S6(32)E01 – The Impossible Astronaut – Broadcast Discussion

23rd April 2011 • Blog Post by Seb Patrick •

This’ll probably be quite good then, what?

You know how this works by now. Thread for all your comments/discussion below, and then a Proper Review in a couple of days’ time. GO.

Seb Patrick once met Paul McGann, who immediately pretended to be Mark McGann. He writes for Den of Geek, BBC America, Film4 and the official Red Dwarf website, among others. He owns over thirty toy Daleks and wishes the Dapol factory tour was still open.

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6 Responses

  1. Well I’ll get things going. I greatly enjoyed that. The 45 minutes seemed to fly by, and even with the large amount squeezed in some of the scenes seemed longer than last time, allowing the dialogue to breath more. For example, I particularly enjoyed the moment between Rory and River where we can dwell briefly on a relationship we are all familiar with and be reminded of why it is essentially at heart a tragedy.

    As for opening with a two parter, well I believe that it paid off. I’m certainly more interested about episode 2 than I have been in some considerable time and it would seem that it has allowed Moffat to set up various plot strands for the rest of the series as in TEH last year. The only thing that slightly concerns me is how the average audience might react to starting with a timey-whimey plot right off the bat.

    I’ll reserve my judgement on the Silents until we really see them fully next week, but the concept is a nice play on the idea of a perception filter that I don’t believe has been used before. It was also nice to see Moffat dealing with something a bit more abstract rather than taking something from everyday life and making it scary. It’s a technique that has worked wonders for him, but variety keeps things fresh and this was most welcome.

  2. Jonathan Capps

    This is what I posted on G&T. unable to properly form thoughts, so it’s probably a good thing I’m not reviewing this one!

    I thought that was incredible. Anyone who isn’t left terrified and excited by that episode (on many, many different levels, not least what it means for the show as a whole) just wasn’t paying attention.

    It *was* very packed but it was handled well. Everything felt very out of control and chaotic, which was fitting considering the circumstances.

    What generic says about the contrast between the two Doctors is spot on, in my opinion. Matt Smith was amazing.

    I’ve just read a review that’s going to up on Unlimited Rice Pudding at some point soon. I strongly recommend you guys read it, because Julian Hazeldine nails exactly why I loved this episode, better than my half asleep brain can put into words at the moment.

  3. Si

    I’m assuming we can be as spoilery as we want here, so I’m going to post what I put on Twitter via a TwitLonger Tweet – there are times those cuts come in handy…

    Well, first of all – I honestly didn’t think Amy would be pregnant. It seemed too obvious, really. But, by being so obvious, we thought she would be, decided Steven Moffat would be too clever for it to be something so normal, then hit us with the double bluff, so it was still a shock!
    Not quite sure what to make of this – there’s got to be something in it that makes it that bit more dramatic. We shall see…
    Rory has a great episode here. He’s “the newest”, but is fitting in nicely, and is taking travelling through Time and Space in his stride. River, too, is back and more a part of what is unofficially known as ‘Team TARDIS’. Not nearly as annoying as she has been in the past – she feels more…human? Normal? The mystery’s still there, but we’re aware of her more as a person, a friend of The Doctor, as opposed to that mysterious woman.
    And The Doctor. I think I knew it would be the Doctor who died, but even so, the way it happened, and the way he managed to appear in the rest of the episode, wasn’t what I expected.
    He’s a bit darker here – still ‘professor crackpot’ when he wants to be, but the fact is that Amy, Rory and River all know something that he doesn’t (as do we), which kind of alters the balance of relationships.
    He’s a bit saucier this year, too – that opening scene actually reminded me of David Tennant’s Casanova! And the fact that two of the three founding fathers of America “fancied [him]”, plus a lot more flirting with River…interesting.
    Plus TWO “Doctor Who?” Gags. A great opener

  4. Best review so far:

    I thought we were due some new enemies in this episode, but it was just the gang hanging out with Nixon and running about in some empty tunnels. Did I miss something?

  5. I thought that was fantastic. Most of last season left me cold and Karen Gillen was dreadful throughout, but this is a huge improvement. Except for the scene after the Doctor’s death, she wasn’t grating this time around.

    Darvill & Kingston are wonderful together and the Sheppards are great.

    Matt Smith has now made it into my Top Eleven Doctors.

  6. Hendiadys

    I enjoyed this episode very much. Best series opener by a long way for me. It was worth a second viewing (I watched it whilst visiting my parents, and my Dad was rewinding it due to deafness and wrecking the atmosphere) but I’m astounded by the number of adults in various places describing it as “too confusing”. Very baffling humans. It’d be great to know what kids think of it, though.

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