A terribly spoilery piece for the episode of Doctor Who that aired earlier this evening on BBC1. If you wish to remain spoiler free, I would recommend turning around right now…
1. I Wear A Beard Now. Beards Are Cool.
Imprisoniong the Doctor at Area 51 is a lovely idea, even if he's already popped by in Dreamland. Wee there any references to that i n this episode, if so I missed them. But it's nice to know that the Doctor does actually need a shave and a haircut from time to time. Still its a handy place to have some dwarf star alloy bricks hanging around. They always come in useful.
2. Well That's Just Off Of Memento, Isn't It?
After watching Doctor Who, my eldest daughter and I played at being the Silents (and yes, they are the Silents, it said so in the Doctor Who Adventures magazine last Thursday with a cut out Silent mask), making each other forget we'd seen each other and writing it on our skin in black ink. Thankfully it came off before her mother got back. I wonder how many other people have been scrawling on their skin tonight? Also, I suppose, a bit like Impossible Planet too.
3. Yes. The Children. It Must Be.
Ah, always goo to see Kerry Shale, who's a favourite for playing Americans in British shows. Probably cos he;s American but lives over here. In Steven Moffat's Joking Apart he played the literal embodiment of Mark's Penis, but I remember him more for his role in a Channel 4 show about comic books twenty years ago called… hmm, I believe it was called Kersplat.
4. The Hole In The Wall Gang
Possibly the creepiest part of the episode. An eyepatched woman polayed by Frances Barber opening a hatchway, saying "she seems to be dreaming", and the hatch closing, never existed. Obviously something even weirder is going on. Madame Kovarian apparently, more to come I'm sure.
5. Dok Tor!
It's always good when a monster pronounces the Doctor's name properly. I am reminded of this…
6. The Apollo Moon Landing Is More Powerful Than The Sword
And, yet again, and quite wonderfully, The Doctor saves the day with words. And, um, in doing so, turns the entire human race into a species of genocidal murderers as well, of course. Even if they never remember it. Is this the ultimate realisation of Davros' accusation, that the Doctor turns people into weapons, to do the dirty work he never will?
7. Nixon's Legacy
The first President to travel in the TARDIS. Does that make him an Official Companion now? As with last week, it's refreshing to see Nixon portrayed in a positive fashion, here absolutely willing to take control when needed, and also delegate authority to The Doctor when it's considered necessary, recognising his skill in this. He even tries to push any inate bigotry aside at the end. Add the bit about taping everything in the White House and the nod to David Frost, and no one will really mind that it's Jonathan Creek's boss with a silly nose. And of course a Nixon who suddenly believes there are billions of aliens out to get him… well that's the Nixon we know and love isn't it?
The Doctor's first kiss with River Song, she knows, is the last kiss she will ever have with him. Their relationship is ompletely the wrong way round. All her kisses and whatever else with the Doctor are in her past, and his future. Now all he needs to do is to turn up with a sonic screwdriver to give her, complete with Red settings…
And we did love his hands all over the place. And not in a good way.
9. Schrodinger's Foetus
Is this what happens when you are pregnant and time travel? The likelihood of your pregnancy flips back and forth, affected by the viewing or non-viewing of it? Is this why we see an Amy who thinks she;s pregnant then thinks she isn't, at one minute vomiting from morning sickness, are others happy to take a drink? Is it a quantum pregnancy? Are there two timelines here? Is that how they'll save The Doctor in two hundred years?
10. She Is Not Alone.
So the girl. Set up to look like she is Amy's daughter, raised in the early nineteen sixties what with that photo and all, and the possibility of pregnancy. Strong, clever, persistent and if she does have the ability to regenerate, Time Lord style does that mean that Amy and the Doctor got down and jiggy? Or is it gestating in the TARDIS gave her that ability, Daniel-in-Sandman style, as the TARDIS has been an aid to regeneration in the past. Or… oh who the hell knows. I still want her to be River Song. Could she have been… raised by Amy and Rory? Did the Silents engineer her existence as they need someone who is a bit Time Lordy to fly their proto-TARDIS? Exactly how long was Amy under the control of the Silents? Long enough to have a baby? What are the consequences of Silents falling? And was it the child or was it the suit that kills the Doctor? Why did the Silents need a space suit to preserve the child? Why is she important to them? Why did the Silents explode the TARDIS? Questions questions questions.
It's nice to say Hugh Bonneville name without getting in trouble from the law or being in contempt of court so I'll just say it again. Hugh Bonneville. He's in next week's Doctor Who. And not in any newspaper.
Roll on next week!