Doctor Who 33.01 The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon (2011) – 8/10 science fiction adventure TV review

Cast / crew
Matt Smith: The Doctor
Karen Gillan: Amy Pond
Arthur Darvill: Rory Williams
Writer: Steven Moffat
Producer: Marcus Wilson
Director: Toby Haynes
Alex Kingston: River Song
Mark Sheppard: Canton Delaware
Marnix Van Den Broeke: The Silent
Stuart Milligan: President Richard Nixon
Sydney Wade: Little Girl
Frances Barber: Eye Patch Lady

Doctor Who 33.01,02 Impossible Astronaut, The / Day of the Moon (2011)

Amy, Rory, River Song, and former FBI agent Canton Delaware are all called to Utah, America by messages contained in dark blue envelopes. When they arrive, it’s not a huge surprise that it is the Doctor that called them but an unexpected astronaut and the belated arrival of another invitee will be.

8/10

While I suppose we should be grateful that this isn’t an end-of-the-world plot for a change, it certainly feels like it’s getting too serious in it’s urge to have high stakes. Nevertheless, it’s a joy to have Matt Smith back as the Doctor (asking President Nixon for a fez!) and we’ve got River Song back making absolutely no sense as usual, Amy Pond and Rory the Roman providing stronger support than ever and yet more impressively designed man-in-a-literal-suit monsters. This is also an uncommonly good-looking episode with an opening sequence utilising some spectacular American scenery, nicely photographed and well used by the director. That said, he does bungle the entrance of the Doctor (he’s lying on an Edsel wearing a Stetson; Stetson’s are cool) by giving it less time in the scene than the travelogue shots of the scenery. The second part is stronger, more intriguing, more fun and more brilliant than the first with the importance of Neil Armstrong’s ankle revealed and a great final visual hook that, along with the plethora of other questions we’d forgotten had been raised over these two weeks, will hopefully be resolved later this year.

This Doctor Who episode contains one scene of strong fantasy violence, gun violence, unpleasant scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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