The Impossible Astronaut

STORYLINE

Four envelopes, numbered two, three and four - each containing a date, time and map reference, unsigned, but TARDIS blue entice Amy, Rory, and River Song to meet up once again with the Doctor. Turns out the location of the meeting is in the middle of the Utah desert. Sure enough as Amy and Rory arrive in the middle of nowhere, they find the Doctor waiting for them lounging on the hood of a station wagon. River shows up seconds later, and the group begins catching up.

As the four of them enjoy a small picnic next to a lake, a mysterious old man pulls up in a truck some distance away. The Doctor apparently recognizes him and gives him a wave, just as the others notice a most unusual site. What appears to be an Apollo astronaut is emerging from the lake. The Doctor tells the others that whatever happens, they are not to interfere, and he quickly turns to confront the astronaut. Seems like the Doctor may know what's coming next.

As Amy, Rory, and River watch from a distance, they are suddenly struck with horror as the suited figure pulls out a gun and blasts the Doctor. Mortally wounded, the Doctors body begins to regenerate, but before it can take effect, the gun fires again. This time there will be no regeneration. Amy runs to embrace the Doctor's lifeless body as the atronaut returns to the water.

In the stunned aftermath of the Doctor's apparent death, the mysterious old man approaches. Apparently one of the four envelopes was addressed to him, Canton Delaware the Third, and he was instructed to bring a can of gas with him. River realizes the gas is for burning the Doctor's body so others can't obtain the body of a Time Lord, and a viking funeral ensues. Canton leaves them on the lake shore with a cryptic remark, "I won't be seeing you again, but you will be seeing me."

But wait, there were four envelopes, and only three have been accounted four. Who has the fourth envelope? The three slightly stunned friends ponder this problem, as they find refuge in a roadside diner. Amy is in a bit of shock, and appears devistated by the Doctor's death in front of her eyes. River realizes the Doctor knew he was going to his death, so who would he trust to give an envelope to? Amy, Rory, and River, of course, but who would be the number one person the Doctor trusts?

The answer dawns on them, as the Doctor emerges from the diner rest room. Apparently the Doctor who died on the beach has sent an invitation to himself, only a version from his own past. He as yet doesn't know about his own death and River convinces Amy and Rory that he must not be informed. She believes they must keep this secret as they try to figure out a way to prevent the death.

Clues future Doctor has left them lead the quartet to travel to 1969 in the TARDIS. As luck would have it, they end up in the oval office, just as President Richard Nixon is discussing with a young Canton Delaware the Third a strange phone call he has received. The voice on the other end of the line is that of a small child, and she is imploring the President for help. The Doctor steps in it immediately, and convince Canton that he can find the child for them in five minutes.

As the Doctor rambles on with the President, Amy notices a spooky alien figure standing in the doorway. A moment later when she looks away, however, she appears to forget the alien entirely. Unsuspectingly, Amy slips out to use a rest room and is one again confronted with an alien as she opens a door. She suddenly remembers she has seen the alien before, but can't understand why she forgot it entirely. She runs from the rest room in horror as the alien disintegrates another unfortunate rest room occupant right in front of her eyes. Once again, however, she forgets everything as she turns away.

Meanwhile, the Doctor has found the location of the calling child and quickly jumps back into the TARDIS to track her down. Canton follows the others into the TARDIS and is dumbstruck. Within moments, the travelers land in Florida in a deserted building. They find evidence of something odd going on in the building, case in point, the NASA space suit and the odd life support machines.

River explores some damp tunnels underneath the building only to come face to face with many of the same creatures Amy had seen before. Of course, she also forgets them as soon as she turns away. Rory joins River in the tunnels, and they both begin to investigate. They come across a room that looks eerily like the TARDIS console room the Doctor had come across in his adventure with Craig Owens. Too late, they realize they are surrounded by creatures.

Up in the main building, the Doctor, Amy, and Canton hear the child calling for help. As they rush off to help, Amy chooses that moment to inform the Doctor that she is pregnant. Before he can form a response, a figure in full astronaut gear enters the room. Thinking to kill him before he can come back later and kill the Doctor, Amy picks up Canton's dropped gun and fires wildly at the spaceman. Too late she realizes that the figure in the suit is the very girl who had begged them for help...

REVIEW

Well Series 6 has sure gotten off with a bang, or more precisely a sort of zap. Okay, not so precisely. I'd say it was a mixture of bang and zap. In the first five minutes of Series six's opening episode, The Impossible Astronaut, the one character you knew would never be killed was shot dead. If you don't want to know more, then you better not read ahead.

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