Monday, April 25, 2011

DOCTOR WHO Episode Review: The Impossible Astronaut

I'm a relative newcomer to Doctor Who, having begun watching during David Tennant's first series. After that, as you probably know, Matt Smith took over the reins with a great series. I'm so excited about the coming episodes, so I'll be reviewing them as they air. Feel free to share your own opinions in the comments!

Doctor Who is back, and what a great start to the new season. After a silly opening where we see the doctor in a variety of iconic and historically important settings such as a World War II barrock and a Laurel and Hardy movie, the episode quickly becomes very intense.

First of all, the Doctor dies - a dramatic and unexpected occurence, it feels more like an ending but instead it's only the start of what seems like a very dangerous adventure for Amy, Rory and the kickass River Song. Both Matt Smith and Karen Gillan are great in this scene, and you can almost hear Amy's heart break. Matt has really won me over as the Doctor. I didn't think I'd like him much when it was first announced that he'd be taking over, but I'm starting to like his Doctor more than David's. He's retained the funny, charming pomposity but toned down the arrogance that could sometimes be grating with his predecessor. He's also able to play the more downbeat, serious scenes with a subtle and genuine air and gravity that makes sure they hit home for the viewer.

With astronauts emerging from a lake, a trip to 1960s America, President Nixon, mysterious phonecalls and an even more mysterious threat, I loved every aspect of this episode. It was grand, cinematic and highly immersive. Matt Smith might just be right when he said in a recent interview that this episode's villains are the best since 'The Weeping Angels'.

When the Doctor's life is placed in Amy Pond's hands, it adds an extra dimension to their relationship. Fellow time traveler River Song is back too, and the character interaction between her and the Doctor accounted for many of my favorite moments in the episode, but by far my favorite scene is when River informs Rory about her impending fate worse than death. It's simultaneously sad and romantic and reveals just a bit more about who she really is. It also makes me wish that Rory had been given more to do. He always seems to be looking in and commenting on the action rather than taking a true part in it all. I would love to learn more about who he is, how he feels about Amy and the Doctor's relationship. It would be nice to see him become a real part of the team. Hopefully his one-to-one with River is the beginning of his integration into the group.

And then of course, there's the bombshell dropped by Amy at the episode's climax. How will her pregnancy affect things? Will she remember what she saw? And just who is the child in the astronaut suit? I can't wait to find out next Saturday night.

'The Impossible Episode' was an excellent episode and a perfect teaser for what seems like a great season to come.

Last week also saw the sad passing of Elisabeth Sladen, star of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' and widely regarded as the Doctor's most beloved companion of all-time. Below is a link to a video of CBBC's tribute to her.

My Sarah Jane

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