Doctor Who (2005– )
8.9/10
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18 user 8 critic

The Impossible Astronaut 

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

Director:

Toby Haynes

Writer:

Steven Moffat
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Cast

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
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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When the Agent is talking to Amy after she exits the Bathroom, a boom mic is visible over his shoulder. See more »

Quotes

Prison Guard: [as alarms go off] You better get down here, sir. She's doing it again. Dr. Song, sir. She's packing.
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 »

Connections

References Star Trek (1966) 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 Theo RobertsonSee 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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