6.1. The Impossible Astronaut / Day Of The Moon

Series 6 - 2011

Writer: Steven Moffat
Produced by: Marcus Wilson
Director: Toby Haynes
Music: Murray Gold


At home, two months after leaving the Doctor, Amy is reading a story about an unnamed Doctor trapped in the Tower of London, and describing his escape by balloon. There are more stories of the Doctor, trying to attract attention through history books. As Amy accepts a blue envelope in the post Rory misses the Doctor's appearance in an old Laurel and Hardy movie. In the envelope (no 3) is a map reference and a date.

In the Stormcage facility River Song also receives a blue envelope (no 2) with the same details.

The reference seems to be the middle of nowhere, in Utah, where Amy and Rory meet up with the Doctor, and Doctor River Song.

In an American diner River and the Doctor synchronise their diaries. Amy asks the Doctor what he has been doing, and the Doctor explains he has been running, and that it time he stopped.

Down by the side of a lake the group takes a picnic. Amy notices the Doctor is 200 years older, and the Doctor responds by saying he wasn't going to mention she has put on weight. In the distance an old man arrives in an SUV. At the same time an astronaut emerges from the lake. The Doctor tells everyone that whatever happens they must not interfere as he approaches the astronaut.

The Doctor knows the astronaut, and knows what is going to happen. River and Rory hold Amy back as the astronaut shoots the Doctor. As he begins to regenerate the astronaut fires again, killing him. The old man approaches and confirms that the body is the Doctor, and says the Doctor told him to give them a can of gasoline. The body is alien, and cannot be discovered.

The old man is Canton Everett Delaware III, and he has the fourth blue envelope. Back at the diner Amy, Rory and Amy find out who has the first envelope, as the Doctor emerges from a restroom. This Doctor is around 200 years younger, and the Doctor and River's diaries don't synchronise properly.

The Doctor takes the TARDIS to Washington, 8th April 1969. River, Amy and Rory agree amongst themselves not to reveal the Doctor's fate to the younger Doctor, but he knows they are hiding something. River says he must trust them, but he is suspicious.

In a bar in Washington, six weeks after leaving the FBI, Canton Everett Delaware III is called upon by the President of the United States for a secret meeting. President Nixon tells Delaware about a call he gets at the same time every day. The Doctor wants to listen in on the meeting, and employs a little-used cloaking feature of the TARDIS which renders the TARDIS invisible and silent.

He is able to listen as the President plays a recording of a child to Delaware. The Doctor takes notes, and doesn't notice as the President sees him. The Doctor goes back to the TARDIS and walks in to it. The Doctor is caught, and tells the President he is a special operative from Scotland Yard, London. The Doctor says he knows where the phone call is from.

The security guards want to take the Doctor in to custody, but Delaware realises that a man who can walk past them all and plant a blue box in the Oval Office without anyone noticing is someone worth listening to.

The Doctor asks for street level maps of Florida. As everyone else in the Oval Office is looking at the maps Amy notices a strange man in the doorway. She is interrupted by Rory and forgets all about the man. Amy feels a little sick and asks to go to the toilet. One of the security men takes her to the restroom.

Inside she sees another of the strange men. A woman comes out from one of the stalls and Amy warns her about the man. The woman thinks it is someone in a mask, but when she turns round to Amy she has forgotten all about him. The strange man starts to draw energy from the room and uses it to kill the woman. Amy realises you can only remember the man when seeing him, so she takes a picture on her phone.

Back in the Oval Office the Doctor pinpoints the location where the phone call came from. Using the TARDIS the Doctor, Amy, Rory, River and Delaware go to the location of the phone call - about five miles from Kennedy Space Center. It appears to be an old warehouse, but the only phone is disconnected. There is alien technology along with stolen contemporary Earth technology. There are cables leading down to a network or tunnels. There are no life-signs, and River goes to investigate.

Underground River finds more of the strange men Amy saw. When she gets back in to the warehouse she has forgotten, and says the tunnels are clear. She goes back down to look further, and the Doctor asks Rory to go with her. The tunnels are old, but River finds a maintenance hatch. She powers up the door, and they enter a room containing a powered console. An alarm is triggered; Rory sees men approaching, but when he turns away he forgets. At the same time River learns the tunnels are spread underneath the whole surface of Earth.

In the warehouse Delaware, Amy and the Doctor hear the voice of a child. Delaware goes on ahead, and the Doctor and Amy find him unconscious. The astronaut emerges from a corridor, and to save the Doctor Amy takes Delaware's gun and fires.

Three months later Amy is being chased through the Valley of the Gods in Utah by Delaware and other security agents. He has an empty body-bag. Amy asks if Delaware can remember the warehouse as he fires a gun. In New York River, covered in a number of tally marks, is confronting more of the strange men. Delaware catches up with her, and before he can fire she jumps from the 50th floor of a skyscraper. On the Glen Canyon Dam, in Arizona, Rory is caught by Delaware, and shot.

In an aircraft hangar the Doctor is restrained in a straitjacket. A cell is being constructed from zero-balanced dwarf star alloy - the densest material in the Universe; the perfect prison. The Doctor, and two body bags, are put in to the cell, with Delaware, cut off from the rest of the Universe. No-one can hear as the Doctor gets out of his straitjacket, and Amy and Rory emerge from their body bags. The cloaked TARDIS is in there as well.

For three months they have been tracking the Silents - aliens who make anyone who sees them forget. To keep track everyone is covered in tally marks. The Doctor injects a nano recorder in to everyone's hand. The recorder can record any message, and flashes when a message has been left. The Doctor knows where they Silents got the spacesuit from, but where did they get the child.

Amy and Delaware visit start visiting children's homes, and visit the Graystark Hall Orphanage. Doctor Renfrew lets them in, and the he apologises for words written on the walls. The orphanage was supposed to have closed in 1969, but Doctor Renfrew insists the year isn't 1969. While Delaware goes to the doctor's office Amy checks out an empty room. The door locks, and she sees her hand is flashing. On the ceiling she can see a number of the Silents. Mysteriously the door opens, and when she stops looking she forgets about them and leaves.

As Amy walks down a corridor she sees the hatch in a door open and woman appear. The hatch closes soon afterwards, and when Amy checks the door the hatch has gone. The room is empty, but is set up like a nursery, and the lights are on. There are pictures of a girl on a dresser, along with pictures of Amy holding a baby.

The astronaut appears in the room. The visor opens and it shows a girl inside. Amy says she is glad she missed, and the girl cries for help as more Silents appear. Delaware hears Amy's scream and goes to help after calling for the Doctor.

The Doctor, River and Rory arrive, and together make their way into the room where they can hear Amy, only she is not inside. Only the empty spacesuit is there. Rory finds Amy recorder on the floor. The voice is coming from the recorder, but the recorder is playing live - wherever Amy is.

Back in the aircraft hangar Delaware emerges from the cell, after several days, as though nothing had happened, along with the President. Inside the cell is the alien Silent. Doctor Shepherd has been tending to the Silent. Using Amy's phone Delaware records the Silent. He captures video footage of the Silent and sends it to the Doctor containing the phrase 'Kill us all on sight.'

In the warehouse in Florida the Doctor and River examine the spacesuit which has been augmented with alien technology. The girl who was in the suit, probably human, must have been strong to crawl out of it. The spacesuit is trying to repair itself as it is examined.

In the alien control room Amy awakes tied to a chair. There are Silents nearby, and one tells Amy she has been there many days. It tries to get her to go back to sleep as the TARDIS, along with the Doctor, River and Rory arrives, with a television. On the television is live footage from the moon landing. Nearly half a billion people are watching the same footage - something they will never forget. The Doctor calls Delaware to mix footage of the Silent in to the moon landing footage telling people to kill them all on sight. As this is an order from the Silents all around America people kill Silents on sight, and don't remember it afterwards.

The Doctor returns River to the Stormcage facility. In the TARDIS the Doctor is concerned about Amy. Amy had told the Doctor she was pregnant, but then says she isn't. She is concerned that travelling in the TARDIS would affect the baby. The Doctor uses the TARDIS to scan Amy, it it says she is, and isn't, pregnant.

Back in New York a homeless man hears a girl coughing. She says she is dying, but that she can fix it. As the man watches she starts to glow, and regenerate.

Regular Cast

  • Amy Pond: Karen Gillan
  • Rory Williams: Arthur Darvill

Guest Cast

  • River Song: Alex Kingston
  • Canton Delaware III: Mark Sheppard
  • Old Canton Delaware III: William Morgan Sheppard (1)
  • The Silent: Marnix van den Broeke
  • President Richard Nixon: Stuart Milligan
  • Carl: Chuk Iwuji
  • Phil: Mark Griffin
  • Little Girl: Sydney Wade
  • Joy: Nancy Baldwin (1)
  • Prison Guard: Kieran O'Connor (1)
  • Prison Governer: Alex Giannini (1) - uncredited; not in finished programme
  • Captain Simmons: Adam Napier (1)
  • Matilda: Henrietta Clemett (1)
  • Charles: Paul Critoph (1)
  • Busboy: Emilio Aquino (1)
  • Doctor Renfrew: Kerry Shale (2)
  • Gardner: Glenn Wrage (2)
  • Grant: Jeff Marsh (2)
  • Sergeant: Tommy Campbell (2)
  • Doctor Shepherd: Peter Banks (2)
  • Eye Patch Lady: Frances Barber (2)
  • Tramp: Ricky Fearon (2)
  • Noblemen: Simon Challis, Richard Tunesi
  • Footman: Malcolm Bevan
  • Maids: Jennifer Marsh, Charlotte Nolan, Kate Champneys Smith
  • Prisoner of War: Raki Brown
  • Nazi Officer: Jon Bentley (not in finished programme)
  • Nazi Soldiers: Antony Evans, Pete Symmonds (not in finished programme)
  • Postman: Andy Jones
  • Storm Cage Guards: Dean Anderson, Kwesi Gepi Attee, Azhar Miah, Sam Steeper, Gavin Clark
  • Waitress: Melanie Allen
  • Chef: Jason Shepherd
  • Trucker: Jeff Williams
  • Diners: Ikay Agu, Cherie Hamilton, Anneliese Murray, Gwain Ap Rhisiart
  • Astronaut in lake: Marcel Cozza
  • Silents: Mark Gittleman, John Gullo, Jamie Hill, Iestyn Hampson Jones
  • Barman: Denzie Phipps
  • Punters: Harry Burt, James Harris, Matthew Humphries, Cameron Williams, Malcolm Palmer, Anne Bolton, Caroline Gill, Juliet McCarthy, Natalie Mintz, Julie Hoult
  • Attractive Girl: Kimberley Senior
  • Security Men: Garry Lloyd George, Richard Powell, Aled Evans, Marcus Elliott
  • Military Man: Greg Bennett
  • White House staff: Jennifer Gilliam, Diane Lukins, Garry Lloyd George, Tony Banham, Robert Davidson
  • Astronaut: Chester Durrant
  • Double for the Doctor: Andy Jones
  • Men In Black: Marcel Cozza, Mark Gittleman, John Gullo, Kristian Arthur, Matthew Doman, Ian Darlington Roberts, Dennis Gregory
  • Air Force (guarding cell): Leroy Brito, Luke Grahame, Iestyn Jones, Chris Lee
  • Air Force: Robin Bower, Chester Durrant, David Ulcett, Craig Ribgy
  • Scientists: Ian Freeth, Pina Harrington
  • Stunt Double for River Song: Jo McClaren
  • Marines: Robin Bower, Chester Durrant, David Ulcett, Craig Rigby
  • Driving Double for Canton Delaware: Mark Roe
  • Double for Amy Pond: Heddi-Joy Taylor-Welch
  • Silent stand-in: Michael Curtis
  • NASA Scientists: Adam Chilvers, Jonathan Thomas, Steve Grant (Grant not in final programme)
  • Amy's baby: William Morris
  • Military Policeman: Adam Gill
  • Silent (closed mouth): Jamie Hill
  • Taxi Driver: Nigel Durrant

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 (HD) 1. The Impossible Astronaut Saturday, April 23, 2011 6:00 PM - 6:45 PM 8.6M 88
BBC 1 (HD) 2. Day Of The Moon Saturday, April 30, 2011 6:00 PM - 6:45 PM 7.3M 87

Click here to show repeat broadcasts on the BBC


  • Upper Boat Studios: Studio 5
  • Upper Boat Studios: Studio 6
  • Upper Boat Studios: Studios 1 + 2

Outside Locations

  • Area behind Unit 878, Picketsonm Site, MOD St. Athan, St. Athan, Barry
  • Avondale Crescent, Grangetown
  • Cadogan House, West Bute Street, Cardiff Bay
  • Cardiff University Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff
  • Crockherbtown Lane, Greyfriars Road, Cardiff
  • Eddie's Diner, Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay
  • Fillcare, Lanelay Road, Pontyclun, Llantrisant
  • Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cathays Park, Cardiff
  • Glen Canyon Dam, Page, Arizona, USA
  • Johnsey Estates, Mamhilad Park Industrial Estate South, Pontypool
  • Lake Powell, Page, Artizona, USA
  • Le Monde, 60 St. Mary Street, Cardiff
  • Millennium Stadium Underground Car Park (Entrance 4), Westgate Street, Cardiff
  • Millennium Stadium, Level 6
  • Monument Valley, Utah, USA
  • The Coal Exchange, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff Bay
  • Tredegar House, Newport
  • Troy House, Mitchel Troy, Monmouth
  • Valley Of The Gods, Utah, USA