Halfway Out of the Dark
SEASON SIX, EPISODE 2
[This article also completes the analysis of the second half of episode 1, as included in a general analysis of the themes predominant and more fully presented in episode 2.]
The latter third of episode 1, and the whole of episode 2, present and explore an array of themes. Certain of these themes are continuations, or extensions, of themes already discussed. Some are newer, and of these there are the complete set and the incomplete set; the standalone, and the overlapping.
Here is a general list of these themes:
Episode 1 (continued)
The Doctor and his companions land themselves square in the Oval Office. The TARDIS has been rendered invisible. The Doctor wanders out for a look and finds President Nixon and an ex-FBI agent, Canton Everett Delaware, engaged in a conversation about a mysterious child who has been calling Nixon directly every day for the foregoing two weeks. The child calls for help and seems to name herself "Jefferson Hamilton Adams".
The President and Canton eventually notice that the Doctor is listening and even taking notes of their conversation. The Secret Service is summoned and the Doctor is restrained. River Song de-cloaks the TARDIS, shocking the White House denizens to the point where they forget about the Doctor. The Doctor subsequently seats himself at the President's desk and re-announces his presence, declaring that he and only he is capable of solving the mystery of the telephone calls. Canton is intrigued by the Doctor's abilities and gives him a vote of confidence. The Doctor demands to be provided with street maps of Florida, some snacks, and – once again – a fez.
While in the White House, Amy has a vision of a strange creature which looks sort of like a classic "Grey" alien, but taller, whiter, more wizened, having only three fingers and no mouth, and perhaps most telling, dressed up in a fine black suit over a white shirt and stark black necktie. Amy recalls seeing such a creature at the lake where the Doctor was killed. The creature suddenly disappears, and Amy forgets that she saw it. She then heads to the restroom, where she confronts the creature again, and takes a photo of it with her cell phone. The creature kills a woman who was using the restroom, and then it tells Amy to inform the Doctor of his future manner of death. No reason is given. Then the creature leaves and Amy forgets that it was there.
Back in the Oval Office: although the fez and snacks are not delivered, maps are brought and the Doctor locates a triple intersection in Florida where the streets Jefferson, Hamilton, and Adams meet. Canton joins the Doctor and his crew on the TARDIS as they head to where the child is supposed to be.
The TARDIS lands the crew in an abandoned office / warehouse near Cape Canaveral. Within the abandoned space the crew discover some shabby extraterrestrial technology lying around, as well as contemporary NASA equipment that has been augmented with alien tech.
The crew discover a manhole that leads down into a labyrinthine network of underground tunnels that span the entire terrestrial globe. River and Rory discover that within the tunnels live untold numbers of the black-suited "alien" creatures. They do not attack the crew members, but simply screech menacingly and then edit themselves out of the crew's memory whenever the crew members look away from them.
Meanwhile, the Doctor, Amy, and Canton hear the cries of a little girl. They search for the source of the sound. Canton runs ahead and gets knocked unconscious. As the Doctor inspects Canton, Amy reveals in a sudden panic that she has become pregnant. The Doctor and Amy are approached by a little girl in an Apollo spacesuit. As the Doctor cries out in shock, Amy picks up Canton's handgun and fires it at the mysterious astronaut.
The crew are being hunted down and killed, by Canton and a bevy of black ops spooks who – like the "alien" tunnel-dwellers – are all neatly dressed up in suits and ties. Amy, Rory, and River Song are each in turn eliminated by a seemingly bloodthirsty Canton, who notices that they all have black ink marks covering their arms and faces. Amy and Rory are cocooned in black body bags, but River is not – presumably because she jumped to her death from a 50th-floor height.
The Doctor is by now already Canton's prisoner. He is being held in a large warehouse in Area 51, in Nevada. He sits on a yellow office chair, crudely strait-jacketed and chained, bearded, and surrounded by signs warning the military officers on guard duty not to approach or interact with "the Prisoner".
The military assemble around the Doctor a black box with a single door, to serve as the Doctor's permanent prison. Once the prison has been completed, Canton seals himself inside, along with the aforementioned body bags. As soon as the door has been secured, the Doctor unchains himself, and Rory and Amy emerge gasping from their body bags. The TARDIS, cloaked, is revealed sitting within the black box, and the crew, together with Canton, rush to save River from her 50th-floor plunge.
Now reassembled, the crew discuss the "suited alien" menace: the mysterious beings are all of precisely the same appearance, but all information about them is somehow "edited out" of the mind of every person – even the Doctor – who happens to get a look at them. It's revealed that the black marks on the crew's bodies were the crew's attempts to keep track of each time they saw one of the creatures. The Doctor now presents an improvement upon that device: an implant into the left palm, which when pressed will begin to record the thoughts of the implanted person, as well as any significant noise in the surrounding environment. Even though the implanted person will immediately forget that he or she has just encountered one of the creatures, the implant will flash to indicate that a recording has been made of the encounter.
More is said of the creatures: they are very old and have been on Earth for thousands of years, influencing and directing Human history. The Doctor deduces that the Apollo space program was induced by the creatures' influence, insofar as the creatures themselves are complete scavengers who cannot create anything new but must cause others to do the work for them. There is also the matter of the little girl in the spacesuit: the Doctor later speculates that the creatures created the space program precisely for the purpose of capturing, protecting, and raising the little girl, within a modified Apollo spacesuit.
While the rest of the crew set off to search children's homes (orphanages) for the missing little girl in the spacesuit, the Doctor breaks into the Apollo space module in order to implant a specialized transmitting device. He is apprehended by NASA security officers, but soon released due to the direct influence of Nixon. Back in the Oval Office, the Doctor refuses to explain to the President why he had broken into the Apollo program, and he tells Nixon that he, the Doctor, is now the only – the only – being that the President can trust.
Meanwhile, Amy and Canton have come across an orphanage that seems to be devoid of children, and which is being run by a crazy man who moves about in a semi-stupor and who thinks the year is 1967 or earlier (it is actually the summer of 1969).
Amy sets about exploring the dark, leaking house. She ends up in a room where dozens of the suited creatures dangle upside-down from the ceiling, sleeping like bats. She manages to escape that room, then finds herself drawn to a child's bedroom. Amongst photos of the child, which have been framed and arranged on the child's clothes dresser, Amy discovers a photo of herself, with an infant in her arms. The suggestion is that Amy is the lost little girl's mother. Just then, the space-suited girl enters the bedroom and she pleads for help. Some of the creatures enter the room and surround the girl. The door to the bedroom is closed and locked, as Amy screams in terror.
Canton has been gently interrogating the crazy proprietor in his shabby office. One of the creatures enters the office menacingly. Coaxing the creature to speak, whilst activating his recording implant, Canton learns that the creature is unarmed. He shoots and seriously wounds the creature, and then exits the office to find Amy. He manages to make a quick call to the Doctor, summoning assistance. Together, they force the bedroom door open. The room is empty, but Amy's implant is lying on the floor, broadcasting Amy's pleas of terror in real time. The little girl's suit is also on the floor, empty, with one arm reaching for an assembly of toys on the bedroom rug. A close inspection of the suit reveals that the little girl must possess tremendous strength, because she managed to rip her way out of the space suit on her own. The suit later begins to repair itself and even to move autonomously, suggesting that the suit was in fact a mobile prison unit which had at some point captured, "consumed", and kept the little girl within.
Returning to the proprietor's office, the Doctor and Canton find the wounded creature struggling to stay alive. The creature tells the Doctor, "We are the Silents, and silence will fall." The Doctor transports the creature back to the black box prison, where its wounds are treated. While the Doctor and River continue their inspection of the space suit, Canton manages to goad the wounded creature into saying, "You tend to my wounds. You are a fool.... You should kill us all on sight.... We own your will." Canton sends a videophone recording of the creature's speech to the Doctor, to announce that he is now ready for the final step in the Doctor's plan to retaliate against the creatures.
The Doctor uses Amy's implant transmission to locate Amy. She is being held in some sort of laboratory, populated with the creatures. They tell her, "You will bring the silence / Silents." As they are attempting to force her to fall asleep, the TARDIS appears and the Doctor exits, carrying a black-and-white television and verbally taunting the creatures.
At a pre-arranged time, the Doctor makes a quick phone call to Canton, who then inserts his (Amy's, really) video cell phone into a transmitting device. The other such device, hidden away within the electronic entrails of the Apollo lunar landing module, comes to life. Just as Neil Armstrong takes his first step and sounds his famous statement, the transmitting devices sound the wounded creature's recorded image and admonition, "You should kill us all on sight," and this message is broadcast subliminally into the minds of every human watching the lunar landing on television. The Doctor, who has been sharing the TV broadcast with the creatures, explains triumphantly that the creatures have given the order for their own execution, for all time to come.
The creatures are enraged by this ironic treachery, and they attack the crew, electric arcs bursting forth from their fingertips. As the crew of the TARDIS retreats, River Song uses her ray gun to kill – apparently – every single one of the attackers in the room.
Canton is returned to the White House, and Nixon promises the Doctor that he will try to assist Canton in his quest for marriage. However, once the Doctor has departed, Canton reveals that his "fiance" is black – and male. The President admits that that agenda will probably have to wait a while.
The Doctor returns a willing River Song back to her usual prison cell. Before he can stop her, River kisses him. He claims that it is their first time to kiss, but River knows that means it was probably – for her – their last kiss.
Back in the TARDIS, the Doctor discusses Amy's pregnancy. Amy states that she was mistaken to think she was pregnant. However, a short time later the Doctor performs a surreptitious full-body scan of Amy, and the analysis reveals that Amy is in a state of flux, more or less constantly switching back and forth between a state of pregnancy and a state of non-pregnancy.
Copyright 2011 deepgrey. All rights reserved.
Distribution Policy: Articles on this site may be forwarded and copied, provided that a link to the original source is provided. Articles may be printed for distribution, provided that the original source is credited. International copyright legislation applies.