Title: Impossible Astronaut
Season 06 Episode 01
Summary: The Doctor, the Legs, the Nose, and Mrs. Robinson kindly request your attendance…
Welcome back, folks! I’m still playing catch-up, but here: have a spanking new episode anyway.
We open the new season upon this fancy shoed fellow bellowing for the Doctor. And where is our Doctor these days?
Well, he’s posing for semi-nude portraits is where he’s at.
This bewigged gentleman and his musketeers finally barge their way in through the locked door.
Doctor? Doctor Who? This lady has no idea who you are talking about!
Unfortunately the Doctor sneezes and finds himself in a rather compromising position. Oops!
Meanwhile, in present day… Leadworth, I’m assuming, Amy is reading up on her history to catch little mentions of the Doctor whilst Rory unpacks the groceries.
He seems to think this unnamed Doctor fellow, who was locked up in the Tower of London couldn’t be their Doctor. Surely there are zillions of unnamed Doctor’s roaming around through history causing all sorts of shenanigans.
Until they read of his escape that is…In some kind of balloon-esque contraption. Their Doctor is the MacGuyver of all Doctors after all. (More like MacGuyver is the Doctor of MacGuyvers, actually.)
That’s not the only trouble he’s getting in those days. Here is making his great escape.
Amy thinks he’s just screwing with them with his zany antics, while Rory just giggles to Laurel an Hardy… a form of comedy that Amy apparently just doesn’t get. The doorbell rings and she’s outta there.
Hey! It’s my favorite extra: This Guy! I’m glad to see that he’s still alive and delivering the mail. Not Rain, nor sleet, nor wind, nor snow, nor Alien Infested septuagenarians can keep him down!
Rory thinks the Doctor out there trying to attract their attention through history books is totally silly. He might want to rethink that.
So, we learn some important things here as Amy absent-mindedly opens up her letter marked “3”. First of all, she knows the Doctor is up to something, and second of all it’s been two months since they’ve last seen the Doctor, almost crashed on a space-cruise, and encountered even more impossibly breathing/flying space fishies.
It seems to be an invitation of sorts, in our favorite TARDIS blue color. There’s no name, but they can guess who it’s from.
Meanwhile, in the Stormcage (Let us recap: this is supposed to be some kind of prison), River Song receives her own invitation.
The alarms sound, and this guard gets on the phone to the powers that be to inform them that River is packing. This is worrisome apparently…y’know since this is a prison and she’s not supposed to go anywhere, right? That’s what prisons are for?
She’s tells him that she’s heading off to the Planet of America. I’m sure some people in the US would like to think that.
Later we find that Rory and Amy have hitch-hiked their way to the middle of nowhere Utah. I’m going to assume right now, because this really doesn’t look like Northern California at all.
There are probably even more San Juan School Districts around the country though. The important thing to note though is: Why in the hills of the Western United States is a school bus picking up hitch hikers?
It’s the Doctor! YeeeHaw!
Hugs for all! We get reminded that Rory was a Roman for quite a few years and Rory compliments his hat.
Stetsons are cool now. I think I’ll have to agree that it’s probably cooler than a fez and a bow tie combined.
River begs to differ as she shoots it right off his head.
Over at this diner…River and the Doctor sync their diaries. I’m not even going to pretend that I understand their chronology. Most of the time I just nod my head and go with it.
Amy asks the Doctor what is up and he gets all serious for a moment and tells them that he’s been running.
And now it’s time to stop.
Well, if that isn’t ominous…
He’s gathered them all together to have a pick-nick and go hang out in outer space: 1969
Later, everybody is chillin’ by a lake. Rory wants to hit up 1969…
Meanwhile the Doctor attempts to get his drink on, much to Amy’s bemusement. He thinks he’s old enough to have gotten his wine on by now.
This from a man who doesn’t even like buttered toast.
He ends up spitting it onto the ground as he is wont to do with unsavory food and drink items.
Amy notes just how much he’s aged in the past two months. The Doctor notes that she’s packed on some poundage.
Did you guys feel that? You just got double smacked with the foreshadowing stick.
Amy spots this creep show up on the hill.
she wonders what it is and the Doctor gives her this look of worry.
Then she immediately denies that she saw anything. What is up with that?
Time for a subject change! Check it out! It’s a day-moon!
For those of you that need expositionioning: 69 wasn’t just the year Bryan Adams got his first real 6-string and played it ’til his fingers bled.
No. Also, some dudes landed on the moon.
Oh, wait! There’s more. A lot more went down than ANYBODY REMEMBERS.
Then he looks wistful and reminisces about the human race and how he never thought he’d get done saving them. DONE saving them?
Uh, guys? That’s not normal happy go lucky pick-nick talk there.
An old man drives up in the distance and the Doctor gives him a wave.
But let us for a moment forget that old man on the hill. There’s something far more interesting lurking in the water.
The Doctor warns them to stay back and not interfere. Obviously, shit is about to go down.
Rory is the exposition fairy tonight. It’s an Apollo astronaut in the lake. Yes indeed. We all have eyeballs.
There some march to death music playing in the background as the Doctor goes to face his fate.
As the gang watches on…the astronaut shoots him with some kind of green laser. First thought: That can’t really be deadly, right?
Rory and River naturally have to hold Amy back, because she’s not going to listen to the Doctor’s orders.
They watch in horror as the Doctor whispers an “I’m Sorry” at them and begins his regeneration cycle.
Second thought: How did I not hear about this? I have been a terrible spoiler hound!
But before he can finish, the astronaut shoots him again. Nobody’s holding anybody back this time. They rush to the Doctor’s side.
Amy looks to River as she does a body scan, but the look on her face kind of says it all. She attempts to shoot the astronaut, but it’s a no-go.
The Mysterious man on the hill arrives bearing a gas can and confirmation that this is really the Doctor and he really is dead…and apparently he wants them to burn the body. Can’t leave the body of a Time Lord lying around for anybody to get hold of.
Amy, of course, doesn’t want to believe any of this is happening.
she wants to know what they’re going to do. River takes up the gas can, and Rory points out a conveniently placed boat, so they can float the funeral pyre out onto the lake.
They are going to obey the Doctor’s final wishes.
Later… Sadness all around.
So, why is this random old dude here anyway? He too got his orders.
This is Canton E. Delaware III. He is meeting everybody for the Last time for and the first time.
Off he goes into the sunset as River has a brainstorm. There were four numbered envelopes…so who was the fourth?
They go back to the diner, with River still explaining the envelope thing. She and Rory are all revved up to figure out the mystery, while Amy is all:
Woe is me! The Doctor is gone. Nothing else matters in the world.
meanwhile, Rory spots something.
It’s the #1 envelope! Rory queries the cook, but he has no idea. It was just “Some Guy.”
So, who would be the number one choice for the Doctor to contact when going to death?
OF COURSE he is.
River gives him a stern admonishment, and Amy stalks around him in disbelief. She wonders how he can be okay.
He’s the King of Okay, apparently. He gives Amy a reassuring, and decided that the King of Okay is a terrible title.
Rory the Roman is much better. Not much better is Rory’s ability to hide his WTF? faces.
He goes to greet River and she slaps him in the face.
Oh, Rory, you adorable, confused being.
Hey, remember that foreshadowing beat down from earlier? Amy consults River’s expertise on matters of the wibbly-wobblies that appear to be happening right now, and River tells her to ask the Doctor’s age. Therein lies the answer.
Amy is non-responsive, so River asks. He’s only 909 now. Younger than he was the last time we saw him a few hours ago.
Also, Rory’s face.
River and the Doctor’s diaries aren’t matching up as well as they did before, and Amy wails about how she doesn’t understand… Which leads us to another episode of Rory Explains it All.
Also, the Doctor’s face.
Well, before Rory gets to the meat of the issue, the Younger Doctor breaks in to demand an explanation for what they’re all doing there.
River explains that they have to get to space 1969. Something to do with Canton Everett Delaware III. They’ve all been summoned by persons unknown for a mission. She gives Rory and Amy the ‘follow my lead’ glare.
Rory nods. He can roll with it.
Recruited by who? Hmm. How is River going to explain this one?
She only gives one clue. It’s someone he trusts over everybody else in the universe, anything else is spoilers.
Back in the TARDIS, the Doctor yammers on about how easy ’69 is, while a Distracted Amy and River disappear. This leaves the Doctor to wonder what everybody is being so damn solemn all of a sudden. Are they mad at him?
Yeah. He knows something is going on that they’re not telling him about.
Down in the TARDIS drip tray, River is explaining to Amy how the Dead Doctor is an older version of this Younger more clueless version.
Amy is still dealing with thoughts of mortality and disbelief, while River reminds her that we’re all going to die sometime.
Rory has artfully dodged the Doctor’s questions and has come to join them. He reminds River that even if we die, we don’t go around arranging our own funerals, and inviting our closest friends to watch us kick it in person.
Rory reasons that the Old Doctor must have had a reason for recruiting them all and sending them to ’69 or else what the hell was the point? To traumatize the crap out of them all?
Rory thinks: Vengeance! River thinks: not his style.
Amy thinks: To Save himself! Rory thinks: not his style.
Amy thinks they ought to just tell him. River puts her foot down on that. They can’t even let him know that they’ve seen his older self.
Amy tries to reason away the terrible, universe exploding possibilities of the Doctor interacting with his own past…he’d done it before after all.
Rory reminds her that there were explosions when last that happened.
The Doctor pops in to tell them all to get the hell upstairs and watch him be awesome already.
Amy’s all desperate to put an end to the Doctor’s future death that already happened, she wants to know how the other two can be so okay with it.
River says she’s not afraid of anybody’s death. Not even her future death which has already happened.
She’s got something even worse than that on the way.
Well, back at the console, the Doctor has entered in the appropriate info for a bumpity wumpity ride through time to: April, Washington DC. That is the target destination for Canton E. Delaware III and 1969.
They haven’t laded there yet, though, because the Doctor thinks he’s sending everybody home.
Rory and Amy: Off to make babies. *Whack*
River: Back to Prison
This is one mission that he wants to bypass too. Anywhere but Washington.
They all crowd around like he’s lost his mind, but the Doctor is a pretty savvy guy. He’s not just going to go on some random mission for some mysterious guy with three co-conspirators that aren’t telling him anything.
River wants him to trust them. Thing is, he doesn’t like playing games, and he’s not going to play this one.
He has no intentions of Trusting this woman who is in prison for murder and won’t tell him who she is.
Who did she kill anyways?
Amy, although she clearly was against the idea, tells the Doctor that if he can’t trust River then he can trust her. She swears on fish fingers and custard that this is just something that he has to do.
So, Canton Ever… Okay, we are just going to have to shorten this guys name.
Let’s call him Del.
So, back in 1969, presumably, because he’s looking very much younger than the last time we saw him:
Del is drowning his sorrows in some bar, looking depressed and coming off a bit resentful when he’s accosted by some shading looking government fellows.
His boss sent them, but Del has no boss anymore. I’m guessing he got canned.
Oh, but it’s the president of the United States who has summoned him. How are you going to refuse that?
Meanwhile in the future, River and the Doctor read Del’s bio. He got kicked out of the FBI. Why?
Bad-Assery, I presume. (aka: Problems with authority)
6-weeks later… Nixon needs a guy; A guy with FBI training with no contacts to the FBI.
Del, here was his second choice.
And Del tells the POTUS right to his ears, that he was HIS second choice for president. Also, he calls Nixon “MR” instead of using the Honorific.
The Balls on this Guy!
Quick recap of Nixon’s tenure: Vietnam…Watergate: the scandal that brought us the “Gate” suffix for all scandals ever whether they have anything to do with gates.
River Some Good Stuff too!
The Doctor: Not enough.
What is so horrifying that the POTUS needs to hire a proffesional bad-boy?
Prank phone calls! Huh?
Del gets right down to brass tacks: Man or Woman?
It’s neither. What the hell is it then? Screaming aliens, right?
Let’s find out, naturally, Nixon has recorded the message:
Cut to the TARDIS! Where the Doctor is trying and failing to put it in Silent mode, and River is pretending that she’s not going along behind him doing in the proper way.
Amy remains impassive at River and the Doctor’s cutesy exchanges, while Rory and River make eyebrows at at each other.
Before everybody can venture outside to have a look, the Doctor tells them that they’re going to take it slow. They stay behind while he take a step out into Washing DC.
Wow, the TARDIS was surprisingly accurate in locating Del. The Doctor stumbles right into the playback of the President’s creepy late night phone calls.
It’s a little girl, who is frightened of some spacemen! Well, Nixon seems to think it’s a boy. Why? Because it gives the names: Jefferson Adams Hamilton.
The Doctor scribbles down the names.
Del seems to think that this job isn’t quite the match for his skill-set, but the President doesn’t want to consult the FBI because they might be involved. The calls happen no matter where he is.
Finally, the President turns away from the windows, with a look of shock and dismay at the Doctor. This prompts Del to jump out of his chair too.
the Doctor’s attempts at a stealth exit are thwarted by this lamp.
Then he runs into the Stealth!TARDIS. Watch, out Doctor! There’s a Del behind you. I have no doubts that he will kick your ass.
River gets the scanner to work and is greeted by the image of the Doctor being taken down by Del and the Secret Service. (Also, my New Band Name)
River turns the TARDIS visible again.
The President’s all: What in the hell?
Right, so…the Doctor gets up from the ground, somehow finds himself babbling about how they have all the info they need on that mysterious tape from behind the President’s desk.
Despite the fact that the Secret Service dudes have let him…unknown, sit behind the President’s desk, they now have all their guns pointed at him.
The Doctor gets his swagger on and brags on his Stealth TARDIS parking skillz. Are they really going to shoot a man who broke into the White House?
At this point River busts out of the TARDIS followed by Rory and Amy proclaiming “They’re American”
Which I can only assume is shorthand for: “Shut-Up, Doctor. They’re American! Of course they will shoot your ass for breaking into the White House. Don’t tempt them.”
Nixon demands to know who these people are and what is that big blue box.
A Police Box. Duh.
He claims to be an agent on loan from Scotland Yard, then introduced his team:
The Legs, The Nose, and Mrs. Robinson.
The Doctor has shortened Del’s name to Canton Three, but I’m sticking with Del.
Also, he was right about the Caller being a girl, and he has pinpointed the exact location of the call.
Del and the Doctor are getting along fabulously and bantering about the TARDIS.
Agent hard-ass over here is screaming “Do NOT ENGAGE” at everybody.
“CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER!” yells Agent Hard-ass
While, Del is all amused and perfectly willing to give the Doctor the five minutes he asks for.
He has impeccable reasoning too:
Who are you going to listen to? The Guy who walked past security with a big blue box and all his friends, or the Dude that let him in.
Hey! It’s Peterson! We know this now because the President just told him to Shut-Up.
I’d watch out if I were you, Pete. Supporting dudes with names don’t often last long in the Whoniverse.
Alright, on with the show! The Doctor asks for a bunch of things including a wink and a nod to Jammy Dodgers and Fezzes. Apparently this Doctor hasn’t reached his Stetson phase yet.
All he gets is a bunch of maps of Florida, because that’s where the Spacemen live.
so, these spacemen are probably like the ones they saw at the lake. River and Amy agree that this is the most likely explanation.
Amy spots another one of these guys in the corridor! She has a sudden flashback and remembers the one she saw at the lake.
Rory pops directly into her line of vision and just as suddenly she doesn’t remember what she saw anymore.
Amy’s feeling a little bit ill now *whack* and has to find a toilet. Pete isn’t going to let her go, because he’s all down with the protocol. Luckily Del is there to tell him to shut-up and take her to the bathroom.
Obviously, Pete doesn’t like being bossed around by an FBI washout. At least he’s not going to let Rory follow after her. He’s got to be in charge of something after all.
Meanwhile, in more presidential areas of the room, the Doctor’s time is up.
He demands a Fez. Fezzes are cool.
She walks into the restroom and….Eeee! Somehow Amy manages only a gasp of surprise instead of screams of terror.
She wonders how she could have forgotten such mouthless horror. She tries to talk to it, but it’s not talking.
This woman emerges from a stall and screams then…laughs. That is not an appropriate response!
Well…she thinks it’s a mask. It’s not a mask, Whoniverse. It’s NEVER a mask.
She turns around and…doesn’t seem to remember. When she sees it again it is confirmed that she just forgot, because she repeats the same *Scream*Giggle*Mask! performance from merely a few seconds before.
We get it now, right?
Then the lights start to flicker.
And then this happens. Eventually the poor staffer explodes into papery bits.
Just in case you were not getting it:
You can only remember it while you’re looking at it. Amy takes a snap with her phone so she can remember.
Amy asks why it had to kill the lady, and it answers with one word:
Did that thing just say Joy? It’s official. I’m creeped out.
Her Name was Joy, it says.
Okay…I don’t know if that’s more or less creepy. It also happens to know that Amy’s name is Amelia. It tells her that she must tell the Doctor what he must know and what he must never know.
Amy seems to know what the hell it’s talking about, which is a step above where I am right now.
I assume he’s talking about the events at the lake.
Amy runs out of the restroom all aflutter, but she can’t remember. The only thing she can remember is that she has to tell the Doctor something.
The Secret Service guy is just weirded out by her phone. I have to say I totally forgot it was 1969 and I was wondering why this adult man was so damn confused by a cell phone.
Back in the Oval Office, the Doctor has found the only place in America the call could be coming from as the phone begins to ring anew. Del proclaims the Doctor a genius and tells the President, who is standing off to the side wondering what to do, that he should answer the phone.
It’s the little girl again. She’s calling to tell them that the spaceman has arrived and it’s going to get her.
They’re away to Florida! In a roundabout way, the Doctor has invited Del along with him on this adventure.
And the President assures this “Jefferson” kid that help is on the way.
Meanwhile, in the TARDIS, Del is in awe (It’s bigger on the inside, don’t you know.) and the Doctor is babbling about two of the Founding Fathers Fancying him.
Rory wonders why it’s always his turn to explain the TARDIS to newbies. Amy explains that it’s because he’s the newest.
If I recall, he’s also been one of the companions least impressed by the TARDIS’s inner dimensions.
While they were in the TARIDS, the Doctor was doing a lot of explaining about the assumptions made about what the little girl was trying to explain.
I’ll just let this cap do all the talking though.
the Doctor and River: Engage flirty banter.
Poor Del is all bamboozled when they stumble out of the TARDIS in an entirely different location. It seems Rory can’t explain Space-Time travel fast enough. Del gets the idea soon enough, though.
“How Long have Scotland Yard had this?”
Quoted for posterity!
Let us recap the recap:
They are in an abandoned warehouse where the phones have been cut off. How did the girl call?
Also, it’s almost certainly a trap, so watch your backs guys.
What is going on here? Why is this little girl in a disused warehouse with alien tech?
And contemporary space equipment, presumably stolen.
Amy and River are over here inspecting the creepy table of alien doom and conspiring on whether or not they should attempt to neutralize the spaceman before he gets a chance to kill the Doctor in the future.
River says that’s impossible. It has all the makings of a paradox. (If they never see the Doctor killed in the future, they have no reason to come to the past and stop it from happening.)
River finds a man hole cover (alien hole cover?) leading to some tunnels. No life signs are showing up on her scanner.
River heads on down to check things out. She thinks staying safe is BO-RING.
Del wants to know what’s going on.
The Doctor seems to think he’s interested in his and River’s flirty “Spoiler” banter, but Rory steps in to translate:
He’s asking about the aliens, dude.
The alien tubes lead down to a trio of creepy aliens Vogueing.
The One in the suit is there too!
Upstairs, Del is wondering if he’s really imagining all this crap in a haze of extreme drunkenness, since the last thing he remembers before being whisked away into this insanity was having a drink at a bar.
Amy assures him that this is real.
River rushes out of the hole and as soon as she pops up she’s forgotten why she was rushing out of the hole.
She says that there was nothing down there, but despite that fact…she’s going back down there.
The Doctor thinks this is stupid and dangerous. River’s middle names!
She tells Amy to look after him while she’s gone.
The Doctor asks if Rory wouldn’t mind accompanying the crazy lady with a death wish.
He’ll do it for the Doctor though. Down the hole, River is feeling ill now too…
Hmmmm, but they forge onward!
River’s readings show that the tunnels are old. She thinks it’s weird that nobody noticed them before. (how does she know that?)
We’ll just go with it.
They find a “Maintenance Hatch”
It’s locked, and River wonders why people are always locking things. Rory wants to know what’s behind the door, as if River has any more info than he does.
He just wants to do the sensible thing, scout the area, head back to the safety of his bench in Leadworth.
River wants to do whatever the most exciting thing is, and that includes unlocking mysterious doors of mystery in deep dark, very old, tunnels.
While River cracks the safe, Rory makes small talk. He wants to know about her worst day ever. The day that’s worse than death.
Well, they are traveling in opposite directions you see. When she first met him, he knew everything about her and she knew nothing about him.
She’s dreading the day when she knows all there is to know about him, and he has never met her before. That will be the last day she ever sees the Doctor.
She ends her story just as the door unlocks.
The enter into some kind of control room and set off an alarm.
Rory goes to check and see if there’s anything coming. There is, but he forgets as soon as he turns his back.
Seeing as there’s no imminent danger, according to Rory’s swiss-cheesed memory, River accesses the panel and discovers that the tunnels are centuries old and they run throughout the entire Earth!
outside the room, lights flash… River turns and calls out Rory’s name. Oh, C’mon! They can’t kill Rory for a third time!
Upstairs, Amy, being Amy, wants to know all about Del and his ‘tude problems that got him kicked out of the FBI.
No ‘tude problems here. That’s just what the Feds wanted his official record to say, I guess. The guy just wanted to get married…
Amy’s all flippant when she says “Is that a crime?”
But, It is for him apparently. Yeah. Sadface 🙁
Moving away from that sore subject…Del wants to know who exactly the Doctor is. Classified. By Whom? Amy doesn’t know. She doesn’t know that much about him really, only that he’s a friend…perhaps.
She remembers that she had something to tell him, but “Stuff” gets in the way.
Del stares wistfully at this widget and says that “stuff” has a way of doing that.
Before we can discover the “Stuff” of Del’s back story, we hear the little girl calling, which has everybody at attention.
Before the Doctor can rush to the little girl’s aid, Amy has some cramps, and pulls the Doctor aside for her important “Stuff”. At this point I’m just assuming it has to do with the the future’s events.
The Doctor doesn’t listen to her. Instead he drags her over to the dangerous danger, where Del has been knocked unconscious. He proceeds to shush her as she’s trying to reveal her “Stuff”.
Whoa. For realsies this time? Really?
Good timing, Spaceman.
The astronaut reaches out and…
It’s the little girl in the suit.
Amy grabs Del’s gun, declaring that she’s doing it to save the Doctor’s life when he screams at her, and fires at the… whatever the heck is going on with the Spaceman suit little girl deal.
Naturally the Doctor is horrified by this turn of events.
CLIFFHANGER! Dun. Dun. Dun.
Next time Previews! Taking the wind out of the cliffhanger’s sails since the invention of TV.
The Doctor needs a shave.
And More of these guys!