(all spoilers! don’t read till you’ve seen the episode! this is a love fest only — all complaints and bitching must come from a place of love / previous: “A Christmas Carol”)
Is Steven Moffat repeating himself? Is this “The Empty Child” all over again? Is it too much with the wibbly-wobbly, timey-whimey?
Maybe. Who cares? There’s flirting! Serious, honest, proper flirting between the Doctor and River:
“Dr Song, you’ve got that face on again. The ‘He’s hot when he’s clever’ face.” –the Doctor
“This is my normal face.” –River
“Yes it is.” –the Doctor
“Oh shut up.” –River
“Not a chance.” –the Doctor
She loves him!
(Funny, though, that he’d use an old-fashioned snail-mail letter to communicate through time and space.)
She hates him!
(Seriously, though, he deserved a smack right about then, the bastard, for what he did to them. What he will do. What he would haven done if they do not preventening it. Which they will.)
Also, there’s this:
I knew this was the kind of stuff the Doctor would get up to, at least sometimes. What’s the point of being a mad, wonderful, hot-when-you’re-clever gentleman about the universe if you don’t have some fun once in a while?
There is so much fanfic fodder in so much naughty Doctor. Except… it’s all going the other way around now, isn’t it? What was once the stuff of fanfic is now the canonical material. It’s bit wibbly-wobbly itself.
Oh, and let’s do talk about Amy’s really, really important thing that she has to tell the Doctor: that she’s pregnant. Now, we can assume that the urgency of this revelation will have something to do with everything that’s going on — or, hell, maybe we can’t — but given all we’ve seen previously, including the Doctor outright rejecting her sexual advances, we can at least assume that that urgency is not because Amy believes the Doctor to be the father… at least not in the usual way these things happen. I suppose there could be lots and lots of other ways that Amy could be pregnant in a way that worries her and that doesn’t involve the usual business with Rory. (If Moffat steals an idea I’ve had running around in my head for years, like Russell T. Davies always seemed to be doing, then I’m going to have to have my brain checked for leaks.)
Or else she’s just nervous about running around chasing dangerous aliens while she’s preggers. But then why travel all the way to Utah in the first place? It’s the Doctor calling: you know it can’t be good, and will probably be ludicrously dangerous.
Funny thing: When Amy started doing the “I feel sick” thing around the alien, I thought: Hey, here will be the first instance in pop culture ever of a woman needing to throw up and this not being a secret signal to the audience that she’s pregnant: the aliens — or maybe how they muck around with her brain — make her queasy. Cool. And then River got queasy around the head-mucking aliens, too, and I continued with this train of thought: Yes, it’s the head-mucking aliens making them feel sick.
But then Amy revealed her delicate condition. Are we supposed to think that River’s pregnant, too? In that case, we really do have to think that the Doctor’s responsible, don’t we?
So much stuff to think about for a week, or for a few weeks, or — more likely — over the long break between the first half of the season and the second half in the autumn. And that’s before we even get to the weird astronaut in the lake in 2011, and the child in the spacesuit in 1969, and the aliens who’ve been burrowing under the surface of the Earth for centuries, and their spaceship that is the spaceship from the nonexistent top floor in “The Lodger” (or at least one just like it), or how the Doctor could be 200 years older but not have aged a day, or how whoever was in the spacesuit in the lake in Utah in 2011 knew precisely how to kill the Doctor, by shooting him in the middle of his regeneration cycle:
Is it River who shoots him? Is it himself? He certainly seems to recognize whoever is behind that faceplate, and not be surprised by it:
Later, in his own past, when he’s still only 900-something, he wonders again who River killed to land in prison (he flirts with her, and enjoys it, but he still doesn’t trust her). And it’s starting to seem likely, after how River behaves here, that if circumstances conspire to create a situation in which she must shoot the Doctor — because he told her to, or whatever — that she would do it.
But I’m pretty sure the Doctor does not really get killed by the astronaut at this time. I just know it, and Grandpa Moffat is reading it wrong. He’s only mostly dead. This may be the one show on TV where it’s almost literally impossible to predict what’s gonna happen from moment to moment, but I’m fairly confident in this.
No, I am. The Doctor tells us himself:
Time isn’t a straight line, it’s all bumpy-wumpy. There’s loads of boring stuff like Sundays and Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons. But now and then there are Saturdays, big temporal tipping points when anything’s possible.
Like the really most sincerely dead Doctor not being dead after all.
Random thoughts on “The Impossible Astronaut”:
• About those “big temporal tipping points”? The Doctor goes on: “The TARDIS can’t resist them like a moth to a flame.” I knew it! It’s the TARDIS getting the Doctor into trouble all the time.
• Thank you, Steven Moffat, for the new nightmare fodder:
Creepy aliens that can make you forget they’re standing right behind you the second you turn your back? *shudder*
On the other hand, too much like the Weeping Angels?
• Hey, Amy and Rory appear to be living rather well:
Lots of space and light, nice stuff. Hey, where are they living, anyway? Why haven’t they been with the Doctor all this time? Did Rory go back to nursing and Amy go back to, er, kiss-o-gramming after the honeymoon, as if, you know, they hadn’t had a honeymoon in space? I need details!
• Hey, if the Doctor is back in time “trying to wave to us out of history books,” then wouldn’t other companions have noticed that, too? Wouldn’t friends of the Doctor’s all over the 20th and 21st centuries have noticed?
• Silent invisible TARDIS? Some BBC vet is saying, “Why didn’t we think of that in 1963? Think of all the FX budget we could have saved!”
• Awww, Mark Sheppard woulda grown up a Doctor Who watcher, I’m sure. And now he gets to be on the TARDIS for reals:
• “A lot more happens in ’69 than anyone remembers,” the Doctor says. I will just say quickly that I was born in 1969. In case that helps anyone solve the mystery.
• Great quotes:
“I’m always okay. I’m the king of okay. Oh, that’s a rubbish title. Forget that title.” –the Doctor
“He’s dead.” –Amy
“But he still needs us.” –River (whoa)
“I’m being extremely clever up here and there’s no one to stand around looking impressed. What’s the point in having you all?” –the Doctor
“Couldn’t you just slap him sometimes?” –River, to Amy and Rory
“Archaeologist!” –the Doctor
“You think you can just shoot me?” –the Doctor to FBI agents
“They’re Americans!” –River
“Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton… Lovely fellows. Two of them fancied me.” –the Doctor
“Brave heart, Canton.” –the Doctor
(next: “Day of the Moon”)