Now, for those of you who are not familiar with Doctor Who, here’s how Neil Gaiman talks about the series:
“…look, there’s a blue box. It’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. It can go anywhere in time and space and sometimes even where it’s meant to go. And when it turns up, there’s a bloke in it called The Doctor and there will be stuff wrong and he will do his best to sort it out and he will probably succeed ’cause he’s awesome. Now sit down, shut up, and watch ‘Blink‘.”
No one could have put it any better.
Now, the first episode of the newest season had just aired in the UK and the US, it’s called The Impossible Astronaut for reasons that I cannot say. Not because I’m scared of spoiler-phobes who will probably kill me if I say anything about it, but rather because I’m not actually sure what’s so impossible about the titular astronaut.
Now, the episode begins with married couple Amy and Rory in 2011, two months after having gotten back from their honeymoon, and enjoying a normal life in, I’m guessing, Leadworth. They get a mysterious summons that takes them to Utah–and finds the Doctor waiting for them. But, spoilers, the Doctor they meet is not the same Doctor who saved their lives in A Christmas Carol. He’s older. Much older. 200 years older.
The Impossible Astronaut starts out with the TARDIS crew being a happy bunch. And rightly so. They deserve to be happy after the events of Series 5. And then something happens that rips your heart out. But before you can recover, the episode is already taking you to the next twist. And you really can’t say anything about this episode without spoiling something. Seriously.
But things have changed inside the TARDIS. Amy, Rory and River are now sharing a secret that they must never ever tell the Doctor. And then there’s the new monster. The Silence. It’s not as scary as it was reported to be. Or at least, that’s what I was thinking while watching the episode. And then the episode ended. And I started thinking, since we don’t remember the Silence as soon as we turn away, what if it’s right behind you? Right now even.
Matt Smith, Eleventh, is my first doctor. Even though my first Doctor Who episode was Blink, and I’ve since seen the episodes since the series was restarted in 2005. And I have to say, I continue to love the childish exuberance that Eleventh brings to the show. Tenth and Ninth were fun in their own ways, but I wouldn’t want to be part of their journeys. Well, yes, actually. But there’s always a fear of when he leaves you. Or when you leave him. Because it seems inevitable that you’re going to part ways with that Doctor. That’s not the case with Eleventh. Because even when you’re not with him, you feel as if he’s just right beside you.
The Doctor makes people better. That is true with Ninth and Tenth. With Eleventh, he just doesn’t make you better–he also makes you want to embrace life. And this is exactly what makes The Impossible Astronaut such a sad episode. Because, I feel, that after the events that had happened here… Well, everything will change.
Now, where can I find a TARDIS that will take me to next week? So I can watch the next episode already!