Doctor Who series 6 episode 2 review: Day Of The Moon

Steven Moffat sets the Internet on fire with his latest Doctor Who episode, Day Of The Moon. Here’s our very spoiler-filled review…

Day Of The Moon

Warning: this review contains spoilers. You can find our spoiler-free review here.

6.2 Day Of The Moon

I’m too impatient. I’ve got to start with the cliffhanger. What the hell just happened there?

Let’s work some theories. If that’s Amy’s daughter, as has been strongly hinted (the photo in the children’s home is the key example), then she’s a Time Lord.

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Does that make the baby the Doctor’s (it’s sounding a bit like a soap opera, granted, but bear with me)? Or, could it be a young River Song? After all, the Doctor and River are moving further and further away from each other. Could River be a Time Lord? Or, here’s theory three: is the regenerating girl the return of Donna Noble in some form? That’s the long shot, but it can’t be young Amelia, as we know what she looks like at that age.

Or do we? For here’s a further thought: could the girl be regenerating into someone who is far more familiar to us? Perhaps regenerating into Amy or River? That strikes me as the thread to follow. Heck, if we play this game too long, we could end up with River Song as Amy’s daughter.

My head hurts now.

It should also be noted that Amy doesn’t think she’s pregnant by the end of the episode. But we don’t buy that, and nor does the Doctor, given the erratic scan he quietly performs on her using the Tardis. Something puzzling is going on, and I’m little help in telling you what it is.

In fact, while my head buzzes with theories, let’s deal with one certainty: Steven Moffat has pulled a massive, game-changing ending at the end of an already terrific episode. Do feel free to skip the review if you want, and start leaving your own theories in the comments.

Meanwhile, we’ll go through the rest of the episode.

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Day Of The Moon first and foremost wrapped up the opening two parter nicely. The device of using the moon landing was marked from the start of The Impossible Astronaut, but it was a logical and well-worked way for all concerned to turn the tables on The Silence. That surely isn’t the last we’ve seen of them, though, although I do hope they’re sparingly used. They’re too sinister to go on the Daleks/Cybermen rota.

Also, I’ve got to salute the comedy again. Most of it surrounded Richard Nixon, not least the lovely reason put in place as to why the President obsessively kept his tapes. I love it when Doctor Who does this. We’ve had the Great Fire Of London explained in the past, and now we know that the Doctor was a contributor to the Watergate scandal.

A further comedy treat was the wonderfully daft, bound to be slagged off somewhere on the Internet moment, where River Song dived in the Tardis swimming pool. You may be one of those who didn’t like it. Me? I laughed my socks off. As I did at the moment where Delaware tells Nixon who he wants to marry.

The David Frost line topped the lot, though.

But it’s the serious business of the episode that’s going to set the Internet alight, and rightly so. Taking a cue from Christopher Nolan’s Memento, Steven Moffat’s script, and Toby Haynes’ direction, built up the desperately sinister feel of The Silence, and it was through two clever devices that the tables started to turn. The recorders in the hand, and the visually striking marks on hands and faces.

The recorder had a double function, in that it let Rory into some of what Amy has been thinking. We’ve been led to believe that Amy doesn’t really like Rory that much over the past year (certainly she’s amongst the least sympathetic of Doctor Who companions at times), and it was being implied that it’s the Doctor that Amy has a torch for (see also: the wedding at the end of the last series). That he’s the third person in their relationship.

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The recorder allowed Steven Moffat to turn the tables on that a little, as Amy affirmed her affections for Rory. But again, it can’t just be me who thinks that story still has some twists and turns (and that’s before we got to the aforementioned ending).

River Song, meanwhile, continues to intrigue. Aside from the blockbuster action shoot-out moment, her contribution of note here was to give the heaviest hints yet that her and the Doctor were an item. A full-on snog, and he doesn’t remember their previous life together? That’s all, clearly, coming to a head. And given the name of one of the forthcoming episodes of the show, it might be a lot sooner that many are expecting.

She does, after all, say at one point “my old fella didn’t see that did he?”. Presumably, the Doctor is her old fella, then. Or is there a rug pull on the way there, too?

There are unresolved questions on top of what we’ve discussed, too. How come the Doctor sends an older version of Delaware an invitation to his demise at the beginning of The Impossible Astronaut? Also, where does the Astronaut fit in, exactly? If we’re to believe that the girl broke out of the suit, who put her in it (and why)? The Silence? Or is there more to it? And, remember, in her calls to President Nixon (and we assume it was her making the calls), she specifically says that she sees a spaceman. So who was that? Was it The Silence, who use whatever technology they can to further their goal? Or has Steven Moffat surreptitiously placed a new piece on the board?

And what’s with the reappearance of the other Tardis-a-like? We last saw it in The Lodger, back in series 5. Now it’s back here, with The Silence in control. They’re clearly not confined to Earth, then, although it’s worth again bearing in mind that it’s established they commandeer other people’s technology. That seems to be quite important. As does the fact that they were, as the Doctor suggests, bringing up a child. There’s a lot more to come from The Silence, quite possibly this series.

Perhaps inevitably, I ended up warming to the deeper plot ramifications more than the business of wrapping up the immediate story, but it was hard to quibble much with either side of the episode. Day Of The Moon very much picked up the mantle from The Impossible Astronaut, completed the here and now narrative, and threw in so much more on top, to keep us buzzing with theories right throughout the coming week. All that, plus a Robocop tip of the hat, too.

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It’s a strong end to an excellent opening story for the series, and one that saw Steven Moffat very much keeping his word that this will be a series of very big moments.

Can’t wait for the next one…