Doctor Who Recap & Review: Day of the Moon

Rory And Amy

Directed By: Toby Haynes
Written By: Steven Moffat

A TCC RATING OF

You can be certain of one thing when it comes to a Moffat led two-parter: you’re in for quite a ride. There’s a lot to sum up, so let’s get right into it, shall we?

We start Day of the Moon with Amy Pond, running for her life. It’s three months after the events that ended the last episode. Her pursuer? Canton. She tries to remind him of what happened before–and we see glimpses from the previous episode–but he shoots her before she can get too far.

Cut to Area 51. Canton walks up to an imprisoned Doctor, chained to a chair and surrounded by heavy guard. Canton asks why Pond had markings on her arm, but the Doctor deflects. We then see both Rory and River Song in similar situations, trying to run from Canton’s men and all marked up in a similar manner. River leaps off a tall building to what we think is her death and Rory gets shot down at Glen Canyon Dam.

Back to present. Canton brings in Amy and Rory in body bags and shuts them all up in a newly constructed prison. Once sealed in this new prison the Doctor unchains himself and everyone gets out of their body bags, revealing the deception. We find out that when River escaped Canton she escaped right into the swimming pool of the TARDIS.

“Apollo 11 is your secret weapon?” River asks when they emerge later at the launch site. The Doctor gives his knowing grin and says it’s Armstrong.

Canton and Amy arrive at a rather suspicious Orphanage, and they check themselves over for markings. This is juxtaposed with The Doctor suiting up the gang with little devices called “Nano Recorders” that record everything they say and hear. We get a bit of exposition on The Silents and how they erase the memory of themselves from everyone when they look away. To test it out, The Doctor uses a holographic representation of a Silent built from the picture Amy took earlier at the White House. Through this test the gang discovers that these Silents are able to send out post-hypnotic suggestions. The Doctor says he’s off to NASA and Amy and Canton get sent out to look for the mysterious little girl, which is when we cut back to the Orphanage.

The Caretaker at the Orphanage lets the two in cautiously, and goes back to cleaning a wall which has “Get out leave now!” scrawled on it with red paint. When Amy asks the Caretaker if the children had done that he confirms, but we see a similar phrase drawn on the underside of his wrist. After a rather confusing exchange about what year it is, Canton and Amy split up. Amy goes off to explore and Canton follows the Caretaker.

Amy reaches what she thinks is the room the child was taken from and calls the Doctor to inform him. He explains that the memory wipes eventually fry the brain and then says he has to go. He hangs up, finishes hooking up a glowing doo-dad and is met by engineers wondering what exactly he’s doing in Apollo 11 itself.

In a bit of a panic, Amy tries to escape the room she’s in finds herself unable to get out. She sees her hand blinking and hears her recorded voice telling her that the Silents are nested in that room and that she should get away NOW. After a few more attempts to free herself, she finds that her skin is marked like before, signifying the times she’s seen and forgotten the Silents.

Cut to a rather humorous exchange as Nixon gets the Doctor out of custody for tampering with the shuttle. Rory does his awkward nerdy thing, but in a suit.

Amy With The Markings

Back to Amy, once again exploring the Orphanage. This time she finds a rather suspicious door with a creepy woman looking out from a small opening. “No, I think she’s just dreaming.” She says in response to Amy, and disappears. Amy follows her into the room and finds pictures of the missing child. The very last one is an image of her holding a baby. Before Amy can have a proper freak out, she’s attacked by the Astronaut from the first episode. Meanwhile, Canton is confronted by a Silent, whom he shoots.

The Doctor joins Canton and they go to where Amy was last seen, only to find that she’s disappeared. There’s a brief shot of the missing child looking on from around the corner, frightened and out of breath.

After searching the room, the gang finds the Nano Recorder that was supposed to be inside of Amy. Instead she’s transmitting through the device, and she’s more than frightened.

“She can’t hear you,” The Doctor says.

“She can always hear me,” Rory replies. Everyone looks on solemnly Amy calls out from the Recorder, looking for her Doctor.

The Caretaker comes in quickly, expressing concern that someone was shot. When pressed, he forgets pretty much everything. The Doctor races into the other room to find the wounded Silent, who reveals himself and his kind to the Doctor. Cue flashbacks.

The Doctor, River and Rory dissect the Astronaut’s suit, which they recovered from the Orphanage. The Doctor pries further into the blue envelopes that brought everyone together, but River deflects with ease. The Doctor then tries to talk himself through who the child might be. She was strong enough to break out of her suit, which has to mean SOMETHING. It’s revealed that the Silents are super-parasites who have been suggesting the human race for many, many years. How does this correlate with Appolo 11? The moon.

Canton interrogates the wounded Silent back at Area 51, who says that Canton should kill them all for what they have done. The whole spiel gets recorded on Amy’s phone and sent to the Doctor, who has traced the signal from Amy’s Recorder to the source.

Amy wakes from unconsciousness to find herself in the faux-TARDIS that River found in the previous episode. The Silents gather around her and tell her that she’s important to their plans, but that soon she won’t be needed. Before they can do anything dreadful, the TARDIS arrives and the Doctor does his thing. RIVER SONG AND DOCTOR FLIRT ALERT.

The Doctor reveals his clever and broadcasts the footage that Canton recorded earlier, except it’s edited down to send the suggestion to all the world to kill the Silents. This awakens everyone to the existence of the aliens and they take action.

Meanwhile, the gang attempts to escape the faux-TARDIS, and River Song shoots everything in sight. It’s sexy. They’re successful and the Doctor meets up with Nixon to give him the news that all is well, or rather that no one is safe. He leaves but not before telling the President to give Canton what he wants: marriage.

River re-instates herself back in the Stormcage prison despite the Doctor’s desire for her to travel with him. They kiss, her for the last time and him for the first time. Back on the TARDIS, Rory finds out that Amy had thought she was pregnant. Even though she says it’s nothing and that it’s all a false alarm, the Doctor isn’t as convinced and uses the TARDIS to check. He finds that her state of pregnancy is in fluctuation.

Meanwhile, six months later, the missing child emerges from an alley looking all kinds of sick. A nearby hobo asks if she’s alright and she says she’s dying, but that “it’s alright.” Suddenly she gets the regeneration glow and bursts right in front of the Hobo, who runs off in fear.

River With A Gun

Here’s what we at Technicolor Commentary thought:

Amber

I still love the River/Doctor flirtation for far too many reasons.

Unfortunately otherwise I am becoming increasingly more annoyed with Moffat. Even going as far as setting aside his issues with women, he is really pissing on his own legacy as a Who writer and looking like a one trick pony. He has taken the RTD method of finding something that people like and repeating it over and over to new heights:

The Doctor finds young girl. The Doctor saves girl as a kid. The Doctor comes back later and finds girl obsessed over him after he left. The Doctor flirts with girl and they make out a bit before he goes and finds another little girl to start the process over.

I used to think when River said that he found her as a young girl she meant early 20s, but every time she talks I wonder if Steven Moffat needs to be investigated and possibly put on a sex offender list. He clearly has a fetish and should not be left unsupervised with children.

The sad thing is that he has done some amazing writing for the show and elsewhere, but it seems he has completely tapped his resources. So much so that he has forgotten The Doctor who was pissed at Donna for the genocide of the Daleks and let him shift to one who basically delivers the kill order to the Silence.

I want to like this from years of being a Moffat minion, but he is doing a fine job of pushing my buttons even though the story is pushing out more questions and intrigue than LOST.

The Doctor Pointing

Aden

Well this of course was once again another episode where I heard more than watched. Yeah, I know I’m a grown adult, but seriously The Silence scared the crap out of me. They have no mouths! Speaking of The Silence. Wow, there is a seriously scary situation. This episode was so damn creepy in so many ways that it made me uncomfortable (beyond the scary looking things).

I really enjoyed the way they destroyed The Silence, but of course it was going to be clever. I mean we are talking about The Doctor. He oozes clever. The kiss between River and the Doctor was so sad, seeing the look on her face broke my heart. There were so many little niggley bits to this that I loved. Of course the River/Doctor banter, the whole “stupid face” situation, and River being totally kick ass with her gun and taking down those ugly bad guys.

Mark Sheppard With A Gun

Jon

As is the case with most two-parters in television the second part is the better part, and this episode is no exception. Moffat bounces around time and space like it were nothing and keeps the adventure and intrigue going until the very last frame. He kind of makes it look easy.

PROS: River and the Doctor. Broken record, I know. Their trajectory in this season looks to be the kind of tragic that my ooey-gooey heart desires from everything I watch. The scene where The Doctor and River kiss is perhaps the best thing out of this two-parter. The look on her face when he reveals he’s never kissed her before? That. There are other great moments in the episode, but I enjoyed that kiss perhaps the most.

The ending of the episode gets it’s own special paragraph. Um..yeah.

CONS: Rory being insecure about his relationship with Amy, yet again. Another child in distress for the Doctor to save. Here’s hoping she regenerates into a twenty-something at least….

  • I hadn’t really thought of it until I read this commentary; but I do kind of agree with Amber. Although I loved the episode, I am starting to feel like we’re recycling the same basic concepts over and over again, with enough mystery and long-tail story arcs to keep us interested and guessing.

    I do have to admit that I chuckled a bit when Canton and Nixon had their final exchange at the end of the episode. Although homosexuality seems to be a running theme in the RTD/Moffat series of Doctor Who (I don’t recall it ever really coming up in “classic” Who), I was still a bit surprised when Canton revealed to Nixon that he was hoping to marry his black, male partner.

    Finally, I honestly have to wonder how much of “The Silents/Silence” story arc really was planned from the beginning of last season (the way we would infer from the flashbacks they included), and how much of it just seemed convenient when Moffat started writing this season. I basically feel like “The Silence” that was consistently referred to last season was initially supposed to be the emptiness that would occur when the entire universe ceased to exist; but then got the feeling that the monsters for this season’s premiere were named “The Silents” just so they could tack on that little piece of the story from last season.

    All that said; I am also a tiny bit frustrated by the fact that Moffat puts in so many long-tail story arcs. I sort of miss the days when a Doctor Who story spanned 2 or 3 episodes; then we moved onto a whole new idea.

    • I hadn’t thought about the whole repeated elements until I read through Amber’s thoughts, and now that I’ve chewed over them some I definitely agree. I suppose Moffat has to have his weakness, just like RTD had his.

      That said, I kind of disagree with your stance on the long-tail story arcs. As much as I liked jumping onto the new ideas in the older seasons, these longer arcs have made the seasons a bit more connected. I’ve gone back to some of the older episodes and have been able to skip the one-offs that I didn’t much care for because they weren’t really connected to the end of the season in any way. Here, I feel like there’s a much more fluid narrative and I rather like that.

      The Canton and Nixon scene was GREAT. I loved how RTD used homosexuality in his run of Doctor Who and am glad to see that Moffat is tapping into that now.