So the episode start-starts with dramatic footsteps of buckles and tights, and we see a horrible painting of Matt Smith naked, scarring the eyes of so many children for the rest of their lives. There are monsters in this episode, but honestly they are really not the most frightening part of it. It's not that difficult to guess that these dramatic footsteps are also angry footsteps and they are being pretty angry in the Doctor's direction so they get right on that shit with the door shaking and the shouting and the Doctor being conveniently gone, but OH WAIT, HE'S HIDING NAKED UNDER THE WOMAN'S DRESS.
THE SOPHISTICATED HUMOUR OF STEVEN MOFFAT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. Oh, Doctor Who, you are just the classiest show on television! I don't feel pandered and patronised and annoyed that I feel like I'm watching a really cheap American sitcom at all! And within the first five minutes too - IS IT MY BIRTHDA-OW.
OW, CHRIST. My mind is actually not designed to cope with THAT MUCH SARCASM.
Meanwhile, back in Our-Time-istan, Amy and Rory are actually being quite cute, in a flat of their own. Amy is reading some history book that is quite clearly talking about the Doctor and Rory is like LOL THAT COULD BE ANYONE because yes, there are tons of people called the Doctor wreaking havoc in history, and also I am confused, why doesn't Amy ever read about something Six or or Three or Eight did? I mean other than the fact that Moffat doesn't think any of them are any good except for Five? See, this is why the Big Bang always bugged me. The Doctor is upwards of a millennia - erasing that from history would basically make the timeline collapse in on itself. In fact, in the City of Death, the Doctor is basically responsible for all life on Earth, which is. You know. A pretty big deal, I think. That he should be there for, I am pretty sure. Which would effect QUITE A BIT OF HISTORY, I AM JUST SAYING. You know that bit where HUMANS EVOLVE. Yeah, that's important, isn't it?
Anyway, life is good, Doctor is screwing about, time is wibbly-wobbly and there is still stuff that does not make sense, but it's cute. Rory and Amy seem pretty happy and then an invitation shows up in 'TARDIS blue', which, if it isn't a Crayola colour by the next year or something I am pretty sure someone is going to sue.
River somehow gets an invitation of her own, and not to slam Alex Kingston or anything? I've seen her in Lost in Austen, I loved her in Lost in Austen but Christ, she plays River in such a way that even just this facial expression makes me want to headbutt her in the face. I don't know if that's a testament to how good an actor she is because that is basically just being River, but seriously.
Oh and she just sort of walks out. Apparently the prison that keeps her is made out of the same cardboard the Arkham Asylum is made out of, which just lets prisoners wander out. Except, you know, in Arkham Asylum, Batman usually comes to dislocate your skull from your face and throw you back inside.
I'm not saying that that's what I would like to happen to River, except no, that is pretty much exactly that I am saying.
Rory and Amy step out of a schoolbus in the most glamorous of American places, the MIDDLE OF THE DESERT! Full of amazing sights like. CACTUSES! LITTLE DRY TUFTS OF GRASS! AND DUST. LOTS AND LOTS OF DUST. DOCTOR WHO'S FIRST FORAY INTO AMERICA: COMPLETE SUCCESS. Why when I want to travel to America, the first place I of course want to go is THE MIDDLE OF A DESERT. ~*~*~AMAAAAAZIIINNNGGG~*~*~
Rory and Amy happen to step out to quite amazing music, but consider what it was actually like to get there. For reference:
NO DON'T STOP HALF WAY- WATCH IT ALL. SHARE IN THEIR PAIN.
But there is a reunion and stuff and it is quite sweet, and the Doctor is wearing a Stetson now except no he isn't because River shoots it off. OH HELLO RIVER. I am just going to have to assume that she sprouted full grown out of the ground there, like Athena from Zeus' head, except not nearly as cool, and not Greek. NOT THAT IT MADE ANY DIFFERENCE TO THE PEOPLE WHO THOUGHT SHE WAS CLEOPATRA. Hell, she probably walked there on the cloud of her own awesome vomit.
And the Doctor has a diary. Why does the Doctor have a diary? I have no idea. You would think that at this point in the Doctor's life, it's a bit late to be getting a diary, but apparently he needs one, just for River, and not when he was having major memory loss issues when he was Eight. I like to think that every time he meets her he is silently judging her, and writes these down as notes. "Monday: Those trousers make her butt look fat. Tuesday: River called me again because she walked into a closet and it was dark and she was too scared to open the door on her own. Wednesday: Had a piece of spinach stuck in her teeth. Was too frightened to say anything."
Blah blah blah, Doctor has been running OH HAS HE, I HADN'T NOTICED FROM LIKE FIVE MINUTES AGO, HE IS THE DOCTOR FFS.
Also "Space, 1969" is not brand new. In fact, I think even with "1969" tacked on, Space is PRETTY DAMN OLD. And it's not even brand new from a 1969 point of view, at least not for the audience if they've been watching Series 3. And no, I am not really into reusing time points in Doctor Who. He has a fucking time machine, why does he keep on visiting the same times over and over again why are certain times only relevant? Does the history of the world just jump from 1969 to the 21st century to the 51st century? NO IT DOESN'T. FOR FUCK'S SAKE SHOW SOME TIMES IN BETWEEN. EVEN BENNY'S FROM THE 26TH CENTURY, jesus christ, this is a show about an alien in a FUCKING TIME MACHINE. You can't have Author Appeal when you're writing about an alien with a FUCKING TIME MACHINE YOU HAVE TO GO OTHER PLACES TOO.
So yes, as a science fiction show, science fiction suddenly starts happening - the Doctor mentions that he is 1103, Amy says that he was 908 when he left and I am STILL INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATED THAT APPARENTLY ACCORDING TO THE SHOW, NINE AND TEN GOT LESS THAN A DECADE TOTAL OF BEING PART OF THE DOCTOR'S LIFE. I DON'T GIVE A SHIT IF THEY'RE TRYING TO BE MORE "OH LOOK THE DOCTOR'S LIFE IS UNFOLDING RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR EYESSSS WITH YOU, RIGHT NOW." Are you serious??? Four didn't live for seven years, Five didn't live for four! Do you know how I know this? BECAUSE IF THEY DID, THE DOCTOR WOULD BE FIFTY YEARS OLD AT BEST. MAYBE A HUNDRED AND FIFTY, TO COUNT A CENTURY HE COULD'VE SPENT ON GALLIFREY FIRST. And you keep telling me that between them, Ten and Nine had less than a decade total? I... WHY!?!?! WHY WOULD YOU!!! IF YOU MADE THAT TRUE DO YOU KNOW HOW UTTERLY TRAGICALLY SHORT THEIR LIVES WERE?!?! JESUS! EXCEPT YOU DID MAKE IT CANON! SO AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
ANYWHERE THERE'S A FUCKING DUDE AGAINST THE SUN AND AMY'S LIKE "THE FUCK IS THAT" AND RORY'S LIKE "THE FUCK IS WHAT" AND THEN SHE LOOKS AWAY FROM IT AND SHE'S LIKE "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT" AND WE ARE ALL MYSTIFIED AND THEN AN ASTRONAUT COMES UP OUT OF THE WATER FOR NO REASON AND THE DOCTOR WALKS OVER TO SHARE COOKING TIPS I THINK AND THEN THE ASTRONAUT DOES NOT APPROVE OF PUTTING GARLIC IN EVERYTHING AND BITCH-ZAPS THE DOCTOR RIGHT THERE AND EVERYONE FLIPS THE FUCK OUT BECAUSE OMG DOCTOR BUT CAN'T GO TO HELP BECAUSE BITCHES YOU STAY RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE DO NOT INTERFERE AND RIVER KNOWS THAT HE'S JUST GOING TO REGENERATE AND THEN HE STARTS TO REGENERATE BUT THE ASTRONAUT IS JUST NOT HAVING ANY OF THAT SHIT AND ZAPS HIM AGAIN AND THEN HE DIES AND THEN EVERYONE RUNS TO HIM BECAUSE OMG OMG DOCTOR.
Also there was some old guy that turned up and he was just all "sup" and the Doctor was all "sup" and it was more mysterious because after the Doctor was dead, he was like "hey have this gasoline" and everyone was all "who the fuck are you" and he's all "I'm Boston Massachussetts America Washington Roosevelt the Twenty-third" or some other ridiculously over the top American name that I don't even want to think about, and told them (or at least heavily implies) to burn the Doctor's body because omg if people find him he is ~*~magical~*~ possibly also tastes like Turkish Delight and we can't have any of that happening.
Amy cries because all that good Turkish Delight gone to waste in flames. She is basically distraught for about ten minutes as we all mourn the Doctor's not-death because IT'S NOT EVEN HALFWAY THROUGH THE EPISODE OF THE SERIES OF COURSE HE ISN'T FUCKING DEAD. This isn't exactly the best paced emotional tension of the episode. In fact it's downright awful. Of course he isn't dead. We know that. We see Amy crying, we look at the counter and it's barely gone ten minutes OF COURSE HE ISN'T DEAD. There is no gravity to these scenes!
Oh, and then we realise. Surprise! Another Moffat time loop!
OF COURSE IT IS.
OF COURSE IT IS.
Is it obvious yet that Moffat has been sucked dry from any interesting plot ideas?
I do actually like this scene here, because it's a bit less ~*~magical fairy land~*~ into ~*~magical crushing despair~*~, and Matt Smith is quite good in it, but it is astounding to me how stupid Eleven is being. He has to have at least figured out that it was his future, but apparently no. I know that the Doctor is one of those people who acts really dumb to cover for the fact that he's incredibly clever, or is actually occasionally that dumb, but seriously? I refuse to believe that he hasn't figured out that it at the very least involved his future and that something bad happened to him (Amy actually asks "How are you okay?"). If he hasn't, then he's really taking after his predecessor's BOOKS ARE MADE OUT OF TREES legacy of HE'S A FUCKING IDIOT.
Anyway, back in the TARDIS, the Doctor is being usual ramble-y self about how certain times are easy which is a handwave to "LOL THAT'S WHY ONLY 1969 EXISTS TO ME" that Moffat is doing at the moment. And the Doctor can't remember who the President is there in that time, despite having lived there for a time with Martha. Now, if this was like a century or so ago for him, I'd understand, but it's been, as the writers enjoy pointing out, only a couple of years. And he doesn't remember?
Also everyone is feeling pretty shocked by what's happened, and it makes him feel uncomfortable and he STILL HASN'T FIGURED IT OUT YET, but he has a nice bit of telling them to BE IMPRESSED BY HIM OR GET THE FUCK OUT OF HIS TARDIS WHAT IS THE POINT OF YOU PEOPLE.
And Moffat uses the line "Time isn't a straight line, it's all sort of bumpy-wumpy" bringing more intelligent witty lines to Who chronology and wow, be amazed by his inventive writing. Be amazed also, as I stab this fork repeatedly into my thigh in an attempt to have something interesting and important to care about.
Finally the Doctor throws a hissy fit and presents an ultimatum: tell him what's going on or this adventure isn't happening, when I don't know it still seems PRETTY OBVIOUS WHY THEY CANNOT SAY ANYTHING, but anyway we have a bit of a trust exercise, everyone falls into each other's arms, everyone drops River - no wait that was just my imagination. Whatever the case the Doctor is extremely suspicious of River, I'm quite happy and she seems devastated which makes me even more happy, but Amy asks him to trust her, and he does, of course. It makes me happy because River is not the one with all the power over him or the trust because you know, at the moment we see her now, she does not fucking deserve it ever.
Blah blah blah, they go off to meet Chicago Illinois U!S!A!U!S!A! Jefferson Clinton the Eighteenth and he's this FBI dude who got kicked out for smart talk and now Nixon wants him because he is no longer in contact with the FBI, and he gets driven to the Oval Office, which the TARDIS, of course, follows.
There also follows a scene of RIVER MANIPULATING THE TARDIS and I am not going to lie, it made my skin crawl in every. single. way. The fact that the Doctor does not know how to drive his own TARDIS, a ship that is actually psychically linked to his brain, the fact that RIVER IS TOUCHING THE TARDIS AUGH GET AWAY FROM IT THE TARDIS WILL GET HORRIBLE RIVER GERMS IT'LL NEVER WASH OFF. Everyone should wear gloves before using the controls again now or they might become infected with a VERY CRAPPILY WRITTEN FEMALE CHARACTER THAT HAS NO SENSE OF INDEPENDENCY VIRUS. I cannot even describe how much everything about this scene pisses me off - there is a difference between the Doctor being a bit of a bad driver to the Doctor being UTTERLY INCOMPETENT, okay? AUGH WHY ARE THEY STILL PUSHING THIS ~*~RIVER IS JUST AS GOOD/BETTER THAN THE DOCTOR~*~ thing AUGGGGHHHHH.
So they land the TARDIS silently and invisibly, which I find annoying purely because the TARDIS should never be covert, that's not what the TARDIS is about, but who cares, Moffat doesn't. Fuck everything you know about Doctor Who. The Doctor sneaks in while the recording starts playing (little girls on inexplicable phones! If you're playing along, chugg the entire vodka bottle now), obviously gets caught, yells at River to decloak the TARDIS because hahaha what are you saying an independent female character with initiative what is this.
Eventually the Doctor manages to convince them to give them five minutes to locate the source of the phone calls and while that's all happening, Amy sees the creature she saw and forgot about during the picnic again. It looks kind of like Slenderman with a really deformed head and stupidass hands that I'm sure makes playing the flute a delight. Also they are snappy dressers. I guess they use this magical power of getting people to forget they ever saw them to steal Armanis. CUUUURSSSEEE THEEEEEEM. And it's kind of a disappointment really. Wouldn't you at least have a peek in the girl's dressing room or something I'M JUST SAYING. Rory interrupts her line of sight and the creature disappears, and so Amy forgets.
Feeling sick, she heads to the bathroom, when SURPRIIIIIIIIIIIIIISE IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY OH NO WAIT IT IS UNSPEAKABLE HORRORS PROBABLY. Damn. I always get those two mixed up. Maybe they are using their magical invisible powers to sneak into the women's bathroom. It is cleaner there. Anyway, Amy realises that when she's not looking at the slendercreature, she forgets all about it, and asks him what's up with that, and you can see his eyes in this scene which makes it all incredibly less scary because before you just had dark shadows where the eyes were, but whatever. A ditzy American stereotype lady walks out of the stall and upon Amy's reaction sees the creature too, but as a redshirt and a ditzy American stereotype, gets blown up all to fuck for... I don't know. Being a ditzy American stereotype.
ALSO THE THING HAS A FUCKING ANUSMOUTH AND IF YOU DO NOT AGREE THEN WELL YOU'RE PROBABLY NEVER GOING TO UNSEE IT NOW, SO YOU ARE WELCOME.
For a minute I think the ditzy American stereotype think she's becoming the Highlander or something, but then she explodes, so bad luck. And then the alien's like "oh yeah, btw, could you take a message?" and Amy's like "WELL THIS MIGHT BE A PROBLEM" and the alien's all "WELL THAT IS YOUR PROBLEM NOT MINE" and Amy runs out and immediately forgets so GREAT PLAN. It's kind of like having a buggy answering machine that only remembers the messages it takes if you do an Irish jig next to it, and you're not all that great with Irish jigs, and the only way you can learn is by getting the answering machine to work, where in it is an instruction on how to do Irish jigs. BASICALLY WITH THIS OVERWROUGHT ANALOGY I am saying this is really dumb. Couldn't they have written a note or something.
SHIT BE GOING DOWN.
CREEPY MONSTERS YOU DON'T REMEMBER SEEING WITH ANUS MOUTHS BUT WE TRY NOT TO TALK ABOUT THAT, OR THE BIT WHERE WE MAKE PEOPLE EXPLODE BUT ONLY IF YOU'RE A DITZY AMERICAN STEREOTYPE.
So the Doctor finally manages to track down where this phonecall is coming from and Canton of course runs into the TARDIS before it just vanishes, and Rory has to be the one to sort of ease him into this. But they go out exploring as Team TARDIS with River and Canton, dark, dank, moist and not in the good way, in search of this girl. Amy and River discuss killing the Astronaut before it can kill the Doctor and no one is surprised. I don't even know why Amy thought that the idea was impossible to guess. Trying to do something stupid to save the Doctor? WHY THAT'S NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE EVER except like all those times.
And the astronaut is a creeper. Or shy. Or both! It should just go up and tell the Doctor its feelings. Of zappy zappy death death.
River discovers that under the building is a bunch of caverns, and seeing no lifesigns, decides to go investigate. She says a line that makes me shudder because I never need to think about River having sex ever, and drops down into the hole and looks around. And interrupts a bunch of slenderpeople from their beauty rest. Or would that be horrifying abomination rest? I don't know. Also I'd like to know their secret to keep their suits so pristine while down there; do they take like every Friday off for dry-cleaning and ironing? They don't blow her up despite my frantic wishing. I don't know, isn't this kind of like someone bursting into your room at 3 in the morning and then forgetting what they came in for. I am pretty sure I would electrocute someone to explosion for that. Pretty fuckin' rude.
Understandably (one of these rare moments where I do actually understand River), she runs out of the hole and of course... completely forgets about them. The Doctor is suspicious, so this time he sends Rory down along with her, which isn't a bad idea, but I can't help but notice that the Doctor has not seen one of these yet. Does he have the ability to retain his memory of them? Is that why they seem to be hiding themselves from him? For some reason River tells Amy to look after him, because...... I don't know, an aspirin monster will appear and you have to be prepared for these things.
So Rory and River go back down the dark dingy hole of darkness and dinginess and sliminess. They venture deeper into the caverns and the slenderpeople start stalking them with their fearsome rubber fingers of doom, and River discovers that these tunnels have been here for centuries. And they cover the entire planet.
And therefore I have a question. We have like ten different species of alien living right beneath our feet (well okay Silurians aren't actually alien, they developed first), do they like. Rent out? HOW ARE SO MANY SPECIES LIVING INSIDE THE PLANET, SPACE INSIDE PLANET IS NOT INFINITE UNLESS THERE ARE A BUNCH OF SPECIES ENJOYING BEING UTTERLY CRUSHED TO DEATH AND MOLTENISED BY THE PRESSURE OF THE CORE AND THE LAVA. Do they switch out? One month one species lives nearer to the crust and cycle through? THIS DOESN'T. And we drill the FUCK OUT OF THE PLANET. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE WE WOULD MISS ANY OF THESE.
Anyway they find a door and River has magical River door lock picking powers so we hunker down to the most disgusting, utterly revolting scene I think I've ever seen ever in Doctor Who.
I'm not going to lie, you can tell by this entire review that I'm not a fan of River. But ever since she came into this show, knowing the Doctor soooo well, being so butthurt about him not recognising her, it has always bee apparent to me that this character is not a gleaming idol of feminism and independence in women. It has just not. But until now you could more or less get away with it. I'm tempted just to write down her entire little speech and let it speak for itself, but I'm not good at letting things speak for themselves so I'm going to write it down and tell you what I think about it, why it's terrible and why River is not an independent strong female character and that if you still think so after this speech, and have the temerity to still say that Rose was worse, I really... don't have must more to say. At all.
"When I first met the Doctor, long long time ago, he knew all about me. Think about that. Impressionable young girl, and suddenly this man just drops out of the sky, and he's clever and man and wonderful and knows every last thing about her. Imagine what that does to a girl. Trouble is, it's all back to front. My past is his future. We're travelling in opposite directions. Every time we meet, I know him more; he knows me less. I live for the days when I see him. But I know that everytime I do, I'm moving one step further away. A day's coming when I'll look into that man's eyes... My Doctor. And he won't have the faintest idea who I am. And I think it's going to kill me."
First of all, the whole bit about the 'impressionable young girl' is really creepy. It makes it sound like he took advantage of her, which is... disturbing, considering how much she obviously "loves" him. Second, "I live for the days when I see him". You know, I'm fine with looking forward to them, I'm fine with eagerness and hope and bittersweet joy for those days, I'm not fine with living for them. The way she puts it, it makes it sound like her entire life hinges on him, and it's not romantic to me, it's obsessive and desperate and it's not "love", it's infatuation. Desperate, unreasonable, infatuation over a man who knew everything about her, that she essentially had no choice but to fall in love with. And third of all, and this bothers me the most in some ways, it isn't his death that she's bothered the most by, it's the day when he won't recognise her. That day she considers worse than the day of her death or even his death. The day when the Doctor is living a life without River Song is the day that will kill her. That's love? You're kidding me. The day when the person you love is living a life without you, that's when it ends? Not when they actually die or anything. That's supposed to be love?
Well fucking keep it, Moffat.
And she's not the clingy jealous girlfriend? Give me a fucking break.
Rory and River finally break into the room, and it's very similar to the TARDIS type ship we saw in The Lodger. In fact I would bank on it being the exact same set. An alarm goes off so River tells Rory to check for anyone approaching and Rory sees the slenderpeople surrounding the door, looking for candy, but is unable to warn River because he forgets as soon as he turns his head. Sparks start going off and NOOOOOOOOOOOOO RORRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. WHY COULDN'T YOU HAVE PUT RIVER AT THE DOOR INSTEAD.
Back on the surface, Amy tries to remember what she was supposed to tell the Doctor, but they hear the voice of the girl from the telephone and spring to alertness. While running for the voice, Amy crumbles, holding her stomach and says that she needs to tell the Doctor something. Being that they're a bit busy, he pulls her along after Canton who has run ahead in search of the voice. They find him on the floor, possibly drunk, but he's all right, when Amy presses that she really really does need to tell him something. She keeps saying that she has to tell him NOW, but she DOESN'T ACTUALLY JUST BLURT IT OUT, creating five more minutes of "I HAVE TO TELL YOU" and me screaming "THEN FUCKING TELL HIM ALREADY!"
SURPRISE! Maybe that was what the bit in the bathroom was for. >:C Stupid slenderpeople forgetting the cake.
And then the astronaut shows up. Amy grabs the gun and shoots it, but just as she's doing that, the astronaut lifts its visor and reveals a little girl, which creates the CLIFFHANGER FOR THIS EPISODE.
This episode sucked. Maybe it wasn't awful from a "removing all the character development" sort of standpoint, but even so, I'm sick of his time loop plots, and oh look another plot that involves a FREAKING LITTLE GIRL and monsters that require you to look at them! There was nothing new and interesting and awfully creative about this episode, though I will give it credit that the idea for the monsters are nice, just not that scary when they have giant rubber chicken feet for hands. And an anusmouth.
It was derivative and just utterly cringe worthy in every other scene that I don't know why you would start a series out like this.
YOU MIGHT NOTICE THERE ISN'T ANY ORANGE IN THIS GRAPH, which supposed to represent 'Independency'.
THAT'S BECAUSE RIVER DOESN'T HAVE ANY.