The Doctor has taken Amy and Rory to a luxury ship for their honeymoon. Something goes wrong, the ship starts crashing, and the scene opens as Amy and Rory arrive on the bridge to find out what's going on. They are dressed in their police office and Centurion outfits. The audience giggles.
Meanwhile, on the planet below, Angry!Dumbledore is angry. Harry Potter put his name in the Goblet of Fire, Christmas is a humbug, and he's a jerk. He freezes people in his basement as security deposit for debts, because that's sane, and he refuses to let one girl go home for Christmas. Also, he refuses to help the ship even though he has the resources to do so.
That's okay, because the Doctor arrives by sliding down the chimney, because it's Christmas and that's just what you do.
He gets himself kicked out, but notices Sardick refuses to hit a child, which is a sign that he isn't a total psychopath despite keeping frozen people in his basement.
Sardick's cloud machine that's messing up the ship is bio-linked to him, the Doctor can't land the TARDIS on the ship, and did I mention that Sardick keeps people frozen in his basement? I mean we're just one step away from him becoming Mr. Freeze.
The Doctor decides that the best way to deal with this problem is to re-enact A Christmas Carol. He will be the ghosts, and Michael Gambon isn't even allowed to play the Ghost of Christmas Present again.
He pops into the past, where Tiny!Sardick is fascinated by fish that swim through fog. Present Sardick is confused, because his memories are actively changing. For the record, young Kazran Sardick's father is, in fact, played by Michael Gambon. Look, this isn't any more confusing than that whole "Doctor's wife/daughter" thing.
Also, the Doctor tries to present himself as a competent adult, and the psychic paper breaks.
A fog shark devours half the sonic screwdriver, and yes, I did say fog shark. Kazran is sad for the shark, which will die from the cloud machine taking away the fog. They decide to use one of the freezing pods, and as Old Kazran watches, he repeats the security code to let a young woman out. The Doctor, by the way, TARDISes in to hear it, then goes back to tell the younger Kazran.
Abigail is freed, and soothes the shark with her amazing singing voice. The Doctor tows Abigail, Kazran, and the shark to the skies, and they wind up having Christmas together every year.
With two fezzes, no less.
At one point the Doctor accidentally gets engaged to Marilyn Monroe
Unfortunately, Kazran and Abigail fall in love, and Abigail explains why they can't be together: Abigail only had a few days to live when she went into the pod to act as collateral for her family. Kazran is embittered that the Doctor brought him this pain, and turns into Angry!Dumbledore anyways. He refused to let Abigail go at the beginning because he knew she only had one day of life left.
Since this has still left Kazran refusing to save the lives of the 4003 people on board the ship, the Doctor decides to call up the Ghost of Christmas Future. While Kazran shouts at the Doctor, Tiny!Kazran appears, and is freaked out because Angry!Dumbledore is just like his father, also played by Angry!Dumbledore.
Kazran finally relents and is softened, but because of that the machine that controls the clouds no longer recognize him. Luckily, Abigail's Super Magic Wizard Voice can clear the fog, and she enjoys one last day and sky sleigh ride with NotAngry!Dumbledore.
Meanwhile, the Doctor tries to avoid a phone call from Marilyn.
So this was...cool? And a little weird? Which basically describes Doctor Who in general. It didn't make a whole lot of sense, though. But it is Christmas, and what better day to not make any sense?
The Impossible Astronaut
Amy and Rory have had two Doctor-free months, and it's kind of boring. Luckily, he sends them an invitation to...something, numbered 3. In the future, River gets a similar invitation (#2) in her prison cell at Stormcage. She starts packing, and the guard pulls his gun.
It's okay, she escapes anyways.
They meet up with him in Utah, where the Doctor is 200 years older and chatting with them happily. He wants to take them to see the first moon landing, but first, they have to have a picnic. Because, you see, he's been running from something for the last two centuries, and he has to face it.
An older man shows up as well, with some gasoline, and also an astronaut rises from the lake and shoots the Doctor. That's okay, he can just regen
IT SHOT HIM AGAIN WAIT NO WHAT
The old guy and River use the gasoline to give the Doctor a Viking funeral, because, really, if you think about it, that's probably the kind of funeral the Doctor would want. He introduces himself as Canton Delaware III, which is the coolest name ever. He also got an invitation, #4. So where is #1...?
When they go to the cafe in the invitation, a younger Doctor steps out of the bathroom. River slaps him. The Doctor is puzzled about all this, but Amy convinces him to go to 1969 with them.
In 1969, President Nixon received a phone call every day from a little girl asking for help. Canton is tasked to investigate. Then the TARDIS materializes in the Oval Room. He's the Doctor, and these are his friends, the Legs, the Nose, and Mrs. Robinson.
They give the Doctor some room to work. The child's name is actually a street in Florida, and Amy is mysteriously sick. "Mysteriously sick". In the bathroom, she sees a woman who is killed by a
NONONONONONOSFHWITESFHIW4Y8T4WEUSFIFLJWAJSFWHYYYYYWHY WHAT DID I DO TO YOU STEVEN MOFFAT WHAT HAVE I EVER DONE TO YOU NOTHING THAT'S WHAT SO WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME WHY WOULD YOU MAKE ME PARANOID AGAIN
I WAS ALMOST OVER THE SLENDER MAN PARANOIA AND HERE YOU DID IT TO ME AGAIN WHYYYYYYYYYY
This is worse than the Autons
The worst part is that Amy can't remember the thing every time she looks away, but she does manage to get a picture of it.
They head to Florida, where they find a space suit. River and Rory investigate underground where the are more HORRIBLE THINGS THAT THEY CAN'T REMEMBER, and River tells Rory that every time she sees the Doctor, he is younger and seems to know less of her, and she knows one day she'll meet him and he won't recognize her.
Day of the Moon
Three months later, Amy is running away from something, and is covered in tally marks. Canton and a group in black cars chases her down and pulls a body bag from the car. Amy begs him to remember what happened three months earlier.
However, Amy is presumably shot.
In Area 51, the Doctor is chained up, and proves he actually can grow a beard despite being such a baby face. They're encasing him in dwarf star alloy as the perfect prison.
The Doctor was already basically White!Jesus, now he just has the look as well.
In New York, River notices a Silent, and marks her arm.
Canton arrives and demands she surrenders. River tells him the Silence are everywhere, and already occupy the country. (Worst Occupy movement ever.) River jumps out the window, because of course she does.
Rory is also, presumably, shot.
Back in Area 51, Canton puts Amy and Rory's body bags in the prison with the Doctor. The door shuts. Oh good, no one can hear us!
Yeah, this was all a ploy. The TARDIS was in invisibility mode. I imagine the Doctor doesn't use that too often because, like Megamind, he would forget where he parked. Canton is worried about River, but that's okay, they arrive in time to catch her. She lands in the pool.
The Doctor has a plan. He sticks everyone with a recorder connected to their brain waves, and they can record messages if they see a Silent. Their palm will flash red. Canton's palm blinks red. What is the recording? Canton asks "how did it get in here?" and the Doctor tells him to turn around and straighten his bow tie. But the Silent is only a hologram, meaning you forget them even if it's just a picture. (I WISH I COULD. I REALLY WISH I COULD.)
Anything you're told to do when you see the alien will stick--a post-hypnotic suggestion.
Amy and Canton investigate the orphanage of horror. The walls are covered in cryptic scrawls such as "GET OUT". The man in charge is very puzzled, like a Muggle who's been mindwiped too many times. Amy goes into a room, and when the door closes she turns around, and her palm blinks. They're asleep right now, just get out. OH AND THEY'RE HANGING FROM THE CEILING THAT IS A LOVELY IMAGE THANK YOU STEVEN MOFFAT.
In the mirror, she sees her face is covered in tally marks. She escapes, and when she goes down another hallway, she sees a door open and a bright light. A woman in an eye patch looks at her and says she's dreaming. When she runs for the patch of light, it disappears, and she's in a room, with pictures of a little girl at various ages and a picture of Amy with a newborn baby. Then, Amy sees the astronaut, and tries to explain her actions before, but the child only asks to be saved, and then the Silence arrive, because they are Life Ruiners.
The Doctor has been arrested for breaking into Apollo 11, but luckily President Nixon says he's doing a great job. Even if he isn't really quite sure what that job is.
Canton has been trying to get the orphanage manager to answer questions, which he can't answer. Then a Silent comes in, and Canton questions it while recording. They keep stealing technology, and also need a space suit. Okay...?
Then Amy screams, and Canton reveals that guns aren't so bad, because he shoots the Silent, and it works. The Doctor arrives and they break down the door, only to find an empty space suit and Amy's recorder, which is still recording her pleas. That's not horrifying AT ALL.
We have some arbitrary relationship drama where Amy talks about how much she loves Rory but it's worded in a way that makes it sound like the Doctor, and it's really unnecessary because HOLY CRAP HORRIBLE THINGS ARE CREEPING AROUND CREEPILY.
We also get the reveal that even though Rory was an Auton, he still remembers all his time as the Last Centurion. He blocks most of it out so it doesn't break his brain.
They imprison the Silent in the Doctor's cell, and Canton records the thing's babbling on Amy's smartphone. They play it over the moon landing video, leading to basically everyone, from that time forward, following Steve's terrible post hypnotic suggestion:
Silent Steve and Angel Bob are terrible villains, and should have their own sitcom.
Our heroes pop over to that spaceship from before, where Amy has been held hostage for days. River shoots her gun a whole lot and the Doctor decides guns aren't so bad when a hot lady is using them. The arbitrary relationship drama is swiftly resolved,
They drop River back off at Stormcage, she kisses a confused Doctor, and Amy explains the pregnancy was totally a false alarm, which is good, because a baby conceived while time traveling might develop a time head, or the most glorious curls ever, or something.
The TARDIS is a little more uncertain in the scan, however.
Meanwhile, the little girl regenerates. As you do.
So, the most confusing series beginner ever, but it was also fun, and completely, utterly horrifying.
It also happens to kick off the most confusing plot line ever. I mean, this is more confusing than Trial of a Time Lord! THAT SAYS SOMETHING.
Tune in next time for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Doctor's Screwdriver.