Sunday, June 12, 2011

Doctor Who: A Good Man Goes To War

I'm back - and of course one of the first things I did after getting back off holiday (other than putting on a load of washing) was to watch the midseason cliffhanger to Doctor Who. Better late than ever! And, wow, was it a good one.

Right from the brilliant pre-title sequence with a very authoritive Rory and the re-introduction of the Cybermen, this was a rollercoaster ride with the Doctor - plus a few helpful aides - at war with those who took Amy and her baby. There were some fantastic Star Wars -esque effects with spaceships docking during this beginning sequence but it was a pity we didn't see more of the Cybermen. Bit of a wasted opportunity there.

In fact, because there seemed to be so much packed into this episode, there was much that was just glossed over. It was chock full of genius ideas but some characters were introduced and then far too quickly killed off. For most, it didn't really matter but it's a pity we won't see any more of Sontaran nurse Commander Strax. Newcomer Madame Vastra and sidekick Jenny seem to have gone down well with the fans though (and quite right too). Loved the little nod to Thunderbirds with her coachman Parker - "Yes, m'lady".

The revelation Of River Song's identity wasn't too surprising once we'd learnt the name of Amy's baby although for a moment I was flummoxed when River supposedly revealed all to the Doctor and yet it didn't seem clear to the viewer. I wondered whether I had missed something - I just had to be a little patient.

I thought Moffat wanted a break in the series to give us a wonderful cliffhanger to fret over but, I have to say, this wasn't much of a cliffhanger. The one at the end of the last episode was better.

Also I wonder how the eye-patch woman knew Amy was pregnant before she kidnapped her at a point before the beginning of this series? No-one else knew at that point. And why were the Clerics the bad guys here but the good guys in the Time of the Angels?

So, little Melody was taken to Earth where she was brought up in a spacesuit by the Silence until she escaped and may (or may not) have killed an older Doctor and then went on to regenerate. How do the Silence fit in with eye-patch woman? How is Melody/River supposed to help fight against the Doctor (I suppose if she was the one in the spacesuit that killed the Doctor then I guess she did the job)? How does this all fit in with the TARDIS exploding?

So, great episode but still lots of questions. And complex but in a good way (although both my wife and 9year old daughter were confused by what was happening during this episode). The next episode after the break sounds pretty awesome though - "Lets Kill Hitler".

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