2011: Amy and Rory (having settled into life on Earth following their honeymoon) and River Song (still in her stormcage prison) receive numbered invitations consisting only of a date and a place. The place is the American plains, where the Doctor – presumably the sender of the invitations – awaits. But to their horror, an astronaut – clad in a vintage Apollo spacesuit – emerges from a body of water and shoots the Doctor, triggering his regeneration. The astronaut then shoots the Doctor again, killing him before the regeneration is completed, and returns to the water. An elderly man named Canton Delaware III appears, bearing his own numbered invitation and convenient means for disposing of the Doctor’s body. The Doctor’s stunned companions then discover the Time Lord alive and well, blissfully unaware of what’s just happened – in his own future, of which they can divulge nothing.
1969: A scant trail of clues leads the time travelers to the White House, mere months before the launch of Apollo 11. President Richard Nixon has been receiving strange phone calls, almost always on a phone line that happens to be nearest wherever he is, from a child terrified of a spaceman who has appeared nearby. Despite the Secret Service’s lack of enthusiasm about the four apparently British visitors who have popped into the Oval Office without warning, the Doctor appoints himself the chief investigator of the case of the mysterious phone calls. He deduces the location from which the phone calls must be coming, and with a younger Canton Delaware III aboard the TARDIS, goes to find the child who’s placing the calls.
At the White House, Amy sees a creature – a creature of which she saw only a glimpse in 2011. At the abandoned warehouse from which the calls are being placed, Rory and River both see the creatures as well. There’s only one problem: they’re fully aware of who the Doctor is, and of the fate he will suffer. And anyone who sees them, once they look away, doesn’t remember having seen them. Are these the assassins who have killed the last of the Time Lords?
written by Steven Moffat
directed by Toby Haynes
music by Murray Gold
Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory), Alex Kingston (River Song), Mark Sheppard (Canton Delaware), William Morgan Sheppard (old Canton Delaware), Marnix van den Broeke (The Silent), Stuart Milligan (President Richard Nixon), Chuk Iwuji (Carl), Mark Griffin (Phil), Sydney Wade (Little Girl), Nancy Baldwin (Joy), Kieran O’Connor (Prison Guard), Adam Napier (Captain Simmons), Henrietta Clemett (Matilda), Paul Critoph (Charles), Emilio Aquino (Busboy)
Notes: The interior of the alien spacecraft was glimpsed last season in The Lodger. The TARDIS has landed as an invisible object before, in 1968’s The Invasion, though the second Doctor was able to find both the time machine and its entrance a bit more gracefully in that story. Guest star William Morgan Sheppard – often credited as W. Morgan Sheppard in the U.S. and as Morgan Sheppard in the U.K. – has guest starred on nearly every genre series under the sun, from several “generations” of Star Trek, Babylon 5, seaQuest and more, to a memorable regular role on Max Headroom in both its British and American incarnations. He is the real father of actor Mark Sheppard, of whose character he portrays a much older version. Mark Sheppard is familiar to followers of such series as Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, The Middleman, Warehouse 13 and Firefly. Where both the Sheppards were born in the U.K., Stuart Milligan was born in Boston and has portrayed several Presidents of the United States during a career which has seen him do much of his television work in Britain.
LogBook entry & review by Earl Green […]