both PArts!

  2. Why did the Doctor allow himself to be shot? Anyone now can ware the spacesuit! So, who could it be? Can’t go back in time either, ‘cus of the Silence, would still be attacking.

  3. hmm… I was wondering as I watched it if people will use the face and arm marks in cosplay or for Halloween (imagined conversation, “I’m Rory.” “Rory?” “From Doctor Who.” “Oh yah! But why do you have those marks on your face?” Person dressed as River Song nearby, “Spoilers!”

    My take on it. Yes, truely creepy, particularly the scenes with the photos of the child and Amy Pond. The subterfuge of the Doctor and companions being shot and locked up… didn’t get it, maybe missed a plot point and need to rewatch? To fool the Silence into thinking they were dead? But why?
    Yes the quick execution of all the companions did belay my questioning it, good pacing.
    But big “suspension of disbelief” problem hits me with the “solution” to the “kill us on sight” subliminal message. Aren’t we all from 1969 on going to be shooting into shadows? Couldn’t the Silence do creepy things like appear and then move sideways as we shoot so we all shoot each other? Why aren’t there reports of more shootings? Did all the Silence leave because they are scaredy now and if so where would they go? To avoid us, because in future Whoverse we are about everywhere? Will this plot point ever be addressed?
    Then the complexity of Amy’s pregnancy/non-pregnancy/pregnancy and the “little girl Timelord” has some awesomeness to it along with the Doctor’s fate.
    Okay and then… um… the whole bathos of the Rory listening to Amy in the dark and thinking she is talking about Dr. Who not her… then a quick fix… but was that a setup? …

    • I think your answers will come as the series plays out. There seems to be ‘plot holes’ because this story isn’t over. It was setting up the arc for the series. Give it time and ponder what mysterious answers lay ahead.

  4. I too found those seemingly innocuous little red lights to be an emotional, tense trigger. I love Dr. Who, but I don’t usually sit on the edge of my seat during an ep; looks like this season is out to change that!

    Also, I’m a little (a lot) in love with Matt Smith. He’s pitch perfect.

    Loved the “Welcome to America” line, pulling out the gun. Lots of fun stuff tonight.

  5. I’m fairly sure that the little girl is Amy’s (future) daughter. It would explain why a photograph of Amy holding a baby was found in the children’s home a little before the girl arrived on the scene. Near the end of the episode, Amy suggests that the baby she thought she was gonna have could have been the Doctor’s. If this is so, it would explain why the girl is a Time Lord. That maybe could explain the pregnant/not pregnant conundrum.

    • She never suggested the baby could be the Doctor’s. She merely said she was worried it would have/be a ‘timehead’ baby or something from all her travels and that she was scared to tell Rory in case of that. Not because she had done anything with the Doctor. If she is/was/will be pregnant, the baby might be influenced by her travels, but Rory will be the father.

      • right right and if Rory IS the father, than the little girl Time Lord canNOT be Amy’s child.

        • But how can the baby be Rory’s if he an android? Unless it was from before he was killed and returned as an android?

          Gonna be a good season!!

    • Interesting idea, Francis.

      I think you may be on to something.

      • Amy is not being honest with Rory, neither is the Doctor, this has been the case for quite some time. We don’t really know (or do we?) how time lords make babies so one cannot assume that unless we see Amy and the Doctor doing it then the child cannot be the Doctor’s. The strongest clues that this child is the product of Amy and the Doctor is Rory’s assumption that every time Amy is vague on who she is addressing with such heartfelt emotion, it isn’t him but the Doctor; you can sense when your girl digs another fella. And the Doctor feels the same for Amy as demonstrated in the episode with the dream lord.

        That kid is Amy’s… and is Amy, she just does not realize she is a time lord and that the doctor chose to die to protect her as a parent would. But I’m sure he has an escape clause with that supposedly final death. Wait for it kids…

  6. However, the TimeLord child COULD have been engendered during the time that Rory was non-existent.

  7. 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!

    • Haha… the great thing about Doctor Who is that what you said could be correct. Really great idea.

  8. I’ve thought that River Song was possibly a Time Lord for a long time (knowledge of the language, Tardis, incredibly smart)… but… if she is the child of Amy Pond and the Doctor and she kissed the Doctor like that, it’s a little creepy… in fact, all their flirting would then be QUITE CREEPY.

  9. Also if River Song is a TimeLord why would she NOT have regenerated when she died after meeting the 10th doctor?

    • Actually, the thing that killed her in that episode, she explained that it would have killed the Doctor too soon for him to be able to regenerate or some such ridiculous exposition.

      I don’t think she’s a time lord at all, it’s too obvious to presume everyone is going to turn out to be one but in the particular case you brought up, it was covered.

  10. I know its kinda far fetched but i think the doctor and amy did do something thats why amy told the doctor she though she was pregnant and not rory and it would explain the timelord child at the end.

    • Plus the doctor wouldn’t do an exam on Amys body if he didn’t care the doctor seemed really concerned when amy thought she was pregnant and then told the doctor she was wrong

  11. dont know how ut maybe the child could be the masters not the doctors

    • it would makke sense if she was a little girl since the doctor gets younger with each regeneration so would she

  12. I had posted somewhere else that my theory is that the current Doctor isn’t actually the 11th Doctor, but the 12th, and that the original Doctor, before the Hartnell version, was the little girl. Ok, it’s a crazy theory, (among other problems, why doesn’t the current Doctor remember being the little girl, and why didn’t the two interacting cause a paradox), but it certainly wasn’t disproven by the ending of the episode.

    I didn’t like this one nearly as much as the first part. Someone had complained that the first part was too slow, but I thought the second part was rushed. It could have easily been a 3 or even 4 part episode IMO. There was a lot that seemed to have been left out.

  13. i think that the little time lord girl is amy little girl or i think amy is half time lord

  14. Looks like I was off a number in my Daughter rant, Tennant is, of course the 10th doctor. (*cough*)
    The only problem I have with the girl being the “Doctor” is that they seem to like keeping the Doctor male and if he/she/it were to change sex, it seems like something that would be definitely memorable.
    1. Amy and Rory have a TARDIS energy influenced child that they never find out about (the scan of Amy’s body at the end of the episode keeps flashing Positive/Negative for pregnancy)
    2. It IS Jenny somehow returning and properly regenerating.
    3. Moffat has decided to mess with the Doctor’s DNA again and have another alien use it.
    4. Something else that will be hinted at, later.

    Yes, this part II could have been a lot more, especially since they were tying it in with “The Silence” from the last season. If they are “The Silence” and they just “Fell”, well that wasn’t quite the ominous ending I had in mind…

  15. the chld could be the doctors and rivers but amy was looking after it because river is in prison
    1 amy did say she wasn’t pregnent
    2 red hair is more predominant gene so if it was amys the girl would have red hair

    • red hair is caused by a recessive gene on chromosome 15 if I remember correctly. Sorry to go all scientist on you, but you’re wrong

  16. How bout this one: Amy was held for days in a primitive TARDIS by the Silence, who apparently manipulated all of mankind in order to get the spacesuit they needed for the girl for some reason. Me thinks, perhaps, they could have messed with Amy’s eggs assuring that her and Rory’s child is something more than human.

    Real question: Why on Earth did the silence need the spacesuit and the girl? Revenge against the doctor? As yet to be determined universe exploding plot developments?

  17. I think that the little girl is somehow riversong, plus if it was the doctors baby I don’t think they’ve laid enough hints that Amy and the doctor did anything, so it would most likely be rorys. But I think it’s going to be riversong.

  18. I think that the girl is Amy and Rorys daughter. I also believe that as Amy speculated, her travelling around in the tardis will be proven to somehow result in the child being a time lord “timehead” child. It may be that child grows up to be River Song idk.

    • or perhaps the girl timelord is the RANI!!!! She did shoot the doctor right? The RANI hates the doctor like that doesn’t she?

      What you guys think about that?

      • I don’t think it’s the Rani just on the basis that the character is too obscure and would be really digging. I’m betting on new character over old.

  19. Isn’t it alluded (or said) ages ago in one of the series that Riversong kills the doctor? SO Riversong must be the little girl. But then why is the little girl still in the suit? Maybe the suit acts as her “time machine” before she develops later technology? Riversong also mentioned that a person could live in the suit indeterminately….. hmmmmmm can’t wait for the series to develop further!

  20. If the little girl is River Song then she won’t be the Doctors Daughter, I doubt that the BBC would introduce an incest storyline considering Rover Song clearly did have a romantic relationship with the Doctor. I get a vibe that we are been thrown a whole load of false leads. Also scenes in the first two episodes could well have a subtle double meaning for example who wrote all the messages on the walls of the orphanage?

    Looking at the Doctors death scene he clearly knew what was happening and I get a vibe he was staging it maybe for the Silence that Amy saw and the Doctor clearly new about. One thing that has surprised me is nobody on any forum has noticed that after the Doctor was shot he was counting up “3”, “4” before the second shot. I think he was up to something…

    Certainly they will be back to 1969.

    • Marvin Price on May 1st, 2011 at 11:10 am said:
      1. The little girl is the child of the Tardis. It’s attempting to reboot the Time Lord race.
      2. The child will grow up to be River Song.
      3. Canton Deleware will be showing up again. He’s gay and he wanted to get married to a same sex partner. It’s our Moffat’s Agenda lesson for the 6th season. This is why he (Canton) was booted out of the FBI. Trouble maker. Ironic with J.Edgar Hoover being a cross dresser and all.

      • you are somewhat correct re; the girl’s identity.

  21. great episode.

    But am I the only person who absolutely HATES river song. Everytime shes on screen its all I can do not to look away, and when she speaks, I cringe. I hope she isnt in too many more episodes.

    I believe the little girl is either river (shudder) or the Rani, we did see “someone” pick up the masters ring back in season 3, that plot point has sort of been forgotten.

    and I love the silence. hoping to see more of them

    • We see who picks up the ring in End of Time part 1.

      I wouldn’t bet on her being the Rani anyway, too obscure and anti-climatic.

      • ahh forgot about the ring in end of time

    • We saw what happened to the ring in The End of Time episode. It was used to bring back the Master. That plot point has been used up.

    • I liked her better in the Forests of the Dead, when she seemed like ideal company — smart, pretty, accomplished, resourceful and trustworthy. Now she seems more like Captain Jack — a time-traveling bad girl with a stilted set of responses: flirt, drop dark hints, and shoot the Doctors hat du jour. Still, Alex Kingston is a strong enough actor to pull it off.

      Regarding the episode, I haven’t a clue what’s happening — but I’m enjoying it anyway.

  22. i adore this series of doctor who so far, and matt smith is brilliant- i agree with the theory of the little girl being the child of amy and rory, who due to the effects of time travel has timelord-ish qualities, and that that child grows up to be river song. but, this is doctor who, and judging by the highly talented writing so far, there is much more to come. excellent! :-)

    • Am I the only obe that thinks that the little girl is the child of the Doctor and Amy. All the things Amy said when she did not know Rory was listening — supposedly about Rory were in fact about the Doctor — her best friend and soulmate. To convolute things a bit more I suspect the little girl is also Amy — a paradox.

  23. My conclusion is that Amy is pregnant with a time lord and the little girl was her child. But i didnt understand the picture of Amy with the baby. There have been rumors that River Song is Amy’s daughter is so i think she was the child in the space suit and the person in the space suit killed the dotor and River was arrested for killing the best man she knew…

    • But she’s already committed her crime by the time of this story, so she should be aware that it’s her in the space suit and certainly shouldn’t be shooting at it.

  24. Doctor who knows who sent the letter, he’s not that stupid.

    The biggest problems I have with this story is the acceptance between the three companions that they won’t tell the Doctor. Who course they don’t, they never do, it’s very frustrating.

    Amy is still annoying as a character and sometimes the way she is written, it’s as though she is as clever as the Doctor. They did it when she got out of the Pandorica, and guesstimated her age based off her younger self (something to Doctor would do). This time she knew Rory was holding her blinking light. It’s a little thing but she has this awareness that isn’t realistic to her character.

    • I don’t see it as Amy being as clever as the Doctor. She knew how old the younger self she met was, because the Doctor would go back to the little Amelia he knew. Most people would work out the date, if they met a younger form of themselves and time travel was involved. And she knows Rory is completely devoted to her, so it’s not unreasonable for her to assume he’d keep hold of whatever she left behind when she vanishes. I don’t see how it’s unrealistic to her character at all, when she’s acting like any human would.

  25. Oh, also if anybody else in the Doctor’s company is a Time Lord why can’t he sense it? If he can’t and Amy or River are TL, then that ruins it for me because it goes against the character of the Time Lord and how they can sense each other. Both the Master and the Doctor could detect each other over an industrial estate, but the Doctor couldn’t detect the annoying girl hiding round the corner?

    Plus if they girl wants help, why does she keep hiding? If the Doctor has detected her but kept that info to himself, that would be annoying, why do that and then pose the question to the Silence about her?

    This is all maddening to question because I recognise them as plot holes, knowing they are deliberate to keep the arc going across x episodes.

    • There’s a difference between “Time Lord” and Galifreyan. Although this is something the writers have glossed over completely in the new series. Moreover, it seems that one needn’t necessarily be Galifreyan to be able to regenerate. (There was an episode in the 60’s where some people who were not Galifreyan had regeneration technology (a machine, rather than a biological capability) and had been flying in their ship for thousands of years.)

  26. Did no one notice that the little girl said ‘I can fix it’ which would imply that she has regenerated before…

    • Well, either that or she has some instinctual awareness of it. That is, when she starts to die, she realizes intuitively that she can do something about it.

  27. And nobody noticed that Amy and River are the only ones that get sick after they see the silence? Amy says she’s pregnant but this kind of implies River is too doesn’t it?

  28. You know, I after pondering it more, I think my theory that the little girl is actually the Doctor can’t be right.

    My new theory is that she’s Sarah Jane Smith. Wouldn’t that be a twist if it turns out that Sarah Jane was a Timelord all along? Ok, that’s probably actually crazier than my earlier theory. I’ve got to think this through better.