The episode features alien time traveller the Doctor (Matt Smith) and his companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), and is the first of a two-part story, which concluded with "Day of the Moon" on 30 April. He then hangs up and leans back. Stories are the moments that you didn't see coming, that are what live in you and burn in you forever. It was directed by Toby Haynes and written by Steven Moffat and premiered on Saturday, April 23rd, 2011 on BBC-1. The TARDIS had been previously turned invisible by damage to its visual stabiliser in the Second Doctor story The Invasion (1968). This strange summons reunites The Doctor, Amy, Rory and River Song in the middle of the Utah desert and unveils a terrible secret that The Doctor's friends must never reveal to him. [4], In the Doctor Who Confidential episode following the broadcast of "The Impossible Astronaut," Moffat stated that in his view, it was one of the darker episodes of the series, but still maintained the same level of humour. [19] Final consolidated ratings for the episode increased to 8.86 million, with a 43.2 per cent audience share. At some point before the broadcast of the episode, it and "Day of the Moon" were released in a press screening, where a number of fans were invited to attend. The episode was written by show runner Steven Moffat and directed by Toby Haynes. After many months of waiting, Doctor Who season 6 has officially begun. The Doctor arrives in Washington, DC and convinces Nixon to give him a few minutes to locate the girl. [6], In October 2010, it was announced that Mark Sheppard, who had appeared in other past science fiction series, including Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Supernatural, and Warehouse 13, would make a guest appearance on Doctor Who. [4] When Canton first leaves the TARDIS, the Doctor remarks, "Brave heart, Canton," a reference to the Fifth Doctor's recurrent statement to his companion Tegan Jovanka, "Brave heart, Tegan. During a break from their travels with the Eleventh Doctor, his companions Amy and Rory are sent envelopes summoning them to Utah at a specific time and location. Arthur Darvill also lives up to his recent promotion to full-time companion. They arrive to meet River Song (who also received an envelope) and the Doctor, who is nearly 200 years older than he was when he last saw Amy and Rory. [25] When Live + 7 day DVR ratings were added, the total rose to 1.8 million. Scenes on the roadway were filmed on U.S. Route 163[14] (several miles east of the coordinates listed on the Doctor's invitations). Episode cast overview, first billed only. Instead, at Mark's suggestion, William Morgan Sheppard (Mark's father) was cast for the part. "[31] He was also positive towards the American setting, and "our eccentric British foursome bumbling through it," believing the series raised its game with this. The production team present asked them not to give away any spoilers. In tonight’s Doctor Wh o season 6 premiere, entitled “The Impossible Astronaut,” the Doctor may have met his match. "The Impossible Astronaut" is the first episode of series six of the 2005 relaunch series of the British sci-fi television series Doctor Who.It is the 70th episode of the series in total and the 765th episode of all Doctor Who episodes combined. It is the sixth Doctor Who Christmas special since the programme's revival in 2005, and was broadcast on 25 December 2010 on both BBC One and BBC America, making it the first episode to premiere on the same day in both the United Kingdom and United States. The one made in America, with Tricky Dick, a queer guy in the FBI (who now brings … Amy, Rory, and River talk at a diner when they discover the fourth envelope was sent to the Doctor, alive and 200 years younger than the one at the lake. The team deals with the Silence, a religious order of aliens which has members who can make people forget their encounter with them when they look away. The episode was seen by 8.86 million viewers in the United Kingdom, and received generally positive reviews from critics. And what is the relevance of their only other clue: "Space 1969"? My rambling thoughts on Doctor Who: The Impossible Astronaut. The suit worn by the future-Doctor's killer was a fabricated replica of an Apollo space suit. "[5] In filming the "Viking funeral" scene, Haynes wished to film it during the sunset. This plot twist is simply stunning, and it's difficult to imagine even casual viewers not sitting up to pay attention at this point. "Doctor Who" Prequel to the Impossible Astronaut (TV Episode 2011) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. And who received the missing number one? Analysis of BARB data revealed that 4.11 million people recorded and viewed the programme within a week of broadcast, accounting for 46% of the episode's total viewers. During the picnic, a figure from the lake in an American astronaut suit shoots the Doctor multiple times and his body falls. Continuity [edit | edit source] The TARDIS travels back to 8 April 1969, and ends up in the Oval Office. Haynes had actress Alex Kingston block the sunlight from the camera angle and blow smoke from her revolver. The pair had also played two versions of the same character about a year earlier in an episode of NCIS (2003). "[31] Martin liked that "Amy's numbed horror ramps things up to a series-finale level on intensity from the off," and then switches "into an Oval Office comedy of manners," and "morphs into gothic horror and finally flings you to the ground with its cinematic cliffhanger. [31] With regards to the Silence, Martin believed it was "a standard Moffat psychological trick, but the most refined to date. The episode marks the first appearance of John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness, who would become a recurring character in Doctor Who and the lead character of the spin-off series Torchwood. "[35] In addition, Marshall believed the alien antagonists "give the Weeping Angels a run for their money in scare factor. [34] Rick Marshall of MTV believed that "Steven Moffat and the Doctor Who crew offer up yet another great episode," but also said the "big cliffhanger will likely cause more than a few fans' heads to explode. News of this angered Moffat. With high production values, innovative CGI from Oscar-winning company The Mill, an all-star cast and scripts from the cream of British writers led by Russell T Davies, Doctor Who is the ultimate adventure in the human race -- gripping, breathtaking and action-packed. However, Sheppard suggested instead that his father and actor, William Morgan Sheppard, play the role, a suggestion that was accepted. And what is the relevance of their only other clue: "Space 1969"? "Doctor Who" The Impossible Astronaut (TV Episode 2011) - IMDb "[5] The aliens' design was partially inspired by the figure from the Edvard Munch painting The Scream. News of this angered Moffat. Mark was in two episodes of Doctor Who in 2011, Season 6 episodes 1&2 "The Impossible Astronaut” and “Day of the Moon”, where he played Phil, guard to President Nixon. We've curated a list of lesser-known films to help you explore the space-time continuum from the comfort of your couch. Crew: Steven Moffat (writer), Toby Haynes (director), Marcus Wilson (producer); see below. [5], Kingston had to genuinely slap Matt Smith several times in a scene because it was difficult to fake. Search for "The Impossible Astronaut" on Amazon.com, Title: The Doctor, Amy, Rory and River Song are reunited in the Utah desert. [33], Gavin Fuller of The Daily Telegraph believed it was "a cracking start to the first part of the 2011 series, with the shocking ending of Amy seemingly shooting a girl making one keen wait for the conclusion next week to see how it all resolves itself," as well as enjoying the concept of the Silence. The American-style diner scene when the companions reunite with the Doctor in this episode is actually located in Cardiff Bay. Four envelopes, numbered 2, 3 and 4, each containing a date, time and map reference, unsigned, but TARDIS blue. Meanwhile, Amy meets and takes a photograph of one of the leaders of the Silence, a group she also saw by the lake which people forget about any time someone stops looking at them. Prosthetic pieces were applied on Milligan's cheeks, nose, and ears to make him resemble Nixon as much as possible. Released October 2014. Behind him stands an out-of-focus member of the Silence.[2][3]. [36] Tom Phillips of Metro said the 1969 US setting were "beautifully used," and enjoyed the "spookiness" of the Silence. Finding Canton unconscious near a figure in a space suit, Amy picks up Canton's gun and shoots at the suit. It was first broadcast on 23 April 2011 in the United Kingdom on BBC One, the United States on BBC America and in Canada on Space. Television episodes set in Washington, D.C. Television episodes directed by Toby Haynes, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 7 January 2021, at 03:36. However, following the screening a fan gave away the entire plot of the two episodes on an internet forum. "[35] Simon Brew of Den of Geek thought the episode was "a triumphant return for Doctor Who, bubbling with confidence and throwing down story strands that hint at an engrossing series. For me, when they brought back the Weeping Angels they completely ruined them, taking away the fear and originality behind them and from that point onward it felt like a downwards spiral.But finally, it seems that Matt Smith is finding himself and becoming his own doctor. "[33] Commenting on the future-Doctor's death, Jeffery said "seven minutes in, a nation's collective jaw dropped as The Doctor — this show's lead — is mercilessly gunned down. The Doctor Matt Smith. The Doctor's companions tell him about space 1969 and Canton, but refuse to tell him about his death or that the sender is the Doctor himself. Just who is Canton Everett Delaware the Third? Regeneration Impossible was the fifth story of the tenth season of Big Finish Productions' Short Trips series. It was reportedly up by 71,000 from "The Eleventh Hour". Four envelopes, numbered two, three and four - each containing a date, time and map reference, unsigned, but TARDIS blue - begin the latest series of the time-travelling adventures. Landing in England in 1400, the Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Vicki soon find themselves embroiled in a regicidal plot and a conspiracy with Geoffrey Chaucer at its centre. The Impossible Astronaut "[36] Brew liked Sheppard's performance as Delaware and Darvill's increasing presence as Rory. Stories depend on shocking people. The scenes involving the picnic and the future-Doctor dying took place on the shore of Lake Powell. (23 Apr 2011). [27] It was shown on ABC1 in Australia on 30 April 2011,[28] and was viewed by 860,000 from the five capital cities, matching the ratings from "A Christmas Carol" on Boxing Day 2010. The Doctor and his companions travel back to 8 April 1969, where the younger Canton, a former FBI operative, is briefed by President Richard Nixon about a series of phone calls Nixon received from a young girl asking for help. [21] An additional 300,000 viewed the episode from BBC iPlayer within two days of its original broadcast. A page for describing Recap: Doctor Who S32 E1 "The Impossible Astronaut". With Amy (Karen Gillan), Rory (Arthur Darvill) and the always elusive Dr. River Song (Alex Kingston) on his side, the Doctor is ready to take on the world – or so we hope. The Silence was created to compete with other past aliens in terms of "scariness," including the Weeping Angels. The episode was partially filmed on location at Lone Rock, Utah, the first time in Doctor Who that principal photography took place in the United States. "The Curse of the Black Spot" is the third episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. "The Impossible Astronaut" is the first episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Dr Who, that's who...", National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Impossible_Astronaut&oldid=998808851, Television episodes written by Steven Moffat. [6] "The Impossible Astronaut" / "Day of the Moon" was the first two-part episode to open a series since the 1985 Sixth Doctor story Attack of the Cybermen. [15] The Laurel and Hardy film The Flying Deuces,[4] in which the Doctor intruded, was done by Smith dancing in front of greenscreen.[5]. Despite this he added that the majority of Doctor Who fans are "spoiler-phobes," who refused to go online to be spoiled. [18] After the broadcast "The Impossible Astronaut" received preliminary, overnight figures of 6.52 million viewers. Who sent them? Amy Pond, Rory Williams, River Song and the Eleventh Doctor receive a mysterious summons that takes them on an adventure to 21st century Utah and Florida in 1969. The production team present asked them not to give away any spoilers. The Impossible Astronaut. Their quest lands them in the Oval Office, where they are enlisted by President Nixon himself to assist enigmatic former FBI agent Canton in saving a terrified little girl from a mysterious spaceman. A man with a can of gasoline called Canton Everett Delaware III arrives, telling Amy, Rory, and River that the dead man is the real Doctor. [26] In Canada, the episode was seen by 538,000, making it the most watched Who episode for the channel, and its most watched telecast in 2011. [5] Milligan previously appeared in the animated Tenth Doctor special Dreamland as the voice of Colonel Stark. She tells him it is about monsters, to which he replies "Young lady, there are no monsters in the Oval Office." Story notes [edit | edit source] This is a prelude to TV: The Impossible Astronaut. River Song Alex Kingston. Sladen had previously appeared in the series as companion Sarah Jane Smith, and as the same character on the spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures. River and Rory explore a vast network of tunnels that have apparently spread across the planet for centuries, unnoticed by the human population and populated by the Silence. So to have some twit who came to a press launch, write up a story in the worst, most ham-fisted English you can imagine, and put it on the internet, I just hope that guy never watches my show again, because that's a horrific thing to do. Canton Delaware Mark Sheppard. The episode was dedicated to Elisabeth Sladen, known for playing former companion Sarah Jane Smith, who died from cancer on 19 April 2011. In creating the Silence, the alien antagonists of the episode, Moffat wanted them to challenge past monsters in terms of "scariness. The new incarnation of the Doctor will travel much further afield. [13] Filming took place in the state of Utah. Based on the phone call and the girl's mention of a "spaceman", he tracks down the Florida intersection where the girl is located. "The Empty Child" was watched by 7.11 million viewers in the UK. This series was split into two parts and dealt with overarching elements such as the Silence, the identity of River Song, and the Doctor's death at Lake … [22], In the United States the episode aired on BBC America on the same day it was released in the United Kingdom,[23] as was the case in Canada for Space. This strange summons reunites The Doctor, Amy, Rory and River Song in the middle of the Utah desert and unveils a terrible secret that The Doctor's friends must never reveal to him. Cast: Stuart Milligan (President Richard Nixon), Sydney Wade (Little girl) and Marnix Van Den Broeke (The Silence); see below. In filming the death scene the filming crew noticed that Karen Gillan was genuinely upset and "was acting her heart out. Killing the Doctor leaves the shape of the series mapped out, raises the bar so that no one is safe, and sees Amy, Rory and River facing a terrible dilemma. [19] The episode was the third most watched on BBC One, and sixth overall for the entire week ending 24 April. "[5] He felt these creatures are a "much bigger deal. This FAQ is empty. [24] 1.3 million viewers saw "The Impossible Astronaut" on BBC America, making it the highest rated telecast in the history of the channel. [9] For the scene depicting the older Canton Delaware, the producers originally planned that Sheppard would appear older using makeup effects. "[33] Jeffery rated the episode five stars out of five. ", "It's official: Doctor Who to film in the US for the first time", "Doctor Who boss 'hates' fans who spoil show's secrets", "CBBC Elisabeth Sladen tribute programme", "The Impossible Astronaut — Final Ratings", "Weekly Top 30 Programmes (select Apr 18 to Apr 24, 2011)", "Doctor Who Series 6 Premieres April 23 on SPACE", "DOCTOR WHO Pushes Boundaries of SPACE and Time as Record-Breaking Premiere Delivers 538,000 Viewers", "Doctor Who viewers go time travelling: 'Astronaut' is the most recorded TV show of all time", "Fans travel through time to watch Doctor Who", "Doctor Who: The Impossible Astronaut — Series 32, episode 1", "Doctor Who: which is the best episode of this series? Than the previous fifth series 9 ] for the episode 's darker moments filming the Viking! Actress Elisabeth Sladen, Who died from cancer on 19 April 2011 be spoiled the UK Doctor Amy. 6.52 million viewers in the Second highest rated programme of the British science fiction television Doctor. 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