Monday, 2 May 2011

Why aren't you awesomed by me?

The Impossible Astronaut/The Day of the Moon

I held back from writing a full-throttle dissection of Dr Who last week because I thought it was perhaps unfair to judge the first half of a two-part episode on its own, partly because my feelings were negative.

I thought it started well. The Dr has a little picnic and invites a few of his friends along. They're all lazing about near the lake exchanging witticisms when somebody in a spacesuit emerges from it and kills the Dr, leaving Amy, River and Rory aghast, distraught etc. Having the Dr die in a future time was a clever and inspired plot device. You get the drama off killing your main character, yet you can more than plausibly still have him present as he's a time traveller. It puts Amy and Rory in the unique position of knowing more than him for a change, which is also a good dramatic platform.

The Silence- not very scary
Of course, just when you think 'oh, that's a good idea' they proceed to do hardly anything with the foundation they've built. I mean Amy and co decide to track down old guy at picnic in his younger days in the hope that he will know more about the Dr and what killed him. This takes them back to the space race, where, wouldn't you know it, Tricky Dicky is getting cold calls from a young girl in distress, which the Dr tells him to record (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). The old guy at the picnic- Canton Delaware, turns out to be a maverick FBI type who they take along for the ride, hoping to glean some useful information from him. Along the way, they come across the Silence, aliens who you only remember when you're face-to-face with them. Anyway they triangulate the girl's phone signal to Area 51 and are wandering about looking for clues when Amy decides that this is in fact the perfect opportunity to tell the Dr she's preggers. Even as she's doing so, there's a clump, clump, behind her and up pops the spacesuit being. It starts to raise its arm in what she presumes is an attack so she shoots it, before she can realise the little girl is inside the suit. DUM DUM DUM. Here endeth the first episode.

Allright,I thought, it's a bit bitty, but everything will come together in the second half. We open 3 months later, and Canton has the Dr as a prisoner, and is hunting down Amy, Rory and River. Why? No explanation. Then it turns out he's only pretending to hunt them Why? No explanation. What happened to the girl/spacesuit that Amy shot? Hell knows. Apparently she's mysteriously disappeared? Go look for her in children's homes, says the Dr, while I tinker with this spaceship here, which I just know these alien types are going to use for something but it won't be made clear to you for what.

'It's not a plot hole Canton, it's a black hole.'
I'm getting tired of going on about this to be honest. Suffice to say the threat of the Silence was overcome (presuambly silence will no longer fall), there's something weird about Amy's non/pregnancy and the little girl may be her daughter. Who has the ability to regenerate, wouldn't you know.

It was messy and it didn't make sense. I don't know how even the most ardent Dr Who fan could defend it. There was hardly any story- Moffat seemed to be more concerned with inserting longer running narrative strands at the expense of the story at hand. There was no build up, no tension, no sense of threat. It was like, yeah, there's the Silence, not really threatening to do much, just, you know, kind of there. But we must get rid of them, because theyre, um, there. And somehow thery're tied in with the space race. Just don't ask how. And there's a little girl in a space suit wandering about. Nobody knows who she is or why she's there, a half-hearted attempt is made to find her and then she loses them and no one is really concerned. It was flimsy and unsubstantial.

Or it all went over my head. Which we should never rule out.

No comments:

Post a Comment