Doctor Who (2005– )
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The Impossible Astronaut 

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


Toby Haynes


Steven Moffat, Steven Moffat (showrunner)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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
Chukwudi Iwuji ... Carl (as Chuk Iwuji)
Mark Griffin ... Phil
Sydney Wade ... Little Girl
Nancy Baldwin Nancy Baldwin ... Joy
Kieran O'Connor Kieran O'Connor ... Prison Guard
Adam Napier Adam Napier ... Captain Simmons
Henrietta Clemett Henrietta Clemett ... Matilda


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The working title for this episode was The Year of the Moon. See more »


After Amy comes out of the restroom the Secret Service agent sees her phone (an unknown device in 1969) but lets her keep it. There is no way a Secret Service agent would let you keep an unknown device around the President. It might be a weapon. It would be even more likely confiscated having been called a "phone" when it clearly is NOT a phone, to someone in 1969. See more »


River Song: The Doctor's death doesn't frighten me, nor does my own. There's a far worse day coming for me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

A scene which River Song appears naked and winks at an unknown man was filmed, but cut because Steven Moffat felt it was too naughty and the deleted scene can be glimpsed in the Series 6 trailer. See more »


References Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) See more »


Rolling in the Deep
Written by Adele, Paul Epworth
Performed by Adele
See more »

User Reviews

Thank god! Doctor Who is back to its brilliant self!
28 April 2011 | by maxbastowSee all my reviews

I loved series 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Doctor Who and this episode has returned to those days with this episode.

In my opinion, series 5 was very weak, with ridiculous stories, Matt Smith trying to copy David Tennant's brilliance and a finale that was confusing and unrealistic beyond comprehension, using bad excuses to wrap up plot holes. For me, when they brought back the Weeping Angels they completely ruined them, taking away the fear and originality behind them and from that point onward it felt like a downwards spiral.

But finally, it seems that Matt Smith is finding himself and becoming his own doctor. He is now much more unique as I felt that before he was copying Tennant to try to be popular.

It's still too early to say whether or not the story is good but it is intriguing and they have invented good monsters. They also have a lot of suspense building up and I want to know what happens next.

In conclusion, Doctor Who is finally back to its roots and we can only help it stays that way throughout the series.

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Release Date:

23 April 2011 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Moab, Utah, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BBC Cymru Wales See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (DTS HD MASTER AUDIO 5.1 Mix)



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

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