As always a new series of Doctor Who has been met by much speculation and rabid anticipation. The internet has been awash with the usual selection of theories and potential spoilers as to what might happen. However thankfully the production team led by Exceutive Producer Steven Moffat appear to have managed to keep a relative veil of secrecy over preceedings compared to previous years.
This makes the events of the excellent series opener, “The Impossible Astronaut” even more shocking. After an amusing sequence of the Doctor appearing through various periods in time to try and communicate a message to newlyweds Amy and Rory, we have the action shift to Utah where the Doctor has gathered his friends including the enigmatic River Song.
However it soon becomes apparent that the Doctor has gathered his chums there to witness his demise as he is killed mid regeneration by a stranger dressed as an astronaut. Quite the unexpected beginning!
This massive event sets the scene for another one of Moffat’s mind bending escapades into messages being sent across time to alter events as it turns out the person who arranged the reunion was none other than a younger version of the Doctor himself!
The plot thickens as the gang go to the Whitehouse and become embrolied in a plot that concerns a young girl who can seemingly phone the Oval Office direct at will and give sinister warnings about a danagerous spaceman to President Nixon himself. As the team investigate what is happening we are also introduced to a new enemy, The Silence, an alien race who look like a cross between E.T and the Ood from previous series, although infinately more frightening than both. Their destruction of an incidental character called ‘Joy’ in the bathroom scene is one of the most chilling since the series returned in 2005. The character trait of them being able to make you forget you have seen them once who are no longer look at them is also chilling.
There are many fascinating aspect to this episode for the avid Doctor Who fan. The other ‘Tardis’ from last series episode “The Lodger” makes an appearance but we still don’t know who it belongs to or why it is within the Earth. River Song and The Doctor are flirting again but we still do not know her true identity. Why was the Doctor killed by the astronaut?
And what about the revelation at the end of the episode, how did Amy become pregnant? Through conventional means or have The Silence done something to her? She appeared to feel sick after she spoke to one of them. Are the two events connected? And how did the child end up in the astronaut outfit at the end and has Amy really killed a little girl?
As always with a Steven Moffat script the viewer is left with more questions than answers. But it is that aspect that keeps the audience coming back for more. The thematic strands have already been launched that willl no doubt run throughout the series but hopefully we will get some long awaited answers to some older questions. River Song will be revealed to the Doctor..but when?
Overall a cracking start to the new series and one that had an end of season epic quality to it. The bar has been set, lets see how high the series can go.