Watching Doctor Who is becoming increasingly hard work. There’s an element of grumbling in that statement, but I promise this review won’t be all doom and gloom. I did quite enjoy Day Of The Moon.
Let’s get the negatives out of the way – the teasers showed us Canton Delaware going after each of The Doctor’s companions, and the Time Lord trapped within the perfect prison with no conceivable method of escape. MASSIVE RED HERRING, my friends. Ha ha! If you’re one of those Doctor Who sleuths who likes to try and guess ahead (which is part of the fun), then you’ll have found this all very frustrating.
The series is now throwing up all sorts of detrius and it’s impossible for us – as viewers – to tell the legitimate clues from the crap intended to throw us off the scent of this series’ story arc.
Likewise The Silence, who were billed as the scariest monsters to crawl out of Steven Moffat’s fertile imagination. With a neat subliminal message inserted into the famous moon landing footage, The Doctor outsmarted The Silence.
But by using their “you should kill us all on sight” clip, didn’t The Doctor essentially unleash genocide on their race? Isn’t The Doctor against wiping out races?
I also hope that The Silence haven’t been eradicated entirely. I mean, these were the sinister guys linked to the cracks in the universe and the exploding TARDIS. That was a twin threat, wasn’t it? And forgive me if I’ve missed something fundamental about the Edvard Munch inspired aliens – but why were they living in a vast subterranean network of tunnels, and what was their motivation? And where did they come from? And why were they such a sinister threat last year, when they were defeated by a bit of television magic in the 1960’s?
Yes, we’re overthinking it again, aren’t we? But without that information, all we’re left with are bulbous headed critters who don’t carry weapons and who we forget at the first opportunity. Forgettable aliens…honestly.
So, where did Day Of The Moon get it right? Well, as contrived as Canton Delaware’s companion round-up was, it was fun to see them inside the ‘perfect prison’ telling The Doctor what they’d learned. And the scene where the TARDIS ‘caught’ River Song in mid-fall using the swimming pool was a bit of comic book genius.
The orphanage scene honestly baffled me. We’d gone from NASA, Area 51 and aliens into a horror movie. This felt a bit like Moffat had just decided to throw in the kitchen sink – creepy orphanage manager, nests of sleeping Silents hanging from the roof, Amy alone in a locked room, discovering the little girl in the spacesuit and a picture of herself with a baby in the girl’s room. And let’s not discount that strange woman who appeared in a hatch in the door, then the hatch vanished. Just another level of inexplicable weirdness that never got expanded upon.
To be fair, the tone of these scenes was fantastic – forboding, creepy and desperately scary.
I also approve of the jealousy and uncertainty Rory holds towards The Doctor. Amy seems to be clarifying her relationship toward both, asserting her love for Rory but establishing The Doctor as her best friend.
And Matt Smith with a beard was a wonder to behold. I think a more rugged look for The Doctor might be something to consider in future.
Of course, the biggest enigma of the evening was the Timelord child regenerating in a New York backalley. Where THE HELL did that come from? There’s bound to be massive speculation as to the child’s role and background. First instinct is to link her to Amy because of the baby picture in her bedroom. But that would imply that Amy gave birth to a Timelord child. And also that Amy shot at her own child. And also that Amy doesn’t remember her child.
The other big question is…why doesn’t The Doctor ‘sense’ another Timelord nearby. In The End Of Time, he was able to sniff out The Master. And he previously claimed that he would ‘know’ if any other Timelords had survived the Time War. Maybe he knows and isn’t mentioning it.
Despite the sensational ending to the episode, it feels like Moffat’s writing is raising more questions than it answers. Maybe he’s harking back to the ‘serials’ from the classic series that took on multi-episode arcs, but in these last two episodes the storytelling has been horrifically complex. I get the impression he’s consumed with building in red herrings to confuse fans, but it feels like he’s leaving behind half-fulfilled plots like the Silence, the mysterious TARDIS control, etc.
What did you think of tonight’s Doctor Who?