Doctor Who: Season 6, Episode 1

The Impossible Astronaut (23 Apr. 2011)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 2,867 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 7 critic

River Song, Rory, The Doctor and Amy are reunited in the Utah desert

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Stuart Milligan ...
Chukwudi Iwuji ...
Carl (as Chuk Iwuji)
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Sydney Wade ...
Little Girl
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Joy
Kieran O'Connor ...
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Storyline

Four envelopes, numbered two, three and four - each containing a date, time and map reference, unsigned, but TARDIS blue - begin the latest series of the time-travelling adventures. Who sent them? And who received the missing number one? This strange summons reunites The Doctor, Amy, Rory and River Song in the middle of the Utah desert and unveils a terrible secret that The Doctor's friends must never reveal to him. Placing his life entirely in their hands, The Doctor agrees to search for the recipient of the fourth envelope. Just who is Canton Everett Delaware the Third? And what is the relevance of their only other clue: "Space 1969"? Their quest lands them in the Oval Office, where they are enlisted by President Nixon himself to assist enigmatic former FBI agent Canton in saving a terrified little girl from a mysterious spaceman. Written by BBC Press Release

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23 April 2011 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Oval Office set was constructed at Upper Boat Studios in South Wales. Because the production crew had access to several pictures and plans of the real office, they were able to replicate it in almost every detail. The main problem for building the set was the plastering; the crew normally plaster one wall at a time for normal rooms, but because the Oval Office was round, they had to do the entire set at once. See more »

Goofs

The desk that President Nixon was sitting at, in the Oval Office, lacked the panel, with the Seal of the United States, that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had installed on the front of the desk, to conceal his wheelchair. See more »

Quotes

The Doctor: Fellows, the guns, really? I just walked into the highest security office in the United States and parked a big blue box on the rug. Do you think you can just shoot me?
River Song: They're Americans!
The Doctor: [puts his hands up] Don't shoot.
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Crazy Credits

Following the death of former companion Elisabeth Sladen, The Impossible Astronaut opened with a dedication in her name. See more »

Connections

References The Graduate (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Doctor Who Theme
(uncredited)
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

 
Contrast Isn't A Moffat Strong Point
23 April 2011 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

Season five helmed by Steven Moffat was a massive disappointment to me and there was a feeling Moff had done nothing to change the show . Instead he produced several Russell T Davies scripts that he found in the office . Certainly I was intrigued that season six was going to open with a two part episode which indicated he was about to stamp his own signature on the show . Could Steven Moffat finally break free of RTD's shadow ? Yes is the answer but he still has a major problem that I think that he's incapable of escaping . I'll come to that in a moment

First of all it's good to see a story set in America that was actually filmed in America and director Toby Haynes makes the best of the gorgeous Utah landscape . . In fact the photography used is beautiful as the early evening shade casts shadows upon the actors bodies . The sunset actually does resemble a sunset

Matt Smith also feels like he's stepping out of Tennant's shadow . . As much as I still miss Eccleston's brooding Byronic Doctor I do conceded that Smith has firmly nailing the part to a tee . Yes he's eccentric but he's convincingly eccentric , endearingly eccentric and you can believe he's an alien from another planet . The only downside to this is he show's up the rest of the cast which means Karen Gillan comes across as being a dreadful actress

The major problem with the episode is the writing . Moffat shows that he's a one trick pony and is relying too much on a formula . A timey wimey paradox , a child with a catchphrase " Are you my mummy , er I mean astronaut " we've all seen this before and one can't help thinking a dead horse has been well and truly flagellated . The great thing about DOCTOR WHO is the flexibility of the format , a format that isn't being used to its advantage under the Moff

Of course it's difficult to judge a two part story after seeing one episode but one can't help noticing there's a lack of ideas to Moffat's writing . In fact I shouldn't be writing " ideas " because the word should be " idea " singular since he keeps rewriting The Empty Child from season one . However I'll continually watch the show and praise it where praise is deserved


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