Amy, Rory and River are on the run after the Doctor is captured by the unknown, skull-faced aliens, who seem to have Canton Delaware under their control. But the Doctor and Canton are secretly working together, and stage the “capture” of the rest of the TARDIS travelers. The only way any of them have been able to remember anything about the aliens on Earth is to mark their own skin each time they see one – but no other information remains until Amy’s cell phone photo of one provides the means to construct a hologram of one of the aliens inside the TARDIS. The Doctor equips each of his friends, including Canton, with recording devices, and is forced to take President Nixon into his confidence about the alien invasion. Even Nixon is hard-pressed to explain the Doctor’s presence when the Time Lord is found rewiring the Apollo 11 capsule. The other time travelers try to discover where the missing girl came from, leading to an abandoned orphanage who doesn’t seem to grasp that it’s no longer 1967. Amy finds the girl – still in a NASA spacesuit – but is taken prisoner by the aliens.
written by Steven Moffat
directed by Toby Haynes
music by Murray Gold
Guest Cast: Alex Kingston (River Song), Mark Sheppard (Canton Delaware), Marnix van den Broeke (The Silent), Stuart Milligan (President Richard Nixon), Kerry Shale (Dr. Renfrew), Glenn Wrage (Gardener), Jeff Mash (Grant), Sydney Wade (Little Girl), Tommy Campbell (Sergeant), Peter Banks (Dr. Shepherd), Frances Barber (Eye Patch Lady), Ricky Fearon (Tramp), Chuk Iwuji (Carl), Mark Griffin (Phil)
Notes: Dwarf star alloy is very handy for trapping time travelers; Rorvik and his crew landed a ship with an entire outer hull made of dwarf star alloy – said to be super-dense material – to enslave the time-hopping Tharils in 1981’s Warriors’ Gate, at least until the fourth Doctor and Romana helped to free them. Guest star Frances Barber put in another surreal appearance in a 1989 Red Dwarf episode, the fan favorite Polymorph. Apparently President Nixon’s near-obsessive taping of his Oval Office activities was the Doctor’s suggestion – perhaps future episodes will tell us what the Silence were up to during the missing 18 minutes of the Watergate tapes.
LogBook entry & review by Earl Green
Review: Not exactly picking up right where The Impossible Astronaut leaves off, Day Of The Moon milks a little more mileage out of its Utah location filming with a series of on-the-run vignettes before launching into a series of more studio-bound vignettes that, by virtue of the most flashbacks I’ve seen in anything since Lost went off the air, can be a bit confusing even if you are carefully following along.
A lot of the episode is spent wallowing in the externals of early space-age nostalgia, from the Doctor being discovered aboard the Apollo 11 command module, to Rory breaking the scale model of the lunar lander, to copious nods to the original television footage of the landing. Intriguing character hints drop during the improbably long interval between Amy’s kidnapping and her rescue from the heart of the Silence’s operation; we learn that the (presumably non-Auton) Rory does in fact remember the centuries he spent protecting the Pandorica cntaining Amy; that alone calls the whole non-Auton issue into question. Rory’s also stuck with the burden of being not as brilliant as the Doctor – even as a married man, Rory has competition.
The most troublesome element of Day Of The Moon, really, is the implication of Moffat’s otherwise well-thought-out comeuppance for the Silence. The notion that the single most-watched piece of television in history contains humanity’s marching orders for wiping out the Silence is a nifty one… until you bother to think this through to its logical conclusion. Supposedly this message has been turning generations of humans into soldiers capable of killing the creatures behind the alien invasion, and equally capable of forgetting doing that deed. That in itself is a little bit disturbing. But let’s keep following where this idea leads. Children have also been seeing this. Are they out there killing the Silent aliens? Nobody whose brain is wired slightly differently has ever had some sort of breakdown or mental aberration from repeated exposure to these images? As disheartened as the tenth Doctor was at Davros’ suggestion that his companions essentially became an army unto themselves (Journey’s End), the eleventh Doctor is now okay with turning much of humanity into soldiers to fight off the invasion of the Silence? Sure, we’re defending our home planet, and sure, it’s cute to send the Silence packing with humanity’s boot up their collective backside, but there’s an ends-justifying-the-means theme here that doesn’t really feel quite right for Doctor Who.
If that’s the troubling aspect of the episode, then the final scene is a real game-changer, sending the series’ mythos off in a whole new direction as much as The End Of The World‘s revelation of Gallifrey’s destruction did.