TV REVIEW: ‘Doctor Who: Day of the Moon’

“…and one whacking great kick up the backside for the Silence, you just raised an army against yourself!”

-The Doctor

‘Day of the Moon,’ the second part of the season opening two-parter, plays just as much as a season premiere as it does a season finale. There are more answers, more closure, more lose ends connected in these episodes than most of the season finales up to this point. Where this story excels though is where it seamlessly asks new questions and begins new arcs. It is the perfect episode for those wanting answers from season five and for those wanting new puzzles for season six.

Of course had Moffat decided to use these episodes to close season five I, like many others, would have demanded his head. This episode ends on not one, but two (and a half) cliffhangers, and one of them is the most mind meltingly tantalizing Doctor Who twist yet. Having a two-parter end on such a note is telling for the direction Moffat is taking his Doctor. The emotional depth of these characters keeps growing and growing, and it is obvious that something major is about to happen.

Reader beware, after the jump I will spoil the episode for the purposes of review, so if you care at all about the good Doctor and his companions I implore you, see the episode first.

‘Day of the Moon’ starts with ex-FBI agent Canton Delaware hunting down Amy, Rory and River. He seemingly kills them in an attempt to extract information from the Doctor who is being held in captivity in Area 51. All around the Doctor a perfect prison is being built, and as it is finished we discover Canton’s true motivations. As is expected none of our heroes are dead, and Canton is still on the side of good.

From here the story of really begins, the Silence are everywhere and the Doctor now realizes what exactly the threat level is. There is also the loose end of the little girl in the space suit, so the crew splits up to cover all basis. Amy and Canton hunt for the missing little girl, which brings them to an old orphanage, one that seemingly closed years prior, but is still being run by a confused caretaker. Up to this point the Silence has been a creepy monster, something that haunts your nightmares but doesn’t feel like an imminent threat. Once Amy encounters the hidden lair of the Silence the scare factor jumps a hundred fold.

While that is going on, the Doctor is putting into motion a plan of his own to stop the Silence. His idea uses one of the most powerful things in human history, Neil Armstrong’s foot. Of course this means he will have to break into the Apollo 11 space capsule, which isn’t easy to do with out getting caught. The Doctor does get caught, but that is only temporary and soon the plans are set into motion and the Silence are thwarted.

The eventual defeat of the Silence feels a bit rushed to me, but after I watched it a second time I believe that had more to do with the fact that we have been getting hints about them for over a year now. Such a build up is hard to live up to and they did such a good job at setting them up that any end that only takes 10 minutes to play out will feel quick. The story isn’t closed on the Silence, however, they are still responsible for the destruction of the Tardis, and something tells me revenge will be on their minds.

The real exciting thing about this episode is not what plot threads Moffat closes, but the ones he opens. The episode ends on basically two and a half cliffhangers. The half being River Song and her kissing the doctor, this is only half a cliffhanger because we already knows what happens in River’s future, she just had her last kiss with her sweetie, that part is sad. On the other hand we have no idea how the Doctor will react now that it is confirmed that his relationship with River is romantic.

The first real cliffhanger is the status of Amy’s baby. She flip flops in the episode from pregnant to not pregnant, so the Doctor runs a little test of his own with the Tardis. In true episodic episode style the graphic on the read out fluctuates from positive to negative and we don’t see where it lands. Gah! The oldest trick in the book and they pull it off so well.

The final cliffhanger is the doozy. Moffat said in an interview this winter that the cliffhanger at the end of ‘Day of the Moon’ would melt the internet. Reminiscent of the “break the internet in half” hype around ‘House of M,’ that sort of hyperbole usually fails to deliver, but dang nabit Moffat was right! The reveal that the little girl in the astronaut suit has regeneration capabilities was the most jaw dropping revaluation I have witnessed on TV in nearly a decade. It was so shocking, so unexpected that I actually forgot to breath for a moment. I have no idea how they will resolve it, will she be the Doctor’s daughter, will she be Amy’s daughter, will she be River Song, is River Song the Doctor and Amy’s daughter!?!

There are 100 different outcomes to this twist and like all the other new story threads I can’t wait for Moffat to take me through the journey he mapped out. Allons-y!

Score for Doctor Who – Day of the Moon

5 out of 5

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