Doctor Who: Your memory is weak.

KT is… wait, where were we?

DOCTOR WHO:  6.02 “Day of the Moon”

Since I’m more than a week late with this one, you might think that the episode made me forget its own existence as soon as I looked away, just like the aliens in the episode could do.  But no, I was just out of town.

That said, the episode itself is structured in a way that feels like you’re missing something—as though, like the characters, something has been wiped out of your memory as soon as it’s happened and you’re not sure how you got from the last place you remember to where you are now.  It’s very disorienting, and led me to feel that the story was somewhat underwritten, although I think there were other factors at work there, too.

For example, there was a lot of focus on the mysterious little girl—whose plotline has not yet been resolved.  And the more we focused on her (and the space suit and Amy’s possible motherhood), the less we were focusing on the Silents, even though they were involved in her story, too.  So although we were repeatedly told that they’d been controlling Earth for millenia and were reminded of the way they were seeded into season 5 as a major menace, the narrative itself seemed to present them as a stepping stone to a more interesting story.

Or at least that’s how I read it—perhaps it’s merely that I was far more interested in the little girl than in the silent aliens.  And perhaps the Silents will show up again later on and prove that a major menace cannot be so easily defeated.

On the other hand, this managed to avoid some of the pitfalls that New Who’s part twos tend to fall into—where part one gets all the interesting set-up and atmosphere. Despite the frenzied opening, we spent a limited amound of time running crazily around corridors and shouting technobabble.  But then, again, the episode left quite a lot still unanswered.

And on the other, other hand, way to reinforce the stereotype that all Americans are gun-crazy cowboys.  Thanks ever so much, BBC, from the bottom of my sarcasm.

Still unresolved are the matter of the Doctor’s death and the identity and whereabouts of the little girl.  The former has been largely shoved under the rug for now, while the latter becomes more tantalizing when a final scene shows her wandering the streets of New York when she… regenerates?  Who is she?

[After the jump: Nixon, Rory, Amy, and River.]

Dipping a little further into the story itself, there are a few character-related things worth noting…

Nixon’s presence in the whole thing is just this side of superfluous, really, but it’s good for a chuckle.  Best moment here is the Doctor’s recommendation that Nixon should record everything that goes on in the Oval Office.  Say hi to David Frost for all of us!

Rory’s inferiority complex is showing again, brought on by his helplessness when Amy is captured and complicated by Amy confiding in the Doctor rather than in him about her possible pregnancy.  Awkward.

Given that Amy said she was pregnant in part one, then sees a photo of herself with a baby next to with all the photos of the mysterious girl in part two, it seemed likely that the girl was—in some time-bending kind of way—her daughter.  Given the end of the episode, that seems less likely to me, but I suppose it’s still possible.

Is it possible that River really is the Doctor’s wife?  That’s seeming less impossible as we go on.  At this point, the thing I like least about them is that she makes him seem young, largely because at this point she knows so much that he doesn’t.  (And yes, relative age of the actors plays a part here, too, but in general Matt Smith is quite good at being ageless.) I’ll be very impressed if, some seasons in the future, we eventually work our way back to the young River who meets the Doctor for the first time.  If the show can pull off that kind of reverse character development and do it well, it could be very cool.

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2 thoughts on “Doctor Who: Your memory is weak.

  1. Pingback: Doctor Who: The only water in the forest is the river « Raked

  2. Pingback: Doctor Who: The only water in the forest is the river « Raked

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