darkbunnyrabbit: (One Times Infinity)
darkbunnyrabbit ([personal profile] darkbunnyrabbit) wrote on April 24th, 2011 at 04:28 am
Doctor Who The Impossible Astronaut - Review + thoughts

So, my first thought and what I really have trouble getting beyond the whole entire rest of the episode: WTF were Amy and Rory doing not with the Doctor? It was a cute way to introduce the show, sure, and played easiest with the plot, but it just...doesn't make sense. I could see him maybe dropping them off temporarily to do something undercover and then getting the time wrong--but really, why would Amy ever go for this when she has done with the twelve year/two year thing already? Of all companions, Amy should never want to let him out of her sight until she was done traveling. The whole attitude I got from that was that they were taking a break willingly which...while it fits the River Song archetype, just doesn't make sense to me. Maybe if these were Amy and Rory's future selves after they decided to part ways on a more permanent basis I could go with their taking a break, but then the episode is even more discombobulating and difficult to handle, because nothing in it is going to matter for a long time. (The timeline also gets fuzzy because of real world constraints, but more on that later.)

But really, even besides the fact that--what companion doesn't travel with him? (It's all well and good that he'll have a family unit, so to speak, and that he stays in contact with them, but if at any time he is traveling alone? The companions aren't doing their jobs properly.) Even if you could argue that a companion who's married would want to take a break and live the domestic life for a bit...this is Amy Pond.

She may not be running away from a nonexistent life any more, but she's the girl who waited five minutes for ten years, and then waited two more when he popped out to the moon, and then witnessed how horrible he is with hitting things on time since then. She's never known a Doctor who is good about where he lands, so why--of all companions, even Rose--would she ever allow him out of her sight? There's the very real possibility that he would mean to come back in an hour and show up in sixty years instead. "Oh, whoops! Sorry, Amy. Meant to be back in five...my you've gotten...old."

Even if he could convince her he'd be timely, even if she was willing to chance spending a life without ever seeing him or going on adventures again, this is the companion who knows River Song. She knows full well that River's timeline with the Doctor is completely borked, and it's entirely because River doesn't travel with him. Why would she drop off when she never knows if they'll ever meet in the proper order again? (Guess what? THEY DIDN'T. BIG SURPRISE.)

This is seriously the biggest hang up for me. I realize he needed to set up the future-Doctor, but it wouldn't have been too difficult to set him up and confuse them even when they're traveling with the Doctor. It's not as if they never lose sight of him, after all. I also realize he's probably trying to set up Amy and Rory as different kinds of companions, following the same model as River--these strange friends who are nice to have around, but don't fill the essential function of companions. Which is, come to think of it, probably because they're never given that chance, because Eleventh holds them [ ----- ---] way out here. But that's meta for another time.

Anyway, ignoring that bit, I did enjoy this episode. I have a few other points I want to cover that bugged or annoyed me, and I'll get them done with before I continue on to the points I did enjoy.

First: Provided the Doctor's not lying (well, he is, but ball-park truth) about his age, Moffat just fritzed up his timeline, like he did with Ten. Basically, we now know the Eleventh Doctor will stay Eleven for two hundred years. Obviously he's not actually going to die. That was either some sort of double-feint kind of thing, or a timeline that will change, but for him to live long enough to make a general time loop of that, he'll have to live two hundred years. Meaning Moffat will have to unravel that timeline, or when Matt quits he'll have to hop him into the future.

Second: I am so glad this Doctor that had caught up more with River was from the future, because...skipping some of River's story? Absolutely the worst thing that could be done for the audience's appreciation of her. The trouble is, of course, that we're still probably going to skip the Easter Island and Jimmy the Fish stories, but...it will probably be better once she's better established. While this sounds like it might be a positive, up until I realized he was from the future (when he gave his age), I was annoyed by this, and there was no great "Aha that's awesome!" moment to make up for it, so it goes in the annoying bit.

Third: It bugged me how much things seemed to need to be spelled out over and over. Yes, I get he's from the future. Duh he had this planned. Obviously this Doctor is our 'present' one. (Or closer to it anyway). I understand they had to explain things like the names of the presidents, too, but it was a little bit obvious from the start being an American, and silly the Americans never seemed to get it. It further bugged me that they were talking right under him and he apparently couldn't hear it (though he might have just been pretending otherwise). Which ties into my dislike of the bits where River is correcting his TARDIS piloting. I like a Doctor who knows what he's doing.

Fourth: It greatly bothers me that we've apparently skipped a year of time. When we left off in season five, it was June 26th, 2010. In the Christmas Carol, they're just finishing their honeymoon, which has got to be only a few weeks to a couple of months at most. That's ten months of Earth-Time we skipped ahead, eight of that where they're traveling with the Doctor...and we know that time with the Doctor is always more than the amount of time passed on Earth unless he lands badly (and nothing was mentioned indicating this). Now...skipping adventures is inevitable and understandable. I could also see a year skipped when there's no companion or with well-established companions (Say if Rose or Donna stayed on longer seasons and they skip a year of time at some point. Donna more so than Rose) but Amy and Rory are not.

Amy is still feeling things out, and we have no idea how much she's changed with suddenly having parents and not being afraid of marrying Rory. Rory has only gone out a few times. And now it's a Rory with three different lifetimes, including one where he lived for two thousand years. You can't just introduce a companion and then jump ahead past their settling in and all the character development that goes with it. Inside jokes and comfortable rapports are only fun if we're included in developing that. I enjoyed the whole "Why is it always my turn?" thing, and still love Rory, but I resent being skipped ahead.

Fifth: River. What in the world is going on with her time line? I mean, clearly she is set after Pandorica Opens, because she knows Amy and Rory--and she didn't know them in Pandorica, correct? Besides that, she's clearly not going in a backward line, unless every single adventure in her diary goes in a straight line in his timeline (which means she'll only ever know his Eleventh self, and she'll never see him again after her pardon in Flesh and Stone until her last visit with him--which is clearly not true because we know he sees her again later and gives her his sonic screwdriver). More than likely, some of those adventures of hers in her diary are going to be out of order for the Doctor, not in a straight line, so...she knows better. that was just...such an annoying simplification. Besides this, why is she ever confused about where he's from if she knows this man is Merlin? I can see her being occasionally thrown with the huge jumps, or being hopeful, but she seems honestly lost most of the time, like he could be from any point. It just does not work right, and bugs me.

Sixth: How silly is it that hey go to America and then their guest star that actually goes with them speaks in a British accent?

Seventh: It did bug me a bit that the Doctor made the snide comment about companions only being good for gawking, but then they were being pretty rude to him anyway, so it wasn't so bad.

Eighth: Seriously, no one's thought of saying something about the alien they're looking at to someone not looking at it? Would this not circumvent the forgetting part? The most glaring parts being when River didn't scream, and when Rory saw aliens and only chose to say anything at all when he looked away? Really? You see scary aliens coming at you, and you look away? Without saying anything? Come on.

Ninth: Oh, honestly, as if I didn't see the pregnancy thing coming as soon as she was sick. Did we need that?

Tenth: MAKE UP YOUR MIND, SHOW. Stop changing all the rules of time over and over, it's annoying.

Eleventh: Did they seriously just go out of their way to make the new opening worse? This is not the Amy Pond show. Get out, early-90s opening sequence.


Things I did enjoy -

I do enjoy River more and more the younger she gets and the more she becomes your average companion who honestly doesn't know any more about what's going on than the others. Less arrogant is a good look for River. I still choose to selectively ignore things she says, of course. My current suspicion is that she's involved in Torchwood or even might be Jack, just because she says 'that's when everything changes', and that's what Jack says, too. I might be happy if she were Jack, it explains their close bond, and how Jack would somehow end up a face. I also enjoyed a little bit how apparently SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT is River's default reaction to the death of the Doctor. As well it should be. As well it would horrify the Doctor.

It was a very funny episode, and I highly enjoyed it. I also kind of liked the vibe of 1103 Doctor, even though there were parts that bugged me about him. He seemed more settled and in charge. The regeneration effects were also very pretty. I also enjoyed the comfortable banter sort of thing he had with the trio.

Do my eyes deceive me or was Amy wearing pants for once?

Rory is still amazing, and I highly enjoyed almost everything with him in it.

"You won't shoot me." "THEY'RE AMERICANS!" "DON'T SHOOT!" Shut up, it's the very thing I talk about with my friends for why the Doctor never goes to America. We have guns. We use them. We like them. We do not need him 90% of the time because we have them. It amused me. I also liked that he called it 'the most powerful city in the most powerful country in the world'. It's nice to be flattered a bit after being completely ignored.

I realize it's silly, too, but I enjoyed the ridiculous slapstick routine with smacking into the invisible TARDIS and "River, halp!" for once a situation where I didn't find River annoying (not even the "Every time" bit. Eleven's such an idiot.) And enjoyed the whole banter with the Secret Service and etc.

"Hippie!" "Archaeologist!"

For once, a guest companion who's as useless as a guest companion really should be.

I have to say, I really prefer the Doctor with multiple companions, and I think I could live with River if she were a constant companion. It's when her visits are staggered and "Oh NOW something's important because River's here!" that her presence alone is annoying.

Did anyone get the vibe that he (Wine drinking 1103) was calling on and buddying up with River because he knows he has to/is supposed to? There seemed to be some friendliness there, but it still felt like he was following a script, or the outline of one, anyway.

He really was asking for that slap.

I love that he still refuses to trust River. I really do. I want him staying the audience's surrogate and "Dude wtf are you, woman?". I am just not ready for him to change his mind yet.


Misc thoughts/speculation

As I said, obviously they're going to avert this or it will turn out differently than it appeared. That's a foregone conclusion, and if they leave it vague or "Well one day.." I still won't believe it, because Matt Smith is not the last Doctor. (Dare not speak of that. Ever.)

Also as I've said before, I still see River as this close friend/drinking buddy who loves him but who isn't in a relationship with him that way. She just loves poking fun at him and making the kinds of jokes Jack would, because she's a 51st century gal. I'm also still clinging to the hope that she's something like the Rani (who killed the Doctor. Somehow. She lies and time is wibbly.) or maybe she's Jack.

50% chance Amy just caused what she was trying to prevent.

Time ship from the Lodger, but operational. They should drag in Craig and make him blow it up.

It's not something I dislike, it's just more of a neutral 'meh' but...I could do without River being a caricature of the Doctor's personality and then lauded as basically being his clone. I prefer her being a bit over the top and herself just because that's who she is, and she's milking her mysterious aura because she needs to do something with it, not because she's just a clone of the Doctor.

It's sort of a sad parting for old!not!Crowley, saying goodbye to the trio he probably befriends before they ever meet. They have to just be sick of this out of time stuff. But apparently they're not, because they keep doing stupid things like getting off the train while it's in motion.

Apparently there's a spare TARDIS lying around. Kind of more important than a Time Lord body which, by the way, would not fully burn in a boat on the water.

That's all I have for now. :|
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