The Impossible Astronaut


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The Impossible Astronaut

Series 6

Episode 1

First Transmitted

23 April 2011

Final Ratings



Series 6 Set


Series 6 Volume 1 DVD


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Regular Cast

Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy), Arthur Darvill (Rory)

Guest Cast

Alex Kingston (River Song), Mark Sheppard (Canton Everett Delaware III), William Morgan Sheppard (Old Canton Everett Delaware III), Stuart Milligan (President Richard Nixon), Chuck Iwuji (Carl), Mark Griffin (Phil), Marnix van den Broeke (The Silent), Sydney Wade (Little Girl), Nancy Baldwin (Joy), Adam Napier (Captain Simmons), Henrietta Clemett (Matilda), Paul Critoph (Charles), Kieron O’Connor (Prison Guard), Emilio Aquino (Busboy)


Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Toby Haynes
Produced by Marcus Wilson


Four envelopes, numbered 2, 3 and 4, each containing a date, time and map reference, unsigned, but TARDIS blue. Who sent them? And who received the missing number one? This strange summons reunites The Doctor, Amy, Rory and River Song in the middle of the Utah desert and unveils a terrible secret The Doctor’s friends must never reveal to him.

Placing his life entirely in their hands, The Doctor agrees to search for the recipient of the fourth envelope – just who is Canton Everett Delaware the Third? And what is the relevance of their only other clue: ‘Space 1969’? Their quest lands them – quite literally – 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.


  • When Amy and Rory are at home, their television is playing the Laurel and Hardy film The Flying Deuces.
  • In the White House bathroom, Joy mistakes the alien for a man in a Star Trek costume.
  • First time we hear the TARDIS can cloak
  • River Song tells Rory that she and the Doctor are “[time] travelling in opposite directions.” Every time they meet, he knows her less and less – and the day is coming when “he’ll look into my eyes, and not have the faintest idea who I am. And I think it’s going to kill me.” In the Series 4 episodes, “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead,” the Tenth Doctor meets River for the first time (from his perspective – she has apparently met him many times), at the conclusion of that story, River dies to save all the people trapped inside The Library’s core.
  • Amy Pond and Rory Williams watch a Laurel & Hardy film, The Flying Deuces, on television.
  • This story shares numerous similarities with the 1988 John Carpenter film they Live, in which the primary protagonist discovers a hidden alien race living amongst humans, using subliminal messages to influence their development.
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