Doctor Who

Season 6 Episode 1

The Impossible Astronaut (1)

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Apr 23, 2011 on BBC America

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

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out of 10
428 votes
  • Best Moffat Who so far. Nice...

    Oh, I called it. I called it so much. I said "if Moffat is clever he'll retcon the whole time loop plot device out of existance" and here we go, all of a sudden nobody is allowed to interfere with their own history again and things get tense again. No more cheating.

    Of course there will be cheating, won't it? At some point history will have to change, but the acknowledgement is already a good thing.

    Now, the episode itself, regardless of the narrative tweaking, was actually very impressive. The team makes the best of their "we're going to America" fund and get some gorgeous images that really help broaden the scope of the action. The comedy continues to ring true (perhaps the one area in which this Doctor has never faltered), the monsters are creepy and the plot is mysterious and confusing without seeming random. There's clearly something big at work and there is clearly an internal logic running it. We just can't figure it out yet. The drama, though, is what sells this. Smith has played his stuff a bit too flippant before. He's been funny, but despite his glimpses of seriousness he's rarely dealt with serious situations in a weighty manner. Here he kind of sells it because the script allows him to do so.

    And everything builds up to a pretty great cliffhanger, too. Which is the only part that worries me a little. Last year's cliffhangers were all very cool, but the payoffs were rarely as interesting. We'll see how this one works. And, hopefully, we get to fix that mess at the beginning of the episode while still enforcing the "no timey-wimey deus ex machinas" rule. Fingers crossed.
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