Saturday, 4 June 2011

Doctor Who: A Good Man Goes To War

So, the final episode of the first half of the season is upon us. Big spoilers lie herein, as might be expected.

The previous episode gave us a fantastic cliff hanger, with Flamy (Flesh Amy) being disintegrated and Real Amy waking up to discover she’s heavily pregnant and has the creepiest midwife in the universe.

The story begins by setting the scene: Amy’s being held on Demon’s Run, a fortress on an asteroid, which is defended by an army of humans and some dodgy characters by the name of the Headless Monks. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Rory (back in his Roman gear) are busy rounding up old allies to help them rescue Amy.

The Welsh Sontaran (Strax, I think his name was) sentenced to being a nurse was hilarious and provided some light relief. Cockney assistant to the Silurian (I didn’t catch her name) was rather lovely, and I liked Christina Chong as Lorna. The pirates previously terrorised by the Siren also made a brief appearance.

Anyway, the Doctor thwarted the Headless Monks (whose description is gruesomely literal) and the human army and rescued Amy and the baby (named Melody). However, creepy eye-patch woman proved too cunning. The baby that was rescued was Flesh, leaving Amy and Rory bereft of their child. In addition, its genes were Human-Plus, with the effect of the TARDIS making it a human-Time Lord hybrid.

The Headless Monks launched a sudden attack and, although they were defeated, the lovely Lorna bit the dust and Strax was probably dying too, alas.

River Song appeared only at the end, revealing that “The only water in the forest is the river” referred to a gift Lorna had given Amy. Lorna was from the forest, and the TARDIS translated her language’s version of Melody Pond into River Song. So, River Song was Amy and Rory’s daughter all the time, and perhaps halfway to being a Time Lord.

It was a nice twist but not hugely unexpected given earlier pointers.

The episode had a large cast of secondary characters which were very good, especially the comedy Sontaran and lovely Lorna/cockney girl. The build up was good as well, but there was a certain lack of tension after the Doctor began the rescue. It didn’t quite work, but Amy’s safe, the Doctor seemed to know where to find Melody (quite possibly Earth, 1969) and River Song was there. For a moment I thought she was going to try and kill the Doctor, given the baby was stolen to be made into a weapon, but the only twist at the end was the not entirely unexpected identity of River Song.

Although not quite a five star episode, the first half of the series has generally been very enjoyable. Three months to go now until the latter six episodes.



  1. I thought it was a pretty well put together episode with nods to lots of stories from this and the last series. Of course lots of the stuff is designed for kids who will glide over the stuff that adults obsess about. Thinking of it from a kids perspective it will have worked a treat. The headless monks were scary, the Doctor reveal would have had them laughing and the disappearing baby would have shocked etc. I think its going to be a long 6 months.

  2. Three months*, Mr. Burdett.

    Aye, the writers do have to cater for old adult fans/parents as well as kiddiwinks, and it would've been better for the kids (who probably found the first episodes of the series somewhat scary/confusing).

  3. Ah yes my mistake it is because 6 is above 3 on the numeric keypad! Still going to be a long period. Plus the revelation poses almost as many, if not more, questions than it answers.