Doctor Who: A Good Man Goes To War
Don’t worry, countrymen, nothing bad is going to happen to any of the protagonists in this episode, or any episode following it, because, well… maybe something bad is going to happen to them, but we won’t see it, because from now on, this show is about THE ADVENTURES OF THE MOST AWESOME SONTARAN-TURNED NURSE EVER! Joining the cast will be the Silurian detective who eats people, along with her girlfriend,
and the old, fat, blue guy.
Hilarity ensues! Only problem is, we’re not sure what to call it. (We’re thinking about War Nurse.) But rest assured, fellahs, you will never have to see any more of the bothersome woes of the fellow they call the Doctor or his tiresome friends. Ever. Trust me on this.
Okay, I was lying. We will see lots and lots of bothersome woes. Beginning with this one…
OMG AMY HAS A BABY + EYEPATCH LADY IS THERE + RORY IS DULY AWESOME + DOCCY IS ENJOYING BLOWING THINGS UP + RIVER IS REVEALED TO BE SOMEONE OBVIOUS AND OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG.
I love it when my mom is right. And when I’m right. We were right on two counts – she guessed River was Amy’s daughter as soon as “Astronaut” aired and I guessed that River had a time head (and that’s why Doccy was attracted to her). It’s all very quite OMG, there are so very many possibilities, the fans are squeeing away, the big question of S6 has finally been answered. (Well, sorta.)
But it’s also brilliant because blimey, THAT WAS A FANTASTIC EPISODE! All the characters had many, many brilliant moments, the best incidental characters ever were introduced (the Sontaran is BETTER AT LACTATING THAN YOU), it was creepy and funny and only honestly had a few missteps. Plus, the Headless Monks – I love answering rhetorical questions, so that was an awesome scene for me. Unintentionally hilarious.
Firstly, who the hell is Lorna Bucket? Moffat’s name symbolism makes it all seriously weird, and her name is already weird (Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, anyone?). A bucket holds water. Ahem.
Plus, the fact that her backstory is like dark!Amy or something – she met the Doctor for 30 seconds and ran a lot, he shaped her life but in a negative way – she joined the army to meet him. In her world, the Doctor is a dark mythic being – “Doctor” means “warrior” in her language. For Amy, he’s a fairytale – the “nice” version of a myth.
Their meeting the Doctor has consequences for both of them – Amy loses her baby, Lorna dies. But Lorna’s consequences are harsher because, I suppose, Doccy has become more evil. Seriously, he was like a playground bully in this episode! But more on that later. Still on her, she’s due to meet him later, we suppose – that or he has forgotten people, something that would make that scene even more unnerving.
The opening sequence – it felt like RTD’s old finale episodes, where he brought everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, back for one last runaround. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It introduced some EPIC characters – BEST SONTARAN EVER, okay?
Rory got to be insanely epic.
It set the tone for Doccy’s growing dark ‘n evilness when he blew up the Cyber-fleet just to make a point. And it showed the insane amount of Star Wars-y spectacle that the episode was going to keep for its remaining duration.
The introduction to Mr. Blue [ba da dee ba ba die] (he has a name, but er, there are too many puns I can make) was effective in creeping me the hell out, but who doesn’t love ancient prophesies and looming silhouettes? They’re trite, but effective.
River! The most adorable dance ever, well, she and Eleven may just be tied.
And she had the best birthday… (that should have tipped us off to begin with, hmm?) But yeah, she and her dad, just bonding. Aww. She’s so happy it’s almost obscene, with what’s going to happen next.
Then, naturally, she realizes and hides behind the bars, like “oh look, it’s time to be creepy”.
(Oh, and Rory, nice sword.)
On the topic of hugs: there have been A LOT of hugs in S6. At least three in this episode alone. I wonder if they realized the subject material was going into a decidedly not warm and fuzzy place and shoehorned in a lot of hugs. Examples:
So yeah. Ooh, let’s talk about Eyepatch Lady! She’s intriguing, that’s for sure, but who is she? Important, cruel, knowing, but, just like the Pandorica Alliance, she’s on the “good” side. Saving the universe, or at least its future inhabitants, from the Doctor. The Pandorica Alliance didn’t exactly convince me that the universe had to be saved, but judging by the way the Doctor has already started to tear everything apart to save “Melody”, this time I wonder.
Her plan doesn’t make any sense, though. Take Amy’s baby for some reason… that’ll make the Doctor really mad and he’ll start waging war against us … then we’ll make the baby into a weapon to save ourselves. If she didn’t take Amy’s baby, none of this would have happened. And sure, Melody was going to be used as a weapon, that was her purpose… but they only knew Time Lords were weapons because the Doctor attacked and was all evil and stuffs. Sooooo… we don’t know why this lady wanted a Time Lord to begin with. We have a hell of a lot of questions, as usual. (We still don’t know why those odd alien fellows decided to blow up the TARDIS. Moffat isn’t exactly one for answers.)
That was new, hmm: not only did Time Lords stare into the Untempered Schism as a sort of initiation, it made them Time Lords. Over a long period of time, of course. But apparently now if you’re preggers in the TARDIS, you’ve got yourself a (part) Time Lord. Let’s hope there have never been any secretly pregnant companions…
Of Doctors and darkness: let’s talk about dark!Eleven. He blew up a whole lot of Cybermen pointlessly, he gleefully shot down some spaceships belonging to the religious army (with the help of space spitfires), he ruined a Colonel’s life and enjoyed it. Ooh. The evidence ain’t looking good, Eleven. Let’s have a slideshow, shall we?
Then again, hey, give him credit, he realizes it at the last moment.
Yup, Doccy, you’re a weapon all right! And just to ram home the point, we call on River Song. River, the epic speech says it all, I think. But I’m going to add pictures too.
The Doctor: You think I wanted this? I didn’t do this! This…this wasn’t me!
River Song: This was exactly you. All this, all of it. You make them so afraid. When you began, all those years ago, sailing off to see the universe, did you ever think you’d become this? The man who can turn an army around at the mention of his name? Doctor – the word for healer and wise man, throughout the universe. We get that word from you, you know. But if you carry on the way you are, what might that word come to mean? To the people of the Gamma Forests, the word ‘doctor’ means ‘mighty warrior’. How far you’ve come. And now they’ve taken a child. The child of your best friends. And they’re going to turn her into a weapon, just to bring you down. And all this, my love…in fear of you.
Um… there isn’t a nicer way I can say this, so…
BUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRN, Doctor. Burn.
But don’t worry, Doctor. You were not evil the whole time. You were clumsy and good with kids and adorable and mysterious. Going from looking like an older brother with his sibling or a young uncle with his niece right to being a battle-worn survivor again… it was odd. It was very you. So let’s have another picspam, shall we?
His appearance as the Headless Monk: brilliant, but he seemed to be having such a laugh that it was scary. Again.
He had his angsty, self-pitying moments:
He had his shouty moments (three. you know it’s an epic episode when you have three separate shouty moments):
But he also had adorable moments. When he realized what goes on inside the TARDIS…
And when he realized who River was…
…It was the episode of evilness and sinister plans but it was also the episode of hilarity. Moffat is indeed the master of mood whiplash.
Rory became absolutely epic. And you know, he’s still the Doctor’s concience. And Amy’s. And his daughter’s.
He had a beautiful moment with River…
And then another one with her…
And he hasn’t even died yet! It’s amazing.
Amy, you were a good mother… well, until you started pointing a gun at your daughter, but it’s not really your fault… you never know who’s your daughter in this timey-wimey world. And there’s a slim chance she could have expected that her daughter was the one who was flirting with her imaginary friend.
Oh, and –
River, or should I say, Melody, was awesome as ever, all flirty and happy and “let’s ditch the parents”, but also sad and melancholy about what will happen for a reason that’s as yet unknown. Basically, she’s brilliant, but you already knew that, and this episode doesn’t change that.
Oh, and one more thing:
Regardless of whose crib it is, that is an AWESOME crib. It has little stars and little planets and Gallifreyan writing!
So to next episode, next fall, eh? As the closing titles said: