Well this was the last episode of Doctor Who for the time being. I know it’s all to do with ratings and blah de blah blah, but it’s a rubbish idea to split the series into two parts. If it was 26 episodes long and they split it I’d be cool with that, in fact I’d probably prefer it as it’s been such a rollercoaster I’d welcome the break. It’s a measly 13 episodes and we’ve only just got going. Admittedly we wouldn’t have had a story like A Good Man Goes to War if there was another episode next week, but we could have at least had it at the end of a season normally and waited till next year. Boo to the BBC. Just make more episodes you bastards.
I have to say that even though this was another big silly romp over populated with too many characters I bloody well loved it. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t perfect, but I wasn’t bored in the slightest.
So we have a base of soldiers who are religious, a little like the soldiers in Time of Angels. We’re introduced to a gay couple that goes absolutely nowhere. I found the building up of these characters to simply have one killed off and the other one to not be mentioned again a waste of time. Considering some of the editing problems that have jarred previous episodes with characters turning up or disappearing, these two could have gladly ended up on the cutting room floor. The headless monks were a nice idea, but underused, perhaps they’ll be back for the next part.
And who is this Lorna Bucket character? Is she important or is this just Moffat writing decent throwaway characters with a lot of depth? Or is he just laying future seeds for further episodes? Great for us “Who nuts” but it could be a massive turn off for the casual viewer. I have to admit I had to check the web to see if I missed something with these characters. I was under the impression that we’d seen them before, but it seems they were mostly well written and fully rounded just for this story.
Speaking of well rounded, I loved the opening. That was absolutely awesome. I had shivers going up my spine. How could Rory, in a Centurion costume negotiate with the Cybermen? By having the Doctor blowing the crap out of everything they own. I loved it. Truly brilliant. Although I’m not exactly sure why Rory was wearing the costume, but it did make the Cybermen look pathetic when their satellites and spaceships exploded. I did enjoy the way they were only used sparingly too. There we were thinking it was going to be another Cybermen story but no, it’s just the amuse bouche before the main banquet.
I also enjoyed the whole Madame Vestra sauciness with her lesbian relationship with her maid Jenny. It was absolutely deliciously filthy when her extremely long tongue came out suggestively. Anyone else get a semi?
Commander Strax was also another great part. When he’s introduced in Battle of Zaruthstra, 4037ad, I really wanted to see more of this war that was going on. I enjoyed the way they made Strax simply a warrior with codes. If his punishment is to tend to the sick of a weaker race this is what he does and he probably does it exemplary. When his time is up, he will crush the life out of them same lives he saved in battle, but that is his code and you almost have to admire him for it. And the whole bit about being able to lactate a baby was hilarious, if a little gross.
It’s another one of those episodes where not much plot actually goes on. I’m in the reasoning that by making this and the last series joined together it leaves it open for the American market who like their 20 something episodes a series. And if you take series 5 and 6 and show them together you can get away with having the odd episode that doesn’t have a strong plot and only take the overall story forward a bit.
We still don’t really know who eye patch woman is and why she’s able to gather together such a massive army to hunt down the Doctor. I would assume her ultimate goal is to kill the Doctor so she can pave the way for Universe domination, which is impossible with the Doctor knocking around. So she’s just convinced a bunch of brain dead saps that he’s some sort of bad guy, because all in all they were hardly Nazis. Especially with a black guy in charge and a gay couple with one being too out of shape to be in the army.
Unlike the last Peter Tennat story Jouney’s End where everyone was a little underused, Moffat gave us a bunch of characters we don’t know and that means that they really can be used sparingly and their personality and comments can be used to great comedic and story effect. This is evident with the return of Captain Avery to (yawn) save the day with his ineffectual son. Come on, if you want to make an entrance let’s have Romana, a previous incarnation or Jenny from The Doctor’s Daughter (now that’s a character that needs to be brought back).
I did enjoy seeing the Doctor getting angry but it would have been better to see him put it into action and have flashes back to the Dream Lord in Amy’s Choice.
It was bloody obvious but I didn’t make the connection with River Song and Amy Pond. And she called the child Melody. Melody? Song? Obvious now innit. So does that means the Doctor’s done the dirty with Amy’s daughter. So if River has a child and her child has a child, could that technically be Susan that travelled with the first Doctor in 1963? Could that be why he’s so cagey about questions of having children? He’s met them he just hasn’t got around to producing them yet.
So there is a possibility that a Timelord can be created by doing the beast with two backs in a traveling TARDIS. The Doctor mentions that the exposure to the Time stream makes them Timelords but only over billions of years. So what they’re saying is they can save hell of a lot o time by bonking in the Tardis while it’s in flight? Surely an intelligent race like the Timelords would have sussed that out? Surely two horny Timelord teenagers would have done it in a Time warp for the rush? Or are teenage Timelords really that boring? I’m of the opinion that there something about Amy and I don’t mean Rory putting something nasty in her hair.
But could any species become a Timelord? Could a Sontaron make a Timelord? Or would the resulting Sontaran/Timelord become either be like the Master, the Doctor or would want to become part of a race similar to the Timelords have nothing to do with their war like counterparts?
And Amy’s baby being a ganger. Eyepatch woman hinted at that for a while and I never got the clue.
The Doctor’s cot was a nice touch and there was that little moment when the Doctor almost let slip that he’d done the nasty with Amy. But that obviously now isn’t possibly because he’s going to do the beast with two back with River Song. Even the snog he had with her recently would be wrong wrong wrong. Unless you live in Croydon.
The soldiers were just of the wrong side of pathetic, but then that’s not a bad idea, because most actors don’t make great soldiers on screen. Take the pathetic bunch in 28 Days Later. That was the point I switched off the film. This lot were laughable drama school kids.
So the baby was a weapon and she was in the space suit to kill the Doctor in The Impossible Astronaut. But then that would mean River Song kills the doctor and if they are one and the same, why didn’t River Song regenerate at he end of Silence in the Library?
When Strax dies it give gravitas to what River says about the Doctor being dangerous. You make them so afraid. All these people die for a situation that the Doctor created in the first place. If he never took Amy on board the Tardis then all of those people would never have died. It has the same ramifications as Human Nature. Bucket dies purely because she wants to see the Doctor again. This is more than enough ammunition need for the eye patch woman to command a whole army against him.
However this is all pushed aside when the Doctor finally finds out who River Song really is. Isn’t that bit beautiful. His little giggle is perfect and I had a funny feeling in my tummy with a combination of finally knowing who she was and a brilliant performance from both of them, although when have either of them performed below par at any point? Never I tell you, never.
And how tasty was the ending.? A skeleton hand holding a sonic screwdriver and the title of the next episode LET’S KILL HITLER. Now if there’s someone the Doctor has meet and that is Hitler. Oh and possibly Jesus. And definitely Elvira Mistress of the Dark.