Tuesday, May 03, 2011
I wear a stetson now...
Time wimey stuff, Matt Smith in a stetson, aliens you forget as soon as you look at them, Amy Pond in danger, River Song kicking ass, Rory doing his Rory thing, and a dead cool FBI agent called Canton Delaware... It can only be the return of my favourite TV programme.
I was going to blog the first episode last week, but what with all these HOLIDAYS, I ran out of time, so I thought I'd try and get my head together and see if I can make any coherent sense out of the first two episodes. Both of which I've seen twice now. And do you know... I still can't.
Which is why I love Steven Moffat's writing so much. Cos he raised more questions then he answered, and by the end of episode two we were no further forward in knowing who a) the little girl was b) who River Song is and c) what happened to Amy's pregnancy.
But I really really don't care, because from the moment Amy, Rory, River and the Doctor met and had what turned out to (apparently - I don't trust you on this one, Mr Moffat, the Doctor can't possibly be dead) be a last supper of sorts, we were on a roller coaster ride, and I for one didn't want to get off.
There had been much teasing beforehand about who was going to die in episode one, and my money had been on Amy, because I really didn't think anyone would dare kill the Doctor - not properly, in the middle of his regeneration - but that's exactly what Steven Moffat did. Wow. I was totally blown away by that, and felt pretty much like Amy did, thinking SURELY someone can do something... when of course it turned out that the Doctor wasn't dead at all. Well not yet... it was a 200 year older self who died, and who'd known he was going to his death, so he sent his younger self an invitation to meet up with Amy & co to solve whatever mystery had to be solved in 1969. And bingo. We're back in Steven Moffat timey wimey hurty head land. And from here on in, I haven't got a CLUE what's going on.
Well, that's not quite true... thanks to the fourth mysterious guest (the aforementioned Canton Delaware) pitching up with some handy petrol to send the dead Doctor off in a blaze of glory, our intrepid heroes end up at the White House where a very puzzled President Nixon has been receiving mysterious phone calls from a young girl. In the meantime, Amy keeps seeing scary aliens - or doesn't. When she turns round she forgets they are there... I have to say I wasn't particularly spooked by the appearance of the much trumpeted Silence, but as ever Steven Moffat's special genius is making you afraid of your own shadow. The idea of an enemy hidden in time, all around us, only we forget them the minute we turn away is brilliant, and very very scary. AND the scene in the second episode where Amy walks into an empty room, and then looks up and sees a whole bunch of aliens, sleeping upside down like bats was properly spooky. EEK.
Episode one ended with the reappearance of the astronaut who apparently shot the Doctor at the start, causing Amy to react by shooting the astronaut, before she raised her visor and we realised that it was the mysterious little girl. Eek, and double eek. THAT was horrific...
Jump forward to episode two and it was as if the previous week's episode almost hadn't happened. We've fast forwarded three months, the Doctor is being held prisoner, Amy is chased to the edge of a cliff by Canton, and shot, Rory to the edge of a dam to meet the same fate, and River (oh River, you are so bloody marvellous!!! I could hug Steven Moffat for introducing an older actress into my favourite tv show) throws herself backwards out of a tower block to escape...
Of course, there are going to be people who bitch about this (in fact I've already read a couple of online reviews griping about it), as nothing from episode one was resolved and we didn't actually discover how they found out who the Silence were considering they are so easily forgotten. Except... I can't help thinking based on our previous experience of watching series 5, Steven Moffat is playing with us. There is going to turn out to be a reason for those missing three months you mark my words. And I bet it has something to do with Amy's on/off pregnancy. Why for example did Amy HAVE to tell the Doctor about the pregnancy in the middle of a stressful situation? I suspect timey wimey stuff will be at the heart of it, and she had to tell him before she forgot again/or it was a future version of Amy who told him.
As to who the baby is - I'm convinced it's got to be River Song, who may also be the little girl. Although this theory got kicked to touch when the little girl started apparently regenerating right at the end of episode two. BUT... the Doctor KNEW who she was when she shot him, and River Song is in prison for killing a good man... And I've thought from the off there must be some connection between River and Amy... And I'll probably be proved wrong in six months, time but what the hell, it's fun speculating. And I feel sure that Rory' s ability to compartmentalise his memory is also going to be important somehow...
Anyway, I digress. Once we'd established that Amy & Rory had only been shot to bamboozle the Silence, we were back to business as usual, with the Doctor going to rescue River as she fell out of the tower block - Open the doors to the swimming pool - hilarious; and a plan to discover who the missing little girl was, which led Amy and Canton to a really scary orphanage, where Amy discovers a room with pictures of the girl, including one of her holding a baby, before being taken prisoner by the Silence, while the Doctor breaks into the Apollo mission to do something clever as part of his scheme to defeat the Silence. Now here again, I'd say time went a bit wibbly wobbly. We had an AWFUL lot of time concentrating on Canton and Amy, and very little about what River, Rory and the Doctor were up to. Deliberate I'll bet. And I'm sure we'll find out why in Episode 13...
And time was very wibbly wobbly for Amy - given that she can't remember the Silence, nor how long she's been held prisoner, is it just possible that they have stolen her baby, and she doesn't remember? They certainly seem to be using the little girl for reasons unknown...
And weren't they defeated a little too easily? After all that time being invested in earth, would they really have given up without a fight. Surely, having created the Silence, Steven Moffat's not going to leave it there?
That said, those are questions which may or may not be answered by the series story arc - I decided to forget all that and simply enjoy the spectacle of the Doctor and River flirting (how Matt Smith acts so old/young is brilliant & makes their relationship utterly believable) and River taking out all of the Silence (only don't tell the old man how many, he doesn't like it.) I also loved the Doctor's line about her shooting people, I shouldn't like it, but I do a bit... Yes, sweetie, she's got the measure of you.
It all ended in a dazzling shootout, earth being saved, Canton accepting his inability to be the first married gay FBI agent (hilarious dialogue again between him and the President which left all my children, even the older two who think they know it all, going Duh?), River being dropped back at her cell door (but oh, the poignancy of the it's his first/her last kiss moment) and the Doctor, Amy and Rory off for another adventure. But being Steven Moffat, he can't just leave it there. We not only have the conundrum of Amy's is she/isn't she pregnant? , but also inexplicably the Doctor decides not to pursue the little girl. Why? Particularly as she appears to be a Time Lord (or does she? I am hazarding a guess she absorbed his regenerative powers when she killed the Doctor). And is there a significance to her regenerating nine months after the beginning of the story or am I overcomplicating things? I am sure there is an answer, and it will become clear. Only probably not till episode 13...
PS. Ooh, ooh, just had another thought. WHY didn't River realise the Doctor hadn't kissed her before? Once she'd established that this version is 200 years younger then dead version with whom she happily compared notes, she must have known they hadn't snogged yet. Soooo.... more timey wimey stuff? Did something happen to the doc those three months when he was in prison? Is it one of those apparent continuity errors which turn out not to be anything of the sort? Answers on a postcard please. Preferably, Tardis blue.
PPS OH, and another thing. Y'know the beginning, where I thought it started oddly with Amy & Rory at home just mooching about waiting for the Doctor, and Amy says, trying to attract their attention is the sort of thing the Doctor would do? - WELL, if eldest child is to be believed and this two parter is in fact the beginning of this series finale, which would be typically mind bending time changing nuttiness from Steven Moffat, perhaps she's right. Perhaps this series is all about adventures which have ALREADY HAPPENED, and Amy and Rory have to go back to the beginning to change it all, so it doesn't end with the Doctor getting shot by a psychotic child in a space suit. Now my head is REALLY hurting...