S32 (6) 2 – Day of the Moon

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    Craig @craig

    Repeated on BBC Three on 26 January 2013. In 1960s America the Doctor fights an alien force dating back to the beginnings of human civilisation: the Silence!

    You can watch it here until 2 February:

    You can read what you first thought on The Guardian here:

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    I don’t seem to have made any comments when this was first broadcast. Thinking back to the time: I needed to rewatch this episode; it was very, very confusing on first viewing. The combination of the time jump between part one and part two and the lack of any explanation until everyone can finally get inside a totally secure place meant I had no idea what was going on.

    Which is, stylistically, a nice touch. It put the audience in the same place as the people of Earth (who have absolutely no idea what’s going on) and – when we did finally get information – we got it at the same rate as the characters. They can’t remember the Silence until they see them. They don’t know how they got out of the old warehouse either; all they can remember are vague flashes, a confusion of shouting and screaming and forgetting and being told to look behind them when they knew there was nothing there.

    Most contributors at the time realised Amy’s pregnancy was important (snap). This is Doctor Who; the only other reason to mention a pregnancy would be to get the Companion off the TARDIS. I’m not sure if Amy wasn’t the first person in Doctor Who to be (officially) pregnant.

    A number also correctly connected the little girl with Amy’s pregnancy. I think that was also snap for me; not sure. What I do remember was my jaw dropping when the little girl regenerated. 😯

    Once I’d got past the ‘what the heck is going on’ stage, this was a very good episode, but not as good as The Impossible Astronaut – I think because the plotline was now apparently ‘who are the Silence and how are we going to destroy them?’ And that is pretty much a standard Who plot. In hindsight, that turns out to be the ‘B’ plot – the real plotline was ‘it’s all about the little girl; who is she?’

    Which does rather suggest that Clara might be somehow connected to this; Amy was the Doctor’s first ‘puzzle’ Companion. She’s his mother-in-law. River is his second ‘puzzle’ – she’s his wife. And his third ‘puzzle’ is Clara. Three women; if this is a generational thing, we’re looking at Mother, Wife and Daughter.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    This is one of the episodes that reverberated for ages with me, still does. I think it’s hugely ambitious, in the ways @bluesqueakpip mentions above, in really trying to convey what it would be like to experience the Silence.  The world as weird, off-kilter, not a clue what’s going on…

    I really liked the device of the tally marks. Even if it doesn’t make sense that you’d record a Silence visit on your own face where you can’t see it, it works for the shock value. And the nest of Silence on the ceiling – oh my!

    Re BSP’s comment “…Which does rather suggest that Clara might be somehow connected to this…” I keep going back to the SM interview from the end of S6 where he said that all the similarities between River and Amy that people spotted throughout S5 (and that he sometimes got flack for) were deliberate, to set up the connection. That logic suggests you could be spot on. Unless Clara’s his granny of course.

    That also leads me to wondering about these 3 puzzle women – possible refs to the 3 Fates/the maiden/mother/crone aspects of Mother Nature/triple goddess myths? Any of them ever been spotted knitting?!

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Hideous Munch’s Scream-esque Memory-Proof Monsters are defeated by the technology they helped instigate.

    The Doctor is obviously the Father of Amy’s baby!  It’s bound to be two-headed!

    There is a Time Lady on the loose! It’s sure to be the Rani or Romana! Someone beginning with R!

    The episode is edited memory wipe stylee, so you’ve really got to pay attention.

    There was even an obscure ‘Warrior’s Gate’ reference.

    I’ve never been so excited.

    Let’s check the contemporary reviews & opinion.

    ‘Dr Who is too scary for kids & too complicated for the ordinary folk. Moffat should be arrested, or worse’.

    Oh, well.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I agree that, initially the jump to three months later was jarring on first viewing. Impossible Astronaut had such a good cliffhanger ending you expected it to go from there, and instead you get the setup for more cliffhangers (being shot, jumping from the roof etc).

    It’s such a good episode though, you soon lose yourself in it. Canton is great value, the jaunt through the haunted house of the orphanage creepy as hell. Rory in full nerd mode at NASA. Rory and the Doctor bonding over the loss of Amy and memories of Rome falling.

    As showdowns go, River opening up an intergalactic can of whupass supported by the Doctor in the Silents TARDIS looks so cinematic.

    I was convinced this episode would be revisited in some timey-wimey way further on in the series(like the jacket scene in Big Bang) but I guess that would really have been Moff repeating itself. The episode is set up for it though, especially that first knock at the door in the office of Renfrew in the orphanage.

    And then the ending, which frankly blew me away. I read @bluesqueakpip s comments on the Caves of Androzani blog about the old regeneration effects (which were never the same) and it reminded me that this is the power of establishing a consistent look. As soon as you see the glow start, you knew what was coming, and your jaw dropped.

    I think we all liked the sound of Twelfth Night for the Christmas Episode, but I suppose Silent Night can be an outlier if Moff wants to revisit the Silence to cap Elevens tenure?

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Love that version of The Scream by the way.

    janetteB @janetteb

    No comment from me either in the original Guardian thread. Maybe I felt as though there was nothing sensible I could add, rather as I feel now having read the comments above. As is so common in Moffat stories much of what happens is little more than a  distraction, albeit a very entertaining one, from the real story which in this case is Amy’s pregnancy and conversion into flesh. Also as is common with Moffat episodes, it needs to be watched and then rewatched and rewatched again. As the season unfolds the meaning of the first two episodes changes and thus they are very rewarding when watched with a fuller understanding of what is really going on. When watching now I am trying to work out when Amy becomes felsh, when that photo of her with baby Melody was taken, what became of the child she regenerates into and how she ends up in the U.K growing up with her parents and ensuring that she is born in the first place.

    From memory I didn’t really warm to Amy in the first series but I think it was in these two episodes that I began to relate to her character and Rory was simply wonderful. The scene with him cradling that link in his hand, listening to her voice, is heartbreaking. Oh and creepy orphanages are  cool.



    janetteB @janetteb

    @wolfweed the silence scream would be ideal for crazy captions. (only because on showing it to my partner he immediately suggested a “caption” which I will happily plagiarise.)



    Anonymous @

    This and TIA are another pair of beltingly good episodes in my opinion. (Interesting that when you take in the Series 5 finale two-parter, the Christmas Special and this two-part opener for Series 6, it’s just an uninterrupted run of cracking stories.)

    The death of the Doctor right at the beginning gives the whole story a kind of weight, a sort of fore-shadowed gloom that we haven’t really seen since Logopolis. And, yes, there are lots of still-unanswered questions — like why are the Silence hanging out in the TARDIS from The Lodger. Is that deliberate or just reusing a set?  And how did Rory get away from The Silence at the end of episode one?

    I know it’s beyond unlikely, but there does seem to be a case for somehow bringing Amy and Rory back before Christmas if we are to get a resolution to the Silence plotline. It just feels as if they should be part of it somehow.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    As showdowns go, River opening up an intergalactic can of whupass supported by the Doctor in the Silents TARDIS looks so cinematic.

    @phaseshift: it does, doesn’t it? That’s such a well directed scene; and then it’s capped off by the little ‘Tomb Raider’ joke at the end.

    @jimthefish – I would be amazingly unsurprised if Rory and Amy turned up for either the 50th or the Christmas Special – I’m in agreement that their story just feels as if it hasn’t quite ended; it needs a coda.  The goodbyes have been said but we’ve been living with their after-effects throughout the second half of series 7.


    Craig @craig

    Ah, a confidential all in one place.

    Anonymous @

    Because my mind’s on loose ends today, and now re-watching this episode on BBC iPlayer, I noticed these points:


    Amy:  ‘Sometimes you feel a bit sick, but not always.’  (in reference to seeing the Silence; interesting for those who are positing about pregnancy and encounters with the Silence; and, when exactly Amy was taken by the Silence/Mme Kovarian etc)


    Canton: ‘How long’ve they been here?’


    Doctor: ‘As long as there’s been something in the corner of your eye … or a creaking in your house, or breathing under your bed, or voices through a wall …’

    Could those last references be any less subtle toward The Eleventh Hour?  Are we with hindsight to assume that the Atraxi and the Silence are in cahoots?  And that Prisoner Zero has something to do with the Silence?  Does this lend credence to the Hurt Doctor as Doctor / Prisoner Zero theory?  In The Eleventh Hour, the lovely Olivia Coleman, projecting the Atraxi, first utters the phrase ‘Silence must fall’.  It might be easy to say that we’ve seen the last of Madame Kovarian and the Silence, but if there is a clear connection through the Hurt Doctor (not to mention how the GI in The Name of the Doctor appears to be au fait with the Silence’s proclamation) then perhaps … perhaps … perhaps … We haven’t seen the last of either Mme K or the Silence and what their effect on the Doctor’s timeline is.


    ardaraith @ardaraith

    I will read up, but has anyone mentioned what the Silence say to Amy when she’s tied up in their chamber toward the end?

    We do you honour.  You will bring the Silence.  But your part will soon be over.”

    Is River the Silence??


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    I think River was supposed to be their way of ensuring the silence that must fall at Trenzilore by killing him before he went there. As it turned out she ensured the Silence by saying his name in a way that nobody else could hear. Funny how these prophesies turn out, isn’t it?

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    @phaseshift – Ah!!  Yes.  I am still very confused about that particular prophesy.  They refer to themselves ‘as’ the silence, yet the prophesy is related to the Doctor falling at Trenzilore.  It doesn’t make sense to me.  Why are they on earth? Kovarian mentions the long war, is that the Time War? This plot, which is one long story arch, is very gray to me.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @Shazzbot- interesting points.

    Part of me always saw a lot of post Big Bang Who as Moffat world-building, showing a subtly different world since Amy re-booted it. And it seemed right to me, in this new reality, created out of her memories, to have a Big Bad whose greatest power was that of making people forget (a bit like the devil convincing the world he doesn’t exist, as the Usual Suspects has it).

    But as you say, the silence were foreshadowed in the EH, although that could conceivably be timey-whimey/the power of suggestion. And they are credited with influencing human technological developments.. .and, as @adaraith quoted, her ‘honour’ for bringing the silence is in the future tense.

    re: Mme K, they did make a point of the fact that Amy only killed her in a time (or timelessness) that no longer existed. That might just have been to reassure her, but she still did it, morally speaking. And since we still haven’t seen anything but the results (at demons run) of the ‘endless bloody war’ (let alone what is meant about the Gamma forest’s being ‘(was it?) heaven neutral’. I think a lot hinges on how long a game Moffat has been playing, and to what extent he is thinking on his feet.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @ardaraith, misspelt your name- love your bowtie,(and hat!)  hate copying your name.

    Rewvian @rewvian

    The continuation from The Impossible Astronaut.  This one keeps the American themes going a bit, with Amy being chased and shot at by Agent Canton in Utah, and then Rory in Arizona.  River leaps out of a window to avoid being shot.  Canton builds a room around the Doctor to imprison him, and brings Amy and Rory’s body bags inside as well.  The prison finished, Canton frees everybody, and becomes a passenger on the TARDIS while the Doctor arrives just in time to catch River in the TARDIS’s pool.

    One of the biggest plot points in the episode is the Doctor shoots recording devices under the skin in everybody’s hand, so if they see the Silence they can describe them and record it for later listening.  This plot is a little bit loose, and Amy’s telephone ends up coming more in handy for this purpose than the actual implants.  Instead it’s shown that the recording devices can also act as a one-way radio for whoever it had been implanted into…while it is no longer near them.  Huh?

    Canton and Amy go to a childcare facility to learn more about the little girl in the astronaut suit.  The lone door man there seems to be pretty confused, and it sounds like the facility has been shut down for a while.  Amy discovers a room full of sleeping Silence, who sleep hanging from the ceiling like bats.  Amy also sees enigmatic eyepatch woman for the first time, and speaks to the little girl in the astronaut suit, who soon frees herself from the suit.  The Silence eventually take Amy away and leave behind her recording device.

    Canton gives the Doctor the footage he recorded of the Silence and the Doctor uploads it to the broadcast of Apollo 11, causing everyone to subconsciously kill the Silence when they’re seen.

    There’s a pretty good scene where River and the Doctor fight the Silence together, with River doing most of the actual shooting and the Doctor waving around his sonic screwdriver.  Amy is rescued, and reveals she has had reservations talking about being pregnant because she is worried the baby might have been effected by being on the TARDIS.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Talk about shock endings, this is a shock start. I thought we would pick up from the warehouse cliffhanger, instead Amy’s running for her life in the desert.

    It looks like Canton Delaware has gone over to the evil side, hunting down Amy and Rory and River, and building a cell for the Doctor. But it turns out to be a fortress instead of a cell. And it has the invisible Tardis in it.

    The ‘memory markings’ on Amy/Rory/River’s arms to denote Silent sightings are simple, ingenious and – spooky. Like the Silents. “As long as there’s been something in the corner of your eye, or creaking in your house, or breathing under your bed, or voices through a wall.” Thanks, Doctor, I won’t sleep tonight.

    The Childrens’ Home is truly traditional classic Frankenstein stuff, with a creepy caretaker and ghostly writing on the walls (in, of course, red) that says “Get out now”. And so does the caretaker’s wrist.

    And Amy is trapped in an empty dormitory and when she runs to the window she finds memory markings covering her hands and face. This is truly scary, horrifying stuff. I had forgotten just how scary this episode was or I wouldn’t be watching it alone in the house after midnight.

    And Richard Nixon – in this episode – is definitely a Good Guy, rescuing the Doctor from Cape Canaveral security. And, apparently, getting a trip in the Tardis for the occasion.

    And who is the child in the home and eyepatch lady? And the photo of Amy and baby?

    … and the reason Nixon taped everything was on the Doctor’s instructions, so he’d know if there had been a Silents interaction. What a neat explanation of history, I love that!

    I find the logic of Amy being pregnant/not pregnant a bit hard to follow. And the little girl – was she Amy’s baby? If so how? Timey-wimey, I suspect.

    But we still don’t have any resolution for the Doc getting shot in Episode 1 in 2011. And there were still one or two Silents around then, since Amy saw one just before the shooting.

    So this is one heck of a double-episode to start on, with echoes that – echo – all down the season.

    Rewvian @rewvian


    I sure missed a lot of stuff in my run-down, but I think it shows there was a lot going on in this episode.

    Well I appreciate your doing these rewatches with me.  I have no idea when I’ll get on to the next ones.

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