Saturday, September 1, 2012

Doctor Who: Favorite Season Six moments

It's been nine months since the last time we got any new Who, but tonight is the season seven premiere. I've been watching the Pond Life minisodes online this week, which were all adorable and fun until the last one. SPOILERS AHEAD I suspect the "Ood on the lou" that also likes to make breakfast and wash clothes told the Ponds something cryptic and horrible about their future, and Rory thought the only way to keep Amy safe was to leave her. I doubt he left because of "irreconcilable differences." I mean, come on, this is the Last Centurion who stood guard over Amy in the Pandorica for 2,000 years. A man like that doesn't just up and leave at the first sign of trouble. We'll find out soon enough.

In celebration of the new season, I'm going to go back through some of the most memorable moments of season six. MORE SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Doctor dies, "The Impossible Astronaut"
Of course we now know that he didn't die. At that fixed point in time on the banks of Lake Silencio in Utah, River shoots a robot body with a miniaturized Doctor inside, who makes it out completely unscathed. But when "The Impossible Astronaut" aired, I was shocked and bursting with questions. Who killed the Doctor and why? Who was the little girl who called Nixon? What's up with the Silence? And when the Doctor's closest companions build a floating pyre and mourn while his body burns, I admit I teared up a little, too.

The Doctor and the TARDIS say hello, "The Doctor's Wife"
Episode writer Neil Gaiman gave us one of the best Who episodes in a long time with "The Doctor's Wife," and he uses a plot device that works only once: Put the spirit of the TARDIS in a human body. But such a body cannot hold her for long. After a fantastic sequence of scenes in which the Doctor and the TARDIS get to say the things to each other they've always wanted to, the TARDIS returns to to her rightful place inside the ship. But before she goes, and while the Doctor cries and asks her to stay, she tells him one last thing: "Hello."

River is Amy and Rory's daughter, "A Good Man Goes to War"
I thought about including the revelation that the Amy on the TARDIS is a ganger and she has been abducted and is pregnant to boot, but really that's only a step toward the Big Reveal of River's parentage. River Song is Melody Pond. The Doctor is giddy when he figures it out. Amy and Rory are stunned. And the entire Who fandom goes, "I knew it!"

Old Amy and Rory at the TARDIS door, "The Girl Who Waited"
This entire episode kicks ass, but the scene at the end at the TARDIS door with Old Amy on the outside and Rory on the inside is heartbreaking. Rory can't let her in or TARDIS will not be able to sustain the paradox of two Amys the Young Amy inside will vanish. So Old Amy tells Rory not to open the door. After decades of waiting for the Doctor and Rory to come back for her, she chooses to sacrifice herself so that it will have never happened. Also, Karen Gillan knocks this performance out of the park.

The question the Doctor must never answer, "The Wedding of River Song"
Silence Will Fall. The Question That Must Never Be Answered. These are things that have been hinted at since the Eleventh Doctor first crash-landed in Amy Pond's front yard. In the final scene of last season's finale, we finally hear the question, and it's obvious and intriguing all at the same time: "Doctor Who?" If the Doctor ever answers the question, the implication is that Very Bad Things will follow.

Now, onward with Season Seven and the last stand of the Ponds.

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