This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–-sounds that say listen to this, it is important.
Returning to the idea of memory, however, this is why the Silence are such a powerful and terrifying enemy. When reference was first made to the Silence last year, I couldn’t imagine quite what would make whatever it was just so intimidating, but like the secret room that hid in Amy’s house, just at the corner of her peripheral vision, this is truly chill-your-bones scary. For starters, of course, the design of the creature itself is extremely frightening. It looks like a cross between a classic domeheaded alien (which makes its first appearance in an episode regarding man’s first real sojourn into space most fitting) and a skeleton, but with no mouth (most of the time) and long, claw-like hands. But what makes it even scarier is how it operates, which is a perhaps even more terrifying twist on Mofatt’s already terrifying Weeping Angels’ modus operandi. The Weeping Angels cannot move when someone is looking at them. People can, therefore, have some measure of control over their chances of survival. The Silence, on the other hand, terrorizes a person with its visage and then seems to erase itself from the person’s memory as soon as he or she looks away. This makes them even more dangerous than the Angels, because there is no protection from them. Someone can be stalked by this monster, try to run away, forget it exists the second he turns away, and then be killed by it at that exact moment of pure incomprehension.
It’s particularly fascinating how this fear of forgetting something or someone important is reflected in multiple storylines, from the Doctor, a time traveler, not knowing River or his own future to Amy forgetting Rory after his death last series. Just as the Weeping Angels originally killed people by removing them from their proper timeline, the cracks in the universe were all about destroying by undoing–not just displacing people in time but erasing their existence from time all together–and so it makes perfect sense that when we actually meet the perpetrators of the events that led to those cracks, that they are all about memory erasure. I almost wonder if this is all, in some way, Mofatt’s exploration of Donna’s fate, not only examining the fear of being forgotten but of forgetting oneself and what makes you, you.
”—Robert William Berg review of ‘The Impossible Astronaut’ [source] (via crownless-)