View Poll Results: Rate The Impossible Astronaut

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  • 10: Astronomical!

    3 10.00%
  • 9: Astounding!

    8 26.67%
  • 8: Astonishing!

    11 36.67%
  • 7: Amazing

    6 20.00%
  • 6: Acceptable

    1 3.33%
  • 5: Alright

    0 0%
  • 4: Alright-ish

    0 0%
  • 3: About watchable

    0 0%
  • 2: Appalling

    1 3.33%
  • 1: Abysmal!

    0 0%
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  1. #26
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    Was there any reason for Nixon to be in the story, though ...?

    And wasn't the future Doctor, ahem ... dead by the point the invitations would have to have been sent? Therefore he can't have sent the invitations, unless he was planning to die. But as his younger self wasn't there by that point, how could he have known where and when and by whom that death was going to occur? Unless he told the person who killed him where and when to be, but then how does the spacesuited person travel in time anyway? And why do they appear in the water? And under what circumstance would the Doctor need to have himself killed - and I mean killed outright?

    It strikes me as yet another piece of woolly thinking from Steven Moffat, hidden under the disguise of "cleverness".

  2. #27

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    I thought it was a solid opening, a seven-out-of-ten that will rise or fall in the marking scale depending on how things turn out in part two.

    However, although I really enjoyed it, I worry that younger viewers will have struggled to even understand a lot of it. I'm trying to credit eight year olds of 2011 (not to mention Stephen Moffatt) with the intelligence to grasp what's going on (or in the Moff's case, the intelligence to know that "dropping off the kids", as people are suggesting, would be a fatal error) but I'm concerned that, as a kid of a similar age, a lot of what happened might have passed over my head. I'm hoping that I was thick and da kidz today are as mentally proficient as they are inured to scary things like the Silents. If one of them had appeared in - for example - The Five Doctors - when I was that challenged eight year old, I'd be writing this with a crayon on the padded wall of my nice, comfortable cell.

    Season openers are customarily light, which is why all but two of them have been utterly awful. What made "The Eleventh Hour" so excellent was the way it combined the complex storytelling and set-up with an assured lightness of touch that gently bedded viewers in for the darker, scarier stuff to come. Opening a season with "Blink" would either confuse, scare or do both to a new, young viewer, and such a thing would have been out-of-the-question a couple of years ago. It's a bold move to do something similar, and I can't help but wonder if the Moff has gone a bit too far.

    Then again, children are clever; they're better equipped to deal with scary stuff, and - hopefully - the younger ones have Mum or Dad on hand to answer questions about pregnant Ponds, Richard Nixon and "screamers". (Good luck with that last one, parents.) There was enough action and excitement to fill in the gaps in what they understood and didn't and, of course, a lot of the blanks are deliberately there. The number of "whos", "whats", and "whys" left at the end of this episode could fill an entire crack in the universe and I look forward to at least SOME (but undoubtedly not all) of the answers in part two. How many, or the quality of them, will - I fink - determine my final assessment of this, the bravest opening chapter in a series of Doctor Who since An Unearthly Child.

    PS Er, it was the Doctor who sent the letters, wasn't it? Or was whoever asked that joking? God, I wish I was eight again. I always got the joke back in 1983...

  3. #28
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    I'm assuming the 1100+ old Doctor sent the invitations, knowing what was to come.... which of course means that although the companions may have decided they can't possibly tell him, at least one of them does.

    Actually, I'd like to see Rory do that, for a bit of comic relief. "Not sure, er, how to bring this up, Doctor, but, well..."

  4. #29
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    6.5m according to DWM on Facebook!
    Was there any reason for Nixon to be in the story, though ...?
    I think so, because he's a famous historical character and Doctor Who likes doing that sort of thing! You could argue that most of the historical character appearances since Dickens have been unnecessary.

    I think it's good to have a story that stretches kids' imaginations and makes them work to understand it. In most households, the parents are the ones who will be confused and they'll be asking their children to explain it.

    I do worry that the scariness is off-putting to some children. But then it makes watching Doctor Who a mark of respectability among schoolkids. In my day (The late McCoy era) it was merely a mark of naffness. Making it scary keeps it 'cool'.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    I think so, because he's a famous historical character and Doctor Who likes doing that sort of thing! You could argue that most of the historical character appearances since Dickens have been unnecessary.
    But all of the historical characters who've appeared in the new series have been central to the plots, and have essentially had those plots written around them and what we know of them. Was Nixon really any more central to the plot than Moffat thinking "wouldn't it be cool if we had a sequence set in the White House with Richard Nixon listening to one of his famous tapes, and the voice on that tape was one of my patented scary crackly children's voices"...?

    On the subject of "appropriateness", how appropriate is it leaving viewers (whose ages probably sink to as low as three or four years old) for an entire week (an absolute age to children as young as that) with the image of a mother-to-be shooting a child?

  6. #31
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    Or shooting at a faceless astronaut who was set to murder her best friend? (Plus the Next Time trailer takes the sting out of that one).

    Still, it would be objectional if they'd done it in the way you said.

  7. #32
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    Utterly wonderful, frightening, scary, funny, fascinating, different and...cool. It seemed to look even more gorgeous in HD than it has before, well directed, and a great cast. The guy playing the young Clarence having always been a favourite of mine in american tv (especially in Firefly).

    Already my favourite Tardis crew ever, they really cemented that even further, Amy's character being very cleverly written, IMO, and Rory a perfect foil for the other two. Absolutely loved the scene in the Tardis where they have to convince the Doctor, Smith showing an added harder edge that we haven't seen too much of up until now.

    And I simply loved the new aliens, a classic design (even though it borrows a little from here and there), scary as f***, and the scene in the toilet was one of the most chilling I've ever seen in the show. Moffat has done it again, with such a simple premise (you can only remember them when you see them), you wonder why no-one has come up with it before.

    Music was not too bad from Murray, with just a few moments here and there that veered towards obtrusiveness.

    If you haven't already guessed, one of the easiest 10/10's I've ever awarded. I do take Mr. Well's comments about how young children might not have understood it all with interest, but am pretty sure that if I'd seen that as a child I would have equally adored it.

    With all the mentions from the Doctor of 'Rory the Roman' and that picture from the Radio Times season preview, I'm guessing that's going to become more important as the season progresses, and as for River, they seemed to be pointing heavily towards her being his wife - and carrying his baby. Which doesn't offend me as much as I would have thought (when she first came into the show).

    “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.” - Gutle Schnaper Rothschild

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    Or shooting at a faceless astronaut who was set to murder her best friend? (Plus the Next Time trailer takes the sting out of that one).

    Still, it would be objectional if they'd done it in the way you said.
    ... but didn't we see the astronaut remove its helmet to reveal a child's face just before Amy shot it? So doesn't that mean they did do it in the way I said?

  9. #34
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    oh by the way I don't like the Doctor's new jacket.

  10. #35

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    Steve, I'm glad I wasn't the only one who thought River was up the duff. It seemed wrong to mention it, somehow; I'm glad you have broken the silence - as it were - on this matter, and I agree, like, totally.

  11. #36
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    JR, you seem to be asking a lot of questions about the plot of a story that is only half finsihed. It's just possible that the answers will be along either next week or later in the series, isn't it?

    As for the 'appropriateness' of Amy shooting a child, it's not like she did it in cold blood. The sequence of events is quite clear that she doesn't realise what she's done until she pulls the trigger and is suitably horrified. It's an 'oh my god, what's she done!' moment. We also never saw the child hit. And there is still something weird about that child, as there is no way a child that young would fit into an adult sized spacesuit properly anyway!

  12. #37
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    a. river really doesn't like the doctor wearing hats
    b. you do know the meaning of "..." after the "to be continued" means "B****DS!!!" ( as in, that what you say every time they appear
    c. i tweeted my fave quote ""youre not going to shoot me" "theyre american!" "DONT SHOOT!!!,DONT SHOOT!!!"
    like ...a lot...

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Thompson View Post
    JR, you seem to be asking a lot of questions about the plot of a story that is only half finsihed. It's just possible that the answers will be along either next week or later in the series, isn't it?
    Well it's not like all those kinds of questions got answered last year either!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Thompson View Post
    As for the 'appropriateness' of Amy shooting a child, it's not like she did it in cold blood. The sequence of events is quite clear that she doesn't realise what she's done until she pulls the trigger and is suitably horrified. It's an 'oh my god, what's she done!' moment. We also never saw the child hit. And there is still something weird about that child, as there is no way a child that young would fit into an adult sized spacesuit properly anyway!
    True, but Doctor Who is a children's programme (or a programme with a huge following among children, if you prefer), and the image those children will take away from the end of this episode (and keep in their heads for a whole week - an aeon when you're that age) is the sight of Amy Pond shooting an eight-year-old in cold blood.

  14. #39
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    ... and I know this makes me sound like Mary Whitehouse, but could you imagine a computer game being licensed, if the plot involved adults gunning down children? And yet there it is, in a children's programme, on a Saturday night!

  15. #40
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    the image those children will take away from the end of this episode (and keep in their heads for a whole week - an aeon when you're that age) is the sight of Amy Pond shooting an eight-year-old in cold blood.
    Sorry, no, I still can't see that. I think you must have a different definition of 'cold blood' than I do. Solon killing Condo is cold blood. The Dalek using a sprinkler system to exterminate dozens of people with one shot is cold blood.

    This is an impulsive act. Amy sees the astronaut that she witnessed killing the Doctor, having already spoken of the possibility of killing it now so it can't kill him in the future, and picks up a gun. As she spins round to fire the gun the astronaut raises its visor to reveal a child just at the moment she pulls the trigger... and that's it. It's NOT a cold-blooded shooting of a child. She doesn't KNOW it's a child until it's too late, and looks suitably horrified when she realises: all she knows is that the thing in the spacesuit kills the Doctor in the future and she wants to prevent that. We don't see the child shot, only Amy firing the gun. Do you contend that children are incapable of understanding that sequence of events?

    And thirty seconds later we have the 'next time' trailer showing Amy apologising for shooting at the child, so anyone who watched knows it's going to be OK.

  16. #41
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    Oh, and a note to Mr Moffat: the wibbly-wobbly (or 'bumpy wumpy' now, it seems...) timey-wimey things were clever and fun at one point. Blink, mainly. Now they're just getting reptetive. Can we stop having people knowing what to do because they remember watching themselves do it in the past/future, or people meeting in the wrong order, or having all of time and space twisted around? Yes, we get that you like the possibilities of a show about time travel, but just occasionally it would be perfectly acceptable to have the time travel just as a way of getting from A to B, and having an adventure there that doesn't involve it. You know, the way the series did when you and we all fell in love with it in the first place?

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.R. Southall View Post
    ... dead by the point the invitations would have to have been sent? Therefore he can't have sent the invitations, unless he was planning to die. But as his younger self wasn't there by that point, how could he have known where and when and by whom that death was going to occur? Unless he told the person who killed him where and when to be, but then how does the spacesuited person travel in time anyway? And why do they appear in the water? And under what circumstance would the Doctor need to have himself killed - and I mean killed outright?

    It strikes me as yet another piece of woolly thinking from Steven Moffat, hidden under the disguise of "cleverness".

    lets just wait and see part 2 first you never know your questions might be answered..





    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Vale View Post
    Utterly
    Already my favourite Tardis crew ever, they really cemented that even further, Amy's character being very cleverly written, IMO, and Rory a perfect foil for the other two. Absolutely loved the scene in the Tardis where they have to convince the Doctor, Smith showing an added harder edge that we haven't seen too much of up until now.



    one of my big critisisms of 80's who was the number of companions I've always felt 3 companions did not work because there simply was not enough in the story to give them all some thing to do. Maybe it's because we now have better writers but having 3 companions seems to work fine and gives more to the story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    Or shooting at a faceless astronaut who was set to murder her best friend? (Plus the Next Time trailer takes the sting out of that one).

    Still, it would be objectional if they'd done it in the way you said.

    Didn't they stop showing next time trailers with the two parters.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.R. Southall View Post
    True, but Doctor Who is a children's programme (or a programme with a huge following among children, if you prefer), and the image those children will take away from the end of this episode (and keep in their heads for a whole week - an aeon when you're that age) is the sight of Amy Pond shooting an eight-year-old in cold blood.

    but isn't that the whole point - Doctor Who, is never more at it's best when it frightens young children it's what it has always done and believe me any producer that knows their episodes of Doctor Who, are frightening the children fwill secretly be jumping for joy.

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    Some purely random thoughts
    • the Doctor and the car are not visible on the side of the road in the shot of the bus driving through the desert (not a diffferent road, the background is the same)
    • the bus is a school bus
    • at the lakeside the astronaut is as tall as the Doctor
    • the Silent knows that Amy is going to the toilet and which one she will be taken to
    • in the warehouse the astronaut, based on the size of the doorframe, is adult sized
    • in 1969, at the height of the space race, there is an abandoned warehouse full of space gear
    • the voice on the phone says that the spaceman is here and a he, suggesting that the little girl in the spacesuit isn't the spaceman
    • the console in the ship in the Lodger, which looks very like the one in the tunnel, used child voices and holograms
    • The 'early' Doctor's invite must have different times and co-ordinates on it so that he meets the rest in the diner, not on the road where the 'later' Doctor intercepts everyone (suggesting he clearly knows exactly what is going to happen)
    Bazinga !

  20. #45
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    It was interesting / clever that it was River and Rory sent down to find the amateur TARDIS - the two people who wouldn't recognise it from before.

    I wonder if it's the TARDIS that was making the phone calls, luring people in the same way as it did before.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Masters View Post


    the bus is a school bus
    • )

    true, but in such a remote location it's probably the only bus the local town has.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    It was interesting / clever that it was River and Rory sent down to find the amateur TARDIS - the two people who wouldn't recognise it from before.

    I .
    well Amy, never actually saw that TARDIS, either.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Thompson View Post
    Sorry, no, I still can't see that. I think you must have a different definition of 'cold blood' than I do. Solon killing Condo is cold blood. The Dalek using a sprinkler system to exterminate dozens of people with one shot is cold blood.

    This is an impulsive act. Amy sees the astronaut that she witnessed killing the Doctor, having already spoken of the possibility of killing it now so it can't kill him in the future, and picks up a gun. As she spins round to fire the gun the astronaut raises its visor to reveal a child just at the moment she pulls the trigger... and that's it. It's NOT a cold-blooded shooting of a child. She doesn't KNOW it's a child until it's too late, and looks suitably horrified when she realises: all she knows is that the thing in the spacesuit kills the Doctor in the future and she wants to prevent that. We don't see the child shot, only Amy firing the gun. Do you contend that children are incapable of understanding that sequence of events?

    And thirty seconds later we have the 'next time' trailer showing Amy apologising for shooting at the child, so anyone who watched knows it's going to be OK.
    Amy shoots at the astronaut, which is not threatening to shoot her at the time she does. That is "cold blood". And a lot of children will have missed the next time trailer as they'll have been busy tuning into the CBBC channel at the time. And if, as you contend, five and six-year-olds are quite capable of keeping up with all the ins and outs of the plot as it appeared on screen (and I know I wouldn't have been at that age), then we have the even worse image of an apparent seven/eight-year-old shooting an adult dead earlier in the story - and worse than that, that adult then appears alive and well five minutes later, showing that there's no consequence to such an action.

    Small children generally watch television in terms of the images presented rather than the subtleties of meticulous plotting (read the report on Image of the Fendahl, and DWM's own feature on Terror of the Zygons), and the image presented at the very end of the episode was of a pregnant woman shooting a child. That really is what we saw (or appeared to see) right at the very end there.

    Yes, Doctor Who has a magnificent tradition of scaring children, but generally with fantastical chills which are as divorced from their own perception of their actual surroundings as they would be were they from a fairytale. But Doctor Who also approaches a line which shouldn't be crossed (Barry Letts himself admitted he crossed that line and conceded that it was a mistake), and for my money, Steven Moffat crossed that line last night. It might be proven in six days' time that Amy didn't shoot a kid, but at the end of last night's episode that's exactly what she appeared to be doing, and that's what people were left with at 6.45 - especially if they didn't want to miss the Lis Sladen tribute on CBBC.

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    the bus is a school bus
    It was simply giving them a lift.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.R. Southall View Post
    Amy shoots at the astronaut, which is not threatening to shoot her at the time she does. That is "cold blood"...
    No, it's not. Quite clearly from the way it's directed (and as others have pointed out). I humbly suggest that you watch it again yourself, and take it from your own point of view, rather than spend hours worrying about some hypothetical children.
    “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.” - Gutle Schnaper Rothschild

  25. #50
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    Yes, Doctor Who has a magnificent tradition of scaring children, but generally with fantastical chills which are as divorced from their own perception of their actual surroundings as they would be were they from a fairytale. But Doctor Who also approaches a line which shouldn't be crossed (Barry Letts himself admitted he crossed that line and conceded that it was a mistake), and for my money, Steven Moffat crossed that line last night. It might be proven in six days' time that Amy didn't shoot a kid, but at the end of last night's episode that's exactly what she appeared to be doing, and that's what people were left with at 6.45 - especially if they didn't want to miss the Lis Sladen tribute on CBBC
    I think this is an interesting debate, because it all comes down to a personal opinion on where the line is doesn't it. For my money, I think the ending wasn't 'realistic' enough to scar or scare any kids watching - a spaceman, a kid in the suit, Amy shooting a gun in slow motion... We didn't even (if memory serves) see Amy shooting and the girl in the same frame, so there isn't even an 'image' of it that could stay in the mind...

    All I can add is that I was five when I watched the end of The Deadly Assassin part 3, and it didn't disturb me at all!

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