Saturday, November 10, 2012

Doctor Who-The Impossible Astronaut
                        The second season featuring Matt Smith's eleventh Doctor begins with newlyweds Amy and Rory finding signs in everything from history books to television that the Doctor is trying to call out to them,culminating in them receiving a blue envelope telling them to meet the Doctor in Utah,in the United States. In the future River Song has received another such envelope. When they finally arrive to meet the stetson clad  doctor and River they also encounter a man who is a complete stranger who introduces himself as Canton Everett Delaware III,what appears to be an Project Apollo era astronaut rises from the water and destroys the Doctor right before their eyes. Mr. Delaware has bought a container of gasoline to set alight the remains of the Doctor so the time lords body doesn't fall into alien hands. He insists that while he already knows Amy,Rory and River they as yet do not.  It's also no coincidence the Doctor had just instructed Amy,Rory and River to journey back to 1969. At the same time it's discovered each of the letters received were individually  numbered,and all except the one marked with "1" has been discovered. At a cafe in town,the trio discover the note has in fact been opened by a younger version of the Doctor who,apparently was sent to this exact location to assist his companions in helping him deal with an unknown dilemma.

                 Using the TARDIS computer they are able to decipher Mr.Delaware's identity as an FBI agent  who has been assigned to President Richard Nixon to help out with a phone call directly to the president from a mysterious little girl claiming,of course that she wants protection of a strange astronaut she's encountered. At first naturally suspicious when the Doctor arrives,the President and Delaware soon both find the Doctor not only having taken over their entire operation but helping in locating the coordinates of the girl making the phone call. On a visit to the rest room Amy encounters a frightening alien in a suit,who she realizes she also saw in Utah who instructs her to pass on important information to the Doctor. She photographs the creature with her camera phone but by the time she reaches the Doctor,she's forgotten the message she was to impart. Meanwhile she,Rory,River the Doctor and the bewildered Canton Delaware depart in the TARDIS to investigate the source of the call to the president. They find a store area filled with both contemporary NASA equipment as well as extra terrestrial ones. Meanwhile River sets off underground with Rory to investigate a group of tunnels that seem to spread out beneath the entire surface of the Earth and are also of extra terrestrial origin. Just as the Doctor,Canton Delaware and Amy arrive under the surface,Amy suddenly remembers to announce her pregnancy to the Doctor just as they are accosted by the astronaut again,whose helmet is pulled up to reveal the face of  a  little girl.

                   This is one of those Doctor Who stories where the questions definitely hold more weight to the story than the answers. And the story is comprised mainly of questions. Why would something wearing an Apollo era space suit have the ability to destroy a time lord like the Doctor? Why was a young girl in 1969 America personally calling the President regarding a similar occurrence? And more over why was it that the Doctor sent letters to his companions,including himself from the past,to unravel the entire mystery? In the end Amy and Rory are put into the position of having to trust the even more mysterious character of River Song,who herself seems to be able to bend and shape trust as much as the Doctor does space and time. When Rory confronts her as to her interest in the Doctor,River does admit that she has a completely paradoxical relationship with the Doctor in time and,by the time he she meets him for the first time,their knowledge of each other will be out of sync. Canton Everett Delaware is played up as the hardened FBI agent suddenly forced to throw all his preconceptions out the window when encountering the TARDIS and entering the Doctors life. Mark  and William Morris (as the elder Delaware) Shepard play up this mixture of skepticism and awe extremely well. Overall this episode is a well played mystery that leaves one wondering until the next part. 
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