MINOR SPOILERS: A new season of Doctor Who kicked off in the UK on the weekend with 6.5 million viewers, down from the 8 million recorded for Matt Smith’s debut in April 2010.
“The Impossible Astronaut” has also aired in the US.
It will premiere in Australia at 7:30pm this Saturday on ABC1.
Here are what the Reviews have said.
Digital Spy said:
All in all, this is a fantastic launch for the sixth series of Doctor Who. The only obvious criticism is that this instalment and the one that follows could prove too confusing and too frightening for kids, but perhaps we’re just underestimating the show’s young fans? Time will tell, as it always does, but ultimately the fact that a show that’s been running on-and-off for almost 50 years can still subvert expectations, and produce something as simultaneously shocking and thrilling as ‘The Impossible Astronaut’, is something for the Who team to be proud of.
The Telegraph (I) said:
The central problem, however, is that while the Nixon references were wonderful (edit) and the jokes sparkling, many of the elements felt not just frenzied, but familiar. It’s one thing to refer to previous episodes, but Moffat recycled a host of tropes and tricks from his own work on the series: sinister phone calls from childish voices, chilling figures clad in opaque spacesuits, even monsters that you can’t look away from, lest something bad happens. It could be, given Moffat’s stellar record on both Doctor Who and Sherlock, that this was entirely deliberate, and will pay off later. But stir in the brain-melting time-travel paradoxes and multitude of dangling plot threads, and this felt like a writer stirring everything into the pot, and damn the need for exposition. The result was an episode that rewarded the dedicated fan but could leave the younger or casual viewer baffled.
The Telegraph (II) said:
Moffat clearly loves the way Doctor who can play around with concepts of time, and this episode was one which dealt in a mature manner with this, aided by some fizzing dialogue as the episode progressed; this was quite a wordy episode which concentrated more on atmosphere than pace and visual thrills.
LA Times said:
What “Doctor Who” gives us, that so much science fiction does not nowadays with its pathological analysis of heroism, are romantic mad adventurers, not without their moments of doubt and pain but having a good time in between: The series conducts its serious business with a good deal of comedy. (These opening episodes are very funny, even by local standards.) That’s not to say the darkness doesn’t get in, within and without them; indeed, stories have gone repeatedly to the brink of nothingness — the extermination of the Earth, the unweaving of reality.
The Mirror said:
Saturday night, BBC1… and Doctor Who storms back with the first of a two-part adventure called The Impossible Astronaut. As in impossible to understand……..A twitchy whirl of studied eccentricity, Matt Smith remains a derivative Doctor who brings nothing new to the party. And this ball of all-round confusion was no way to start a series. But I’m guessing the second instalment will end with the sonic screwdriver guy saving the world with seconds to spare. Again.