Doctor Who: Series 6, Episode 7 – A Good Man Goes to War

I was seriously dreading this episode. Supposedly a big cliffhanger, a game-changer some have said. I don’t know. So far I have not gelled with this series as I would have liked, so the normal trust I put in Moffat over big moments like this has been shaken.

It started out well enough. I was glad we didn’t have to see Amy in labour. She put her baby, Melody Pond, in a little basket/tub thing and it reminded me very much of Superman being sent off to Earth to keep him safe.

Rory’s question and the Doctor’s message was excellent, but then we started jumping around in time a lot, grabbing people from the Doctor’s history. This happened at the end of the previous series and at the beginning of this. Have we overused the time-jumping thing yet? The pirates, Sontaran, Silurians, the big, fat, blue man – who didn’t want to come because he’s big and fat and blue.

All gathered together, this army of misfits then took control of wherever the other army was, only to find out it was all a big trap. The pacing of this episode left so much to be desired. Far too long spent listening to them waffle on about headless monks, looking on as Rory and Amy were reconciled, watching the Doctor hug Amy over and over again. Then glimpses of action that were gone before they began. The Doctor didn’t even show up until twenty minutes in.

It started to get interesting when they analysed the DNA of the baby and started to work out that although she clearly is the offspring of Amy and Rory, some timey wimey stuff has intervened. The eyepatch lady wants the baby as a weapon. This is curious.

The big reveal, then, is that River Song is Melody Pond. Given that the names are the same albeit for the sake of a thesaurus, and that this has been one of the much-discussed theories so far this series, then it wasn’t too much of a surprise. I was slightly confused that the Doctor disappeared off to save the baby, when she was clearly standing right there relatively unscathed. Perhaps this is what he had to do though.

Is that a cliffhanger then? It confuses me. The times that River Song and Amy discussed the Doctor like they were new wife and ex-wife. Isn’t that weird? Did River know then? Has she always known? Her backwards timeline started out as a cute little opposite to the Doctor, but now that it has a real point, that these moments could be vital to understanding everything that’s gone on with River, it’s mind-boggling.

Ultimately, the episode left me disappointed. A fifty minute slot left the story strung out for that final five minute reveal, which really did not do much to satisfy. It was always going to be tough to make River’s identity something awesome, and sadly, for me, this was not it.

I won’t go over the same things I did in the last post, but these first seven episodes have worn me out. The Doctor has had his brilliant moments, his funny one-liners, but he’s also not at all the same man that he was last year. Angry, misguided, tricksy, I don’t feel as warm to him as I did before. He’s left behind fishfingers and custard, and it’s not a very endearing place that he has gone to.

I am left with a feeling that I don’t really want to see the rest of the series. But that is now. Maybe by Autumn I’ll feel different.

7 thoughts on “Doctor Who: Series 6, Episode 7 – A Good Man Goes to War

  1. Doctor Who set itself such a ridiculously high standard last season, this one was always going to struggle to match up to it. Even with that, ever since the US of A episodes, its been pretty poor stuff.

    Everything about it just seemed predictable. You could tell the Doctor would hide under one of them cloaks the moment you saw them. You could tell the baby wasn’t safe with Amy when it was barely 20 minutes into the show. You could tell about River Song and all that too.

    Saying that though, I think the perfect cliffhanger was there, with the baby disintegrating and the Doctor running in to see Rory saying ‘we know’ and a cut back shot to the Doctor looking despaired. But, alas, I’m not Stephen Moffat.

    I’ll stay watching in Autumn because they called the next episode ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’, which frankly, sounds brilliant. Although, I don’t think I’m too disappointed with the wait for it.

  2. Can definitely understand your sentiments about the series so far, he’s been a very different Doctor this year. Part of me wonders if they stretched out the whole deal of a darker, edgier series a bit too much…

    You’ve reminded me of the pirate man too. He just randomly turned up then did nothing!

  3. Well, im going to disagree! i think it was a cracking episode and the ending was superb! Matt Smith as Dr Who has taken on the memory of David Tenant and I think has come up smelling of roses! He is zany, unpredictable and has built up a great rapport with the watching public. Im surprised there seems to be negativity, as what do we want from a Dr Who series? Boredom?

  4. Im surprised there seems to be negativity, as what do we want from a Dr Who series? Boredom?

    Hehe, of course not. I did catch myself staring out the window a couple of times during this episode. Some of the speeches just weren’t as epic as Matt Smith standing in the midst of Stonehenge, shouting at all of his enemies.

  5. did we watch the same episode. That was awesome. And by the by, how did you all know about River song being rory and amy’s child. The name Melody Pond has never been mentioned before last nights episode. my hub and I put it toghether after we saw the name and thought about it, but with everything under tight wraps, that wouldn’t have been common knowledge before this. Oh, and the doctor rushing off the way he did, he was going to meet that female solider(Ariana Bucket) as a child in the Forests of Gammmon. Since he didn’t remember her, it meant he hadn’t done it yet, so he had to lay the groundwork for her to want to help them in Demon’s Run. Remember, she joined the clerics just to meet the doctor again. And the pirate showed up as a nice little surprise. The doc needed the right kind of allies for this episode and he signed off from all the old ones so they could live their lives.

  6. And by the by, how did you all know about River song being rory and amy’s child.

    I didn’t know, but when Amy’s pregnancy first came to light it was one of the many theories that were suggested. With the name confirmed at the beginning of the episode, and the way it was quite drawn out, by the time they got to the reveal it was all a bit… obvious.

    Oh, and the doctor rushing off the way he did, he was going to meet that female solider(Ariana Bucket) as a child in the Forests of Gammmon.

    I hadn’t thought of that. He could be off setting up all the pieces. Seemed like a weird time to leave though!

  7. Actually I liked the episode because it’s clear this whole season is one big story, with each week adding to the total. This is unlike previous years were there were clear stand alone stories, like with Van Goah (however it’s spelled). I think most are getting worn out with this build up and maybe expecting the show to be the way it always was, but is it really so bad? I think it’s clear that Moffett wants to flesh out the Doctor far more than any other writer did. Does he have to be shrouded in mystery forever?

    The biggest part for me was the dropped question the Doctor refuses to answer from Amy. “Doctor DID you ever have children!”

    I would love nothing more if Moffett would finally answer questions about the Doctor’s original history. It’s been almost a dozen regenerations now, enough already. We know (or think) Susan was his Granddaughter, which (if believed, and some writers have put doubt on that), she was, then he had to have had a daughter or son. Even the original Doctor doesn’t mention family besides Susan. He never speaks of direct children. Would this mean he had a wife?

    Now, before everyone jumps on me, I’m not saying that all these characters should be revealed in one fell swoop but it seems that FAMILY, is front and center with Moffett, and for that, I thank him. For the best reason…the woman who played Susan is still alive!

    USE HER ALREADY!!

    Who would be a better character to show up than Susan Foreman? After so many regenerations, having her walk into the TARDIS would be a dream come true. Bite the bullet and give the man a real family! Even if she only shows for an episode, the Doctor needs it. He feels old and needs to connect with someone and who better than his only surviving family member.

    Now I know this is a problem for like, ten thousand reasons. The Time War etc. But come on. I think the Doctor is clever enough to protect Susan from harm and hide her from his enemies.

    On a different note, I love River Song!

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