‘Doctor Who’ Episode 6.7 Review – ‘A Good Man Goes To War’

by Mo Fathelbab on June 13, 2011 · 2 comments

in Doctor Who

“A Good Man Goes To War” will go down as one of the better episode of an already good half-season. It was a dark, action-packed wallop of a time, despite having a pretty simple premise: The Doctor (Matt Smith) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) gather an army of awesome alien beings to bust Amy (Karen Gillan) and her baby out of Demon’s Run. And even though that plot was indeed that simple, it’s the twists and turns that made the episode a worthy event of mind-blowing proportions.

And who saw that one awesome twist coming? Who knew that Dr. River Song (Alex Kingston) is Amy and Rory’s biological daughter? And that she is also part-Time Lord? Now, I’m going to say something controversial, something that might not endear me to fellow Whovians: I’ve never been wild about River Song. Sure, since her introduction in Season Four’s “Silence in the Library” she’s been set up as a love interest for The Doctor but love interests and The Doctor don’t usually mesh well dramatically, in my book, since the stakes have always been about the relationships and not about THE END OF THE UNIVERSE AS WE KNOW IT (and those relationships tend to be ones that The Doctor could easily walk away from, which is why Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble, who was a friend first and foremost, was the best Doctor’s companion until Amy Pond).

And of course, Steven Moffat has been slowly coloring in River’s personality, making her part-sassy know-it-all and part-Lara Croft badass. Still, what is her intended purpose to the overall Doctor Who storyline? Is it just to marry him for the short amount of time they’re meant to be married? Is that her intended fate?

Well, as it turns out, Dr. River Song is intended to kill The Doctor (insert bad marriage jokes here). She might have already killed him in the first act of “The Impossible Astronaut”. It’s the reason why Creepy Eye Patch Lady, now known as Madame Kovarian (Frances Barber), has kidnapped Amy: She wants to raise her newborn baby girl (whose given name is Melody Pond, a variation on River Song) to be a Time Lord killing machine. Why? Well, it seems that River was conceived in the TARDIS and that somehow has infused Time Lord DNA, which is in the ethers of the universe, with her human DNA. And the only way to kill a Time Lord is with another — though partial — Time Lord.

The first 3/4ths of the episode is The Doctor and Rory (in his centurion’s armor) assembling the Super Awesome Alien Squad to ambush the soldiers and Headless Monks of Demon’s Run and free Rory’s family from the clutches of the evil Madame Kovarian. Everyone on the squad owes The Doctor a favor and they’re all as glad as puppies by a fire hydrant to fight alongside him.

Meanwhile, Amy bides her time by taunting her captures of the ferociousness the both her husband and her Doctor will exhibit in their mission to save her. She’s a strong, courageous woman who’ll do anything for her newborn so it is a devastating moment when she discovers that the baby she is trying to escape with during the inevitable firefight is just a Ganger (another brilliant reveal). The real baby Melody Pond/River Song is still with Madame Kovarian, and saving her is going to be the mission The Doctor, Amy, Rory, and the older River Song undertake in the second half of Season Six (which starts sometime in September).

There are questions to ponder, though:

-Is the young girl who kept calling Richard Nixon, who shot and killed The Doctor, and who seemed to regenerate in “The Impossible Astronaut” River Song?
-If the young girl is indeed River Song, does River have memories of the events that took during “The Impossible Astronaut” and “Day of the Moon” from the young girl’s point-of-view?
-How does River transport herself through time WITHOUT the TARDIS? Is she a super-Time Lord because of her human DNA?
-Can River live hundreds of years, like other Time Lords, given that she was likely conceived in 2010?
-Is it not too weird that The Doctor has known his future wife since she was a baby?

Until September, Whovians!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert June 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm

“How does River transport herself through time WITHOUT the TARDIS? Is she a super-Time Lord because of her human DNA?”
I’m pretty sure it was already revealed that River has a “time cop” wristband ala the one that Captain Jack Harkness had (before the Doctor deactivated it.)

“-Can River live hundreds of years, like other Time Lords, given that she was likely conceived in 2010?”

They left the regeneration question open in this episode, I suspect to leave doubts in the viewers minds as to whether the little girl in 1969 is actually River.  Though it would be interesting if the Doctor has to go backward through River’s regenerations like she goes backwards through his. 

“-Is it not too weird that The Doctor has known his future wife since she was a baby?”

Since he knew River before she was born, I guess it’s like looking at very lifelike baby pictures of your new girlfriend.

Robert June 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm

“How does River transport herself through time WITHOUT the TARDIS? Is she a super-Time Lord because of her human DNA?”
I’m pretty sure it was already revealed that River has a “time cop” wristband ala the one that Captain Jack Harkness had (before the Doctor deactivated it.)

“-Can River live hundreds of years, like other Time Lords, given that she was likely conceived in 2010?”

They left the regeneration question open in this episode, I suspect to leave doubts in the viewers minds as to whether the little girl in 1969 is actually River.  Though it would be interesting if the Doctor has to go backward through River’s regenerations like she goes backwards through his. 

“-Is it not too weird that The Doctor has known his future wife since she was a baby?”

Since he knew River before she was born, I guess it’s like looking at very lifelike baby pictures of your new girlfriend.

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