6 minutes and 39 seconds. That’s how long you have to wait for the credits to begin in Day Of The Moon. When was the last time that happened in the land of Doctor Who? It should give you a clue as to how much business has to be dealt with right from the start of the episode.
For as we’ve pointed out before, not since Doctor Who‘s return back in 2005 has the show kicked off with a two-part story. And there’s good reasons why this new series has chosen to do so, and why Day Of The Moon has so much to get through before the titles roll.
That makes this, inevitably, a tricky spoiler-free review to put together. The usual rules apply, then: we’ll err on the side of caution, and keep story talk to the bare minimum. This is not an episode you want spoiled.
It does quickly pick up the mantle from The Impossible Astronaut, and wind the story forward three months. And it’s clear that it’s been a testing three months for all concerned, with the Doctor and his companions in very different places. They’re also clearly not in control, and very much in trouble.
Steven Moffat’s script very much ups the ante, too. The Silence are in the ascendancy, very much on top, and at times, very scary. In fact, Moffat introduces two simple devices involving hands and marks that both get under the skin in very different ways. It’s brilliantly constructed, and quite chilling at times, too.
What the episode also does is bring the characters forward in different ways. Plus, there’s more digging at where the Doctor and River Song fit together (they share some lovely dialogue together), but that’s as far as we’ll go on this one.
Obviously, Day Of The Moon finds ways to wrap up the here and now story of the opening two parter, but without doubt, it also leaves a massive, massive, massive (yep, three massives) lead in to the rest of the series. Steven Moffat promised big cliffhangers this time around, and giving absolutely nothing away, it’s a scream-at-your-telly-in-a-very-loud-voice ending that we get here. A potential game-changer. We’ll be talking about it a lot within a week.
And we’ll also be celebrating a quite terrific opening two-parter for the start of Doctor Who series 6, which has set a very, very high standard for the rest of the run.
Heck, even though there’s lots of business to get through, Moffat squeezes some lovely moments of humour into the episode, and he has a whale of a time with the character of Richard Nixon in particular.
It’s all a bit of a triumph, really. It’s scary, it’s funny, and it all-but-guarantees you’ll be back for episode three. All of that in 45 minutes at Saturday teatime. Quite, quite brilliant.
Our spoiler-filled review will be live once Day Of The Moon has aired on Saturday 30th April.