Doctor Who: Series 6, Episode 13 – The Wedding of River Song

As mentioned last week, I was somewhat worried about this series finale. The fifth series ended spectacularly, and I loved practically all of the final two episodes. I have faith in Steven Moffat but after seeing the start of this series, my belief system was shaken a little bit. It really shouldn’t have been.

The Doctor has been wending his way towards his death, and we were treated to him repeating over and over that it was a fixed point in time. I very much enjoyed the state of affairs in the broken time stream, where everything was happening past and present, history meeting the future. The trains were excellent, and although the CGI was startlingly obvious, it was fun.

Seeing some old faces is always good, particularly when they don’t hold the key to everything, but are simply there to move the story along. Charles Dickens was a surprising but welcome blast from the past. The Doctor explained the story to Winston Churchill, and to us, and eventually we were at the point where River Song had the choice.

She had to give up the man she loved for the sake of the universe, or let time disintegrate completely. She wouldn’t give him up. And then they got married! The Doctor has a wife. Hmm. This is something I am not going to allow myself to think about until we see how it affects the next series.

It was always obvious that there was going to have to be some sort of cop out to the Doctor’s death. If he does die, it certainly shouldn’t be now, not when we have a whole other series to prepare for. I think I found it to be slightly too much of a cop out. The fixed point in time, that was so very important, can be fooled by a Tesselecta? That seems slightly odd to me.

Having said that, I love that the answer was so simple, and was something that the seeds had been put in place earlier in the series and in the episode itself. Just like the series five finale, the peril is great (end of the universe, end of time) but the answer isn’t overblown and cringeworthy.

It’s also intriguing that the Doctor has not only reset himself for a new series, but has reset himself within the universe completely. Presumably all the enemies believe that he is dead. That brings it right back to the start again – with enemies becoming surprised at the appearance of their one true nemesis. That, in itself, is Moffat genius.

Without making this post ridiculously long, there were also great moments. The return of the Ponds was fab, seeing Amy come back for Rory was excellent – the girl can wield a machine gun! I liked the moment at the end when River and Amy caught up with where they were in each other’s timelines, although hearing her say “Mother” was all kinds of wrong.

Overall, the series had highs and lows. I did not like the start and felt like we were on a cruise to confusion and complication. Whilst I maintain that the first episode had far too many questions without enough story to pull us into the series, the way the arc worked out for those that stuck with it was far better than I’d expected. The Silence remain, they were not wiped out, so we have them to watch out for in the future.

I suppose we also need to watch out for the question, which was another thing so obvious and yet so obscure.

Doctor Who?

7 thoughts on “Doctor Who: Series 6, Episode 13 – The Wedding of River Song

  1. I do love that everything was ‘reset’, but not in a way we’ve seen before. So often these finales have been criticised for simply hitting the reset button but it was done in a way that made it different. Like you say, it was very much Moffat genius.

    It also really shows how the series has moved on since RTD’s time. Certainly no bad thing from before Moffat’s era as both have produced excellence but I think this finale really summed up why Steven Moffat is awesome. Well, to me at least 🙂

  2. RTD would write himself into a hole. He’d ramp up the danger with the Earth in visible danger and before wiping the Big Bad out with a couple of lines of dialog or something.

  3. It’s funny that, I was listening to something yesterday, can’t remember what, that said the CGI on Doctor Who was awful, because they’ve got really no budget to spend on it. I’d never really noticed it before, but today it looked so startlingly obvious, and sorta ruined it a little bit. Although that is the perfectionist in me speaking.

    Second obvious thing, was the hair. Now, I should probably say I didn’t spend most of the episode looking at Matt Smith’s hair, but I did. It just looked so long and… didn’t really fit in. Was it this long at the first episode like?

    I loved the episode. I’m going to say best of the season. It was just so well thought out, well paced, and I did really enjoy it. I even thought the reason why the Doctor isn’t dead was actually genius. Might have been a wee bit suspect, although if everyone thinks the Doctor is dead, then technically he is, isn’t he?

    I also liked Charles Dickens on BBC Breakfast. It has got me thinking of historical figures being on TV to plug their latest work. I wonder how Shakespeare would do in a reasonably priced car…

  4. Not as good as last year’s finale, but I still loved this.

    While using the Teselecta was a bit of an easy solution, it was done with such style that I really didn’t mind. Moffat writes convoluted plots, but always the internal logic (just about) hangs together. RTD would absolutely write himself into a corner and then give us the corniest deus ex machina resolution possible.

    I also love the little dedication to the late Nicholas Courtney. In a densely packed story, it was such a Moffat thing to do to add a little human touch like that. And Live Chess – what’s not to like?

    Overall, I’m happy with the season – The Girl Who Waited and The Doctor’s Wife were magnificent – and I think the reboot is a good idea. If it means we get less of “the universe against the Doctor” and more character-driven pieces next year, so much the better.

    My thoughts on the season as a whole:
    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2011/10/02/doctor-who-season-6-review/

  5. Awwww. I’m hoping to go through the episodes I have still to blog on a more regular basis. Maybe replacing the Saturday night posts with ye olde episodes. That will help plug the gap a little 🙂

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