The Impossible Astronaut

Doctor Who2011: 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?

Series 6 Regular Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory)

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Toby Haynes
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: 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.

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Day Of The Moon

Doctor WhoAmy, 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.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten 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)

Amy alarmedNotes: 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 Read More

The Wedding Of River Song

Doctor WhoRather than marching quietly to his date with death, the Doctor goes on a series of missions to find out why the Silence wants him dead. Every piece of information simply leads to another question, until finally he arrives in Utah with Rory, Amy and River – and then his death fails to happen, thwarted by river. But history records the Doctor’s death at that moment, and when it fails to happen, history unravels, overlapping alternate histories with history as the Doctor and his friends know it. Amy, River and Rory now command a fighting force with orders to defend the Doctor from the Silence, and the mysterious Madame Kovarian has been captured – or has she really been pulling the strings all along? The Doctor’s fate is inescapable – but this time, that’s just how he wants it.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Jeremy Webb
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams), Alex Kingston (River Song), Frances Barber (Madame Kovarian), Simon Fisher-Becker (Dorium Maldovar), Ian McNeice (Emperor Winston Churchill), Richard Hope (Dr. Malokeh), Marnix van den Broeke (The Silent), Nicholas Briggs (voice of the Dalek), Simon Callow (Charles Dickens), Sian Williams (herself), Bill Turnbull (himself), Meredith Viera (Newsreader), Niall Grieg Fulton (Gideon Vandaleur), Sean Buckley (Barman), Rondo Haxton (Gantok), Emma Campbell-Jones (Dr. Kent), Katharine Burford (Nurse), Richard Dillane (Carter), William Morgan Sheppard (Canton Delaware)

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More