Series 6: Episode 1 & 2 Review

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A spoiler-free review of the first two episodes of Series 6 –  The Impossible Astronaut & Day of The Moon, by Tom Colman.

Usually a Doctor Who series opener is very light in nature –  a quick introduction of the characters, some comedic moments, a threat to the earth, etc – this one is completely the opposite. It’s scary, gritty and in my opinion, one of the darkest yet. Saying that, The Impossible Astronaut opens in a very comedic way, which helps the shock factor when the inevitable death scene that many of you will have heard about finally comes. By the time Day of the Moon ends, you’ll have been shocked many times though.

However, there are a few scenes before that will have you questioning what’s going on. It’s pure Moffat at his best. Make no mistake, he has left a few things in there that will have your brain in knots, coming up with the most ridiculous theories and questioning everything – something I think Moffat delights in.

As dark as both episodes are, they are also full of clever humour that doesn’t take away the grittiness at all. The references to history, pop culture and past episodes will probably have you laughing, but that won’t last long as there is something to chill you in the other scenes. It’s also got elements of sadness to it – all helped greatly by the performance of the actors. Matt Smith has really stepped up his game this year and Alex Kingston (River Song), who seems to go through every major emotion under the sun, does it so well.

The settings and locations are beautifully shot, not only making use of the fine Utah backdrops but some creepy settings that wouldn’t look out of place in an excellent horror movie. However, it’s not just the American setting that’s taken advantage of, but American history as well. The second episode deals with the Apollo moon landing and, of course, the Doctor gets involved somehow. President Nixon’s last line to the Doctor will no doubt have many people laughing and agreeing with the Doctor’s response.

Now, make no mistake, you may have read that the monsters in these episodes are the most frightening yet, but it’s not just a marketing strategy, they really are! Steven Moffat has this great skill of giving attributes to his enemies that make you think, “what if?” and “they could be real and how would we ever know?” The monsters – which I may as well confirm are The Silence – are the most sinister thing the series has ever produced, well in my opinion anyway. Once you learn what they are capable of and how vast their numbers are, you’ll realise just why they are considered scary – again, something Moffat delights in.

Both episodes are a roller coaster ride of thrills, scares, laughs, shocks and sadness, something usually only seen in series finale. So it just goes to show how extraordinary this year is going to be! The bar has been set really high and I hope the rest of the series can follow suit. Now trust me when I say the ending cliffhanger (or cliffhangers depending on how you see things) will have you watching the rest, questioning everything to try and work out where Moffat is taking us this time and we wont be getting the answers any time soon by the looks of it!