Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Doctor Who - ''The Impossible Astronaut,'' Part 1

Spoiler Level: High

Doctor Who returns in style, with the new show's first-ever two-part opening story!  And as always, the Moff delivers more time travel themed goodness.

I was so thrilled with the beginning of this story that the Doctor was now 1103 years old. I know this is horribly fanboy nitpicky of me, but I always hated that the Doctor's age in the new show is younger than his age in the original show.  The 7th Doctor gave his age as 953 in "Time and the Rani," so for the 10th Doctor to be 903 in "Voyage of the Damned" just always bugged the hell out of me.  Now true, the original show has been inconsistent about the Doctor's age before, but they started getting pretty consistent from the 4th Doctor on.  And I can get all apologist and say well maybe he's counting it in different ways, Gallifrey years vs Earth years or what have you, but really... they just decided to change his age for the new show and I just need to let it go.  But if he's 1103 now, then I can just say he aged 150 years between Doctors 7 through 11 and the rest is all just wibbly wobbly timey wimey.

But then he goes and gets himself killed. And man, what a death.  Shot twice, starts to regenerate (which was shocking enough), and then shot again in the middle of regeneration.  Damn.

...So now we're back to a 908 year old Doctor, who doesn't know he's going to get shot 200 years into his future, traveling with three companions who all know.  That's the kind of time-traveling Moff goodness I'm talking about!  (I still hope by the time this is all resolved that the Doctor will again be 1103, but I doubt it.)

Amy's announcement that she was pregnant didn't come as too much of a surprise-- if the nausea hadn't been enough of a giveaway, the Doctor's comment that she'd put on weight and "you and Rory go back to making babies" all made me think that was the direction they were heading.  A pair of married companions was already a first, but a pregnant companion is really something different!  And again, I can't wait to see how this ties in to everything over all.

Speaking of parents, having W. Morgan Sheppard play an old Mark Sheppard is brilliant.  Did I mention the first time I saw Mark Sheppard it was driving me nuts, because he seemed so familiar and yet not familiar?  Once I saw his last name was Sheppard I began to make the connection, and eventually found that yes, Mark Sheppard is indeed W. Morgan Sheppard's son.  No wonder he seemed so familiar, he had his father's accent. So having the two of them playing the same character is just fantastic.  (Yet ironically, the character they're playing is American, so the have to use American accents!)

So, the big question isn't so much "Is the Doctor going to stay dead?" as it is "How long is he going to stay dead?"  I'm betting that won't be resolved until the end of this season.  The summer break is going to be downright painful!

And for a much more in-depth look at the episode, I highly recommend "Eleven for Eleven" over at Dislocated Life, where Jonathan L. Switzer touches on the top eleven points of the episode.

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