Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S06E07 – A Good Man Goes To War

In the seventh episode of the sixth series of Doctor Who, The Doctor assembles an army to fight for Amy, but when things don’t go as planned, everyone faces one hell of a twist. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.

So I’m gonna be real with all of you. It is now 9:30pm on Saturday night and my alarm is set for 3:45am. I’ve got to catch a shuttle to Cow Palace in South San Francisco to go to Opening Ceremonies  for the 10th AIDS/LifeCycle ride. I seriously cannot write this review write now without passing out. This rarely happens, but my stream copy took hours to load and I just got way behind schedule.

SO! I know many of you Whovians use Mark Watches as a sounding board to discuss this show, so I’d like to continue facilitating that, and you’ll get a full review when I get back to Internet civilization in a week.

Please remember to tag your theory conversations with SPOILERS ABOUND before you begin discussing theories so that those who don’t wish to theorizing do not accidentally read your comment. And despite that I don’t think any exist, it must be said that spoilers are not allowed.

Thanks for the understanding and thanks for all of the thousands of dollars donated to this cause. You are all wonderful people and I appreciate it forever!


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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400 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S06E07 – A Good Man Goes To War

  1. echinodermata says:

    The good:
    – Oh thank god, it's Rory's child. And we didn't have to sit through icky pregnancy/child-birth visual torture porn, as is frequently the case on sci-fi. Turned out better than expected, and much better than a lot of alternatives I worried about. I had thought that Amy got switched in America, but getting switched before that still isn't too far off. Also, I was expecting it to be Amy and Rory's child getting biologically manipulated in some way (whyyyyyyy with the annoying silly genetics stop doing this show), so while not surprising, it was at least the best (as in least problematic) way I could think of to explain what was happening.

    – River Song is amazing and haters gonna hate I love her. LOVE her breaking back into prison, and writing memos to the guards requesting they dress up in costumes. And she suggests Rory consider heels. Hee! (And fantastic music during her scene with Rory.)
    <img src=""&gt;(source)

    – O hai gay agenda! Nice to see you again! I quite like that we got both textual gay and subtextual flirting in two different couples – nice balance between 'let's add textual gay just because' and 'yay actual fun same-sex flirting interaction!'

    – Quite enjoyed this weird little reunion thing of past characters and races coming together for a shared cause. Because the Doctor accumulates debts from other people, and not because they're friends and want to help. I think Moffat has a strong conception of the Doctor as someone who exists only in grey morality, and actually, that works for me too. So cool way to bring together "allies" without the twinge of disbelief behind it.

    – I liked basically every guest character. They all had their moments, and it was fun and exciting and made me happy.

    – <img src=""&gt;

    – I want Lorna Bucket to get her own point because she was awesome (and I kept expecting her to be River). Also interesting to see someone whose apparent initial impression of the Doctor is that he's a dark legend and a warrior, since so often it's the opposite reading, where he's, you know, a lonely angel and shit. So Lorna joins an army, because she figures that's the way to see him again.

    – AWWW Amy/Rory reunion. Get a happy ending plz.

    – River Song officially gets to be called a superhero!
    <img src=""&gt;(source)
    And I love that joke that one of her first thoughts is to berate the Doctor's fashion accessories.

    – So basically, the Doctor doesn't consider himself a good man. And that he maybe has thought of himself this way for a while, given all his rules? In any event, I like this reveal in terms of the title of this episode: nice contrast going on, with a self-awareness on the show's part of how complex his character is, and how cheap it is to label the Doctor in simple moral terms. And that "going to war" is something the narrative calls a mistake, and the Doctor going wrathful isn't some big celebratory moment. (I know a number of people were very unhappy with the end of the S6 opener and the Silence resolution in terms of the morality of it, and I think this episode explains why it's best to let a season run its course before making full judgement calls. It's fine to be worried, of course, as I was with Amy's pregnancy and what that means on a scifi show, but sometimes, it's good to just wait and see what the writers are up to before being ready to, well, give up on the show or ready to write hate mail or something.)

    I generally think I'm more interested in a Doctor that's working on dealing with his anger and power and actively avoiding being dark and just trying hard to be a "good" person, as I've read Eleven in S5. Basically, I'm sure S5 will easily remain my favorite season, not least because of Eleven and his behavior. But that's not to say I necessarily dislike where his character is going, so long as I think it's written and acted well, just that I enjoy other dynamics more. I was prepared for this, though, since S6 had been advertised as being generally darker than normal, and it has been.

    – This is a tie in to the previous point, but I love River's speech to the Doctor at the end about how he does hurt people, and he is responsible, and inspires fear in the universe. And she loves him anyway, in all his forms, and not just the idea of him or the way he presents himself.

    – "The Doctor's first stars." That's pretty amazing, not gonna lie.
    <img src=""&gt;(source)

  2. Copied from the liveblog so we can freak out about it more here:

    River Song was introduced in "Silence in the Library," which aired on May 31, 2008.

    Amy Pond was introduced in "The Eleventh Hour," which aired on April 3, 2010.


    Did he know he would be taking over by the time he was writing "Silence in the Library"? If so, he could have known this was coming all along. It's just…why the hell name her RIVER SONG, of all things.

    It's possible he only came up with the idea while creating Amy and decided to name her POND, but he had to have known at that time at least because that is WAY too much of a coincidence. So at the very least he's been setting this up since he took over, but holy SHIT, if he actually had this planned back in season four…MY HAT IS OFF TO YOU SIR.

    • Stephen_M says:

      According to Alex Kingston the TARDIS diary is indeed real and contains a lot of River's timeline so I don't think it's too big a stretch to imagine that Moffat had it all worked out. Plus if you're going to introduce a character like that who is clearly intended to be picked up and you're NOT sure you're going to be the one to do it you write the bible for that character ASAP if you know what the backstory is.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I think he probably named Amy after River, but I like to think that he knew what he was doing with River before he introduced her. Either way River Song, Amy Pond, and Melody Pond are all superhero names, so hats off to him anyway!

    • Karen says:

      To me, it feels like he planned the River is Amy and Rory's kid thing between series 5 and 6.

    • orikes says:

      One of the Doctor Who Confidential episodes specifically states that Moffat knew he would be taking over when he wrote Silence in the Library. So yes, he knew. River mentions the Crash of the Byzantium in Silence in the Library… which turns out to be the Weeping Angels two-parter in series 5.

      The man is an evil, mad genius.

    • Meenakshi says:

      It was really neat rewatching Silence in the Library and noticing that River Song says with disappointment, that she called the Doctor, but the Doctor from the wrong timeline came in response — and it wasn't 'her' doctor. So I guess that means Number 11 is her doctor and the one that givers her a sonic screwdriver and from whom River Song learns the Doctor's first name. BUT did she in fact learn the Doctor's first name from the Gallifreyan writing on the crib?

      • notemily says:

        He says there's only "one reason" he could tell someone his name. One reason he COULD. This implies that he's forbidden or unable to reveal his name except under certain circumstances. I don't know, it'll be interesting.

    • dearbossman says:

      I honestly think Moffat has been pulling a seriously long troll on us fans. He has allusions to seceral future episodes throughout "Silence of the Library" (I just got done watching all the River Song stories, so I was able to pick up on some stuff), including the crash of the Byzantium and AGMGTW.

      I find it totally unfair.

      • onlysatellites says:

        I think, though, it's amazing what someone can do with an idea they came up with on a whim. In the Silence in the Library confidential, he mentioned that he needed a character who knew the Doctor so that the archaeologists wouldn't kick him out of the library, and eventually that turned into River Song. So it's easy to just kind of rail off a number of hypothetical adventures, and then be like, hmmm, Crash of the Byzantium, I can write that.

      • muddledstyle says:

        I don't understand why it's 'unfair' to have a long, slow reveal of an intriguing, ongoing story element intertwined with the weekly stories and series arcs?

      • znachki says:

        He's only doing what a lot of writers do. He planted a bunch of ideas that can be taken up later. I mean, see Joss Whedon – he does the same thing. Some ideas will be used, some won't. It's what makes it all so endlessly obsessiveable (I think I made that word up)

  3. echinodermata says:

    Theories Abound, not Spoilers Abound, please. Because that's gonna get confusing if you say spoilers to mean theories.

  4. JonT says:

    "Oooh Doctor, you 'sonic-ed' her."


  5. rewritten says:

    Before I begin, I really have to get something off my chest.
    It is a disgrace that Steven Moffat received a death threat because of this episode. I understand that this episode has really split the fans, but I for one loved it. In terms of River's identity, I can deal with people saying it was "obvious" or "predictable" but "disappointing"? Are you high? Yes, it was exactly what I was expecting too but it was presented to us so damn beautifully that it frustrates me when people shoot the entire episode down in flames because of this. Ok, rant over, let's begin.

    Well hello there NEW FAVOURITE EPISODE.
    I didn't think it was possible to love River any more than I already do. How wrong I was.

    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;

    I can just imagine Moffat at his desk ready to write this episode and thinking "this has to tide people over until the autumn, where to begin…" then just bullet pointing:

    • Rory talking down to the 12th cyber legion like a bamf.
    • Silurian samurai detective and maid sidekick.
    • Sontaran nurse.

    <img src=""&gt;
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    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;

    "Ok, that's enough of my trademark zaniness, let's introduce River…"

    • Enters in Georgian Dress.
    • Birthday.
    • Just back from ice skating with The Doctor in 1814.
    • Stevie Wonder sang for her under London Bridge.

    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;

    Wait, What? Seriously, with a mind like his I don't like to think what Moffat would be capable of if he wasn't a writer. Criminal mastermind would be my guess. When River said she couldn't go with Rory, I sympathised with his bewilderment. But then we hear the words we've been waiting 3 years, since "Silence in The Library", to hear.

    <img src=""&gt;

    "This is the day he finds out who I am."

    How awesome was the scene where Dorium is summoned? We don't even have to see or hear The Doctor. When that silhouette appears on your wall, you know shit is going down.

    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;

    Ok, i get it, intense speech by Colonel Manton to his Clerics. But did anyone else chuckle when they were all so shocked that the Headless Monks were, how do I put this, headless? Now this Lorna Bucket, unfortunate surname but she's met The Doctor and sewn Amy a prayer leaf for good luck. I like her.

    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;

    So we're led to believe everything is fine, with the Clerics retreating and baby Melody back with her parents. Also, the Sontaran nurse can lactate. Everything is wonderful again.

    <img src=""&gt;
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    continued in reply…

    • masakochan says:

      fhdak Urgh- seriously the death threat is going too far.

      Even though fans have gone that far before. I think I can remember reading about the creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion getting a combo of both death threats and bomb threats.

      • Claire says:

        Of course, Hideki Anno is a badass and decided to INCORPORATE THEM INTO THE ANIMATION OF END OF EVANGELION.

    • Stephen_M says:

      "It is a disgrace that Steven Moffat received a death threat because of this episode." – Absolutely, I'd have expected the more insane corners of Whodom to have waaaaaaaaay more initiative than that. I had ten death threats and at least 57 'the series is doomed' letters in the office pool damnit!

      • knut_knut says:

        why are people sending him death threats?? I can't imagine anything on this episode worth threatening to kill someone over. Maybe I'm just small minded o_O

      • echinodermata says:

        I'm aware that you seem to pretty much be here for Doctor Who posts only and possibly missed it because of that, but there's a new site policy, updated to specifically address things like using "crazy" and "insane" as synonyms for 'things generally bad'. Basically, don't do it.

        /mod note

        • Stephen_M says:

          Umm, okay, sorry I hadn't seen that and will refrain from using the term. No offence intended at all.

          One thing I do wonder though, and this is genuine curiosity more than anything else… it's okay to refer to someone (in this case Moffat) as an asshole? That strikes me as odd kind of disconnect and, if I understand the purpose behind the new rules correctly, should probably also be a violation, probably of point 2 in the policy.

          Oh, and please forgive slowness of reply, for some reason I'm not getting e-mail updates anymore.

          • echinodermata says:

            Pretty sure rule #2 is directed towards commenters, actually. I wouldn't consider calling Moffat an asshole to be against site policy. (Whereas "crazy" and its brethren are oppressive pejoratives, and calling Moffat "crazy" would be against the rules.)

            (As for e-mail updates, assuming it's not an issue on your side regarding say email spam filters, I would check your intensedebate link and go to My Account (top of page) – Edit Profile/Account (left side of page).)

            • Tauriel_ says:

              Calling Moffat "asshole" certainly SHOULD be against the site policy! You do not refer to the Almighty God of Nightmares and Brainmelt as "asshole"!


    • samibear says:

      I love you for your giffy awesomeness. Say what you want about this episode, but you have to admit, it has some gorgeous images in it.

    • doesntsparkle says:

      Death Threats???

      Oh fandom, please change.

  6. echinodermata says:

    The not so good:
    – Rory, plz to be getting rid of the Williams thing. It's boring, and I'm not on your side. Same with your "permission to hug" reaction.

    – I know this is a big part of his character, but Doctor, do stop and just talk to your companions for once. Tell them about your past, tell them about your current thoughts and worries.

    – Moffat, I will never forgive you if you make the River/Doctor relationship something I dislike. Which it's now on track for, if we get significant Doctor/tiny River interaction in the future. I still enjoyed the Doctor/River interaction in this episode, but I am concerned with how River's past will play out.

    – Next ep title wtf.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I don't even know what to say about the next episode's title. Why.

      • Manself says:

        I quite literally LOL’d when I saw that title. I was already giggling with bewilderment and awe after The Reveal, and then that title pops up in all its ridiculousness, and I start cracking up.

    • arctic_hare says:

      I only just got to watch it last night and my brain is still exploding, so just a giant THIS to what you wrote, as it sums up all my many feelings better than I can.

    • onlysatellites says:

      I also worry about potential creepiness. Which is kind of why I didn't want the whole River=Amy's daughter thing to be real. But, I trust Moffat. I trust him to scare the shit out of me and make me a bit uncomfortable and push my boundaries, but I trust him to find some bizarre, sci-fi way to make this less weird. And if he doesn't… biiiiiiig disappointment. But I think it's already been subtly established that Amy and Rory don't raise River/Melody – which um, has got to suck for them BIG TIME. Surprise, you had a baby you didn't know about, and now she's been kidnapped, and nope, you probably won't get her back because she's already more than grown up and has been at least partially raised by a loopy man in a creepy orphanage and also a bit by a spacesuit.

      And I think it's been made pretty clear that River spent at least part of her childhood in the Gamma Forest, so I'm guessing small regenerated homeless Melody gets picked up by the Doctor and dropped
      off there? And eventually acquires a British accent?

    • ladililn says:

      I LOVED this episode, but I most especially agree with every single one of your not-so-good points. Rory: I love you, but bitch no. Doctor: bitch plz. River/Doctor: plz be to the not-icky-making. If they turn into Jacob and Renesmee I'm going to kill something.

  7. monkeybutter says:

    Haha, sounding board it is! Even though you're in the middle of your ride and won't read this, I hope you're having lots of fun!


    I don’t really know how I feel about this episode, though it was pretty exciting. Even though I suspected that River and Amy were somehow related while watching series 5, and I spoiled myself for the big reveal before “The Almost People”, I’m still not sure what to make of River being the Ponds’ (and Sexy’s, I guess) daughter, especially in light of her romantic relationship with the Doctor. That has the potential to be really squicky. The scene where River hands over the prayer leaf to Amy and Rory and they find out she’s Melody is really sweet, though. I love Alex Kingston, so I really don’t want to hate River’s story. Please, please let it work out well.

    I liked the side characters, sorta! The crime-fighting, interspecies lesbian couple was great, and this was far better than the last appearance of the Silurians. The lactating Sontaran? A++ Lorna seemed nice, but I didn’t really care about her death (sorry). And Veruca Salt and Varys’s unholy lovechild was pretty fantastic, if only for “oh dear god, that’s the attack prayer.” And what was the deal with the monks? Were things left out? I feel like we should have seen the Thin One finding out that he shot the Fat One, or at least that his husband was a Headless Monk (whom I assume we’ll be seeing more of).


    Before the disintegration of the Ganger Doctor and his sonic screwdriver in “The Almost People,” the Doctor said it might not be the end and that the Flesh has a molecular memory, and during the episode, the Ganger Doctor spoke in past Doctor’s voices. In this episode, during River’s conversation with Rory, when he made a joke about there being two Doctors, she said that that was a whole different birthday. So, I’m kinda hoping that means that the flesh Doctor does come back (perhaps in the form of Ten) to give River her sonic screwdriver. Or hell, just that the flesh Doctor returns.

    And while I loved Rory and River's conversation, how did he get there without the Doctor and Tardis? Or were they hanging around outside? Stormcage is obviously no match for the Pond-Williams!

    • echinodermata says:

      I’m still not sure what to make of River being the Ponds’ (and Sexy’s, I guess) daughter

      Okay, so I've seen this a couple times now, and what I remember from the ep is that it's exposure to the Time Vortex that makes the baby time-lord-ish.

      Time Vortex is what the TARDIS travels through, not the heart of the TARDIS or anything.

      • monkeybutter says:

        Yeah, I guess you're right. The Tardis was just the means of exposure. Oh well, sorry Sexy. You were still very important in River's creation.

      • Shiyiya says:

        "I looked into the TARDIS, and the TARDIS looked into me."
        "You looked into the time vortex, Rose, no one's meant to see that!"
        (The Parting Of The Ways)

        • echinodermata says:

          Huh, okay. I still contend the Time Vortex as a whole isn't meant to be about the TARDIS in general, but I need a fanwank explanation now to work with that Parting of Ways quote.

          • SporkyRat says:

            I think that the Time Vortex is part of the TARDIS' heart? I think in Classic it was something else, then someone tinkered (or Sexy tinkered herself?) into being able to use the Time Vortex instead.

    • monkeybutter says:

      And I realized that I mixed up Veruca Salt and Violet Beauregard. Oops.

    • Reddi says:

      IF River and the Doctor's timelines are reversing, she sees an earlier doctor than 11 in the Angel eps when she gets the screwdriver. Given it's Ten's screwdriver, with some bits added, I'd guess Ten gave it to her (sometimes post Journey's End, maybe post WoM, though he'd be a little wacky at that point- don't think it was on his farewell tour as he took her to see the singing towers and I'm not sure he had that much time before the radiation poisoning/blocking regeneration thing got to him). This would also explain why she seemed to know Ten's face ( "judging by your face, it's early days for you." ).

      • monkeybutter says:


        Yeah, I'm kind of basing this off of her knowing Ten's face in the Library. I really just want to see when she gets the sonic and her last meeting with Ten, and I'm hoping that it somehow works in with the two Doctors thing. It'd be nice if his last meeting with her was a birthday visit, too.

      • nomadicvignette says:

        Huh, see I read that comment that River made as this was an earlier face than she was used to, and that she just recognized his Doctor-ness. Perhaps a re-watch is in order…

        • drippingmercury says:

          Since the Doctor apparently gave her a "spotter's guide" with all of his faces, it's possible she knew that she would eventually meet him in an earlier body due to this hint as well as the generally reversed order of their relationship. I assume the Doctor didn't tell her which incarnation she might meet or that she would die after meeting 10, though. Definitely looking forward to when the Doctor starts telling River "spoilers!" and all.

  8. Stephen_M says:

    I know some will be disappointed with that as a finale but for me it delivered on a truly epic scale and actually did EXACTLY what Moffat promised back in September last year. All of the relationships between these characters have suddenly shifted and in some really nice ways. Better still it’s done in a non-destructive way that actually adds a lot of texture to moments we’ve already seen… but I’ll come back to that in a bit.

    Before going any further though I’ve gotta say that the production design this year has been beyond incredible. Watch this back, or better yet show it to someone who doesn’t know what the show is, and you really could be watching a movie. Everything looks stunning, the effects work was superb, it felt like there was a cast of thousands and almost every single image on screen dripped with atmosphere and detail. Everyone involved deserves massive and never-ending congratulations for their work this year. Plus the overall quality of storytelling has been sensational, only one average episode with the rest being great (or better) is a remarkable achievement, if the second half of the series matches this it could be something very special indeed.

    Now on to the episode itself and you know how Who fans are always talking about the best Doctor? Well this was MY Doctor. No, not Matt Smith (though he was brilliant beyond words here) but the character himself. Still charming, still the hero… but treading that very fine line, making mistakes and hinting at what could lie beneath the surface. I’ve always thought the character worked best with a bit of darkness in him and this was easily the closest we’ve seen the Doctor to genuinely loosing control since… umm, well I’m struggling to think of when that might be actually. Waters of Mars didn’t really give us that, we got a Doctor who was arrogant and too willing to break the rules but he wasn’t Angry. Here we got a Doctor who was downright terrifying at times, his ‘Run Away’ speech in particular sends chills down the spine and you realise why so many would be so afraid of him.

    And that, really, is why I adore this episode. It takes something we’ve grown maybe a bit too comfortable with recently and turns it around. We now know why “Look me up” works as a threat, we’ve seen just how unbeatable the Doctor can be when he puts his mind to it and we’ve seen why that’s not necessarily a good thing. The Doctor walks the line between good and evil, often trading the lives of a few for the lives of many and there SHOULD be a danger to that. Better still it affects the characters as well as the audience, Amy in particular has to face that reality here and it’s gut-wrenching to watch.

    Talking of Amy, Karen deserves a huge apology from all those who questioned her acting ability. She has to provide the heart and emotion to this story, often acting alone and/or in dialogue-heavy scenes and she totally delivers. Amy has firmly taken the “my favourite companion ever” award away from Ace at this point, largely because while being fascinating to watch and willing to kick ass when the opportunity arises she’s not perfect. She makes mistakes, she doesn’t always treat those around her as well as she should (much like a real person in fact) and has been through hell but good LORD when the chips are down you want her on your side. Couldn’t help but notice they kept her in a room with no possible way of getting the jump on the guards (it’s a well designed cell when you think about it, bright white doesn’t give many options for hiding, sheer drop out the window visible by the whole base, guards in an elevated position overlooking the whole room and the prisoner dressed in bright white on a dark-ish base) and I’ve got no doubt she’d have tried to tear the base apart looking for Melody if they’d given her the chance. And then to have Melody turn to flesh in her arms… oh good lord whoever’s behind this really better hope Amy NEVER catches up to them, it’d get messy.

    For that matter Amy as River’s mother? Yep, totally buy that πŸ˜€ They’ve got a similar attitude to life, both are pretty much awesome and both are intensely loyal to those they care about. Although please Moffat, before Karen and Arthur leave the series (whenever that may be) can we please please please have River and Amy being back-to-back badasses ala Day of the Moon complete with suitable dialogue now that both know the truth? Rory getting to let rip was a joy as well, love that he’s been repressing the memories of those centuries as the Last Centurion for the sake of his sanity yet as soon as Amy’s threatened he’s got NO problem using them. Plus having Amy talking about him the way she did to Melody was a wonderful touch and a great way to elevate Rory up the hero ranks for those viewers not 100% on-board with the idea yet. Matt, Karen and Arthur work so well together and it’ll be a terrible day when we have to say goodbye to the best Team TARDIS I think I’ve ever seen.

    • Stephen_M says:

      Now for the owwie part… River. Never thought I’d classify River as the Woobie but here we are. Every single thing we’ve seen her in suddenly takes on a whole new significance. Dying in the library was already bad enough (especially when we know the moment before that when the Doctor gives her his Screwdriver is likely the only time they meet in non-reverse order) but she would have known if she didn’t do it she’d never have been born therefore paradox and hole in the universe time. Meeting Amy and never saying a word about their relationship (though rewatch the Angels two parter, her dialogue does have a different edge now we know their connection), same with Rory (and seeing a Silent attacking him at the end of Impossible Astronaut), hell talking to Rory THIS EPISODE about her birthday and the incredible things her significant other did for her and him not knowing he’s her father… the list just goes on. Add in that she was born to be a weapon and think about how she’s getting a bit more, uh, free in her use of guns as we travel back down her timeline and you’ve got a potentially very dark picture emerging. Plus you suddenly realise WHY a Dalek begged for mercy at the mention of her name…. Melody Pond, Superhero indeed. There’s still more to come from her story of course but the depth on offer here is just staggering. For that matter I’m really hoping we get some Amy / Doctor / Rory dialogue about the Doctor and River and, umm, extracurricular activities.

      There’s so much I could rave about here but to try and keep this somewhat manageable let’s do a quick highlight reel: Silurian in Victorian London! Cybermen! And Mondas Cybermen with fleets and everything! Spitfires. In. Spaaaaaaaaaaaaace! 3 minutes 42 seconds. Sontaran Nurse (such a fun character). ‘The first time they were alone in the TARDIS was on their wedding ni… oops’. “Centurion, permission to hug?”. “Good men don't need rules. Today is not a good day to find out why I have so many.”.

      Mostly though it’s the way this episode manages to mix action and quiet character moments that makes it such a wonderful ride. Superb TV and long may it continue. Now let’s go kill Hitler!

      • notemily says:

        The second-to-last time River sees the Doctor is weird to me, because he doesn't just give her HIS screwdriver, he gives her Ten's screwdriver. Why?

  9. tenderoni says:

    Those aren't spoilers, not for anyone looking at this review, at least.

  10. KVogue says:

    I'll be honest, I saw the episode for the first time last night and my head is still exploding. Good exploding of course, not bad exploding. I have to wait for that to stop before I can make any sensible theories, though I will say that I enjoyed this episode quite a bit.

  11. Karen says:

    A friend of mine (who might be reading this? HAI, KAILI IF YOU ARE), posted this gif in her reaction post to the episode and I feel like it sums up my feelings pretty well, so here it is:

    <img src=""&gt;

    This episode left me feeling very whelmed. I wasn’t disappointed exactly, but I’d been thinking that River could be the Ponds’ daughter since the first episodes of series 6, so this wasn’t as hugely shocking as it was meant to be. Also, I think that Moffat had spent SO long building up River’s ~mystery~ that it was going to take a lot to live up to the hype. Like she was going to have to be the mother of all Time Lords or something.

    Can we stop it with the whole “I knew you when you were a kid and now I’m interested in you in a sexual way”? IT IS VERY CREEPY. It is probably one of my most loathed Moffat Tropes. Doctor/River is now starting to feel creepily like Jacob/Renesmee. DNW. DNW AT ALL. Ok, so it was Amy that briefly had a thing for the Doctor and not the other way around, but still CREEPY. I mean, The Doctor knows her from when she was a baby. And then he also knows from the first time he meets her that they will have a relationship. Dl;fkjdslkjfa I don’t know. I just know that Doctor/River is full of so much ick and dnw for me.

    Also, is the Doctor’s “darkest hour” supposed to come in the fall premiere? Because I sure didn’t see it in this episode. I mean, there was a battle and a few one-off characters died and Melody was taken (but her future self was standing right there, so…). It wasn’t the best day ever, but it was hardly the Doctor’s darkest hour. I mean, he didn’t genocide anyone or try to change the laws of time or anything. He did blow up a fleet of Cybermen, but that was before he “rose higher than he’d ever risen” (not sure I buy that either) and his supposed darkest hour was supposed to come after that, right?

    I know that Moffat loves his time loops, but it’s getting to the point where it’s robbing the story of dramatic tension. I know that “time can be rewritten” supposedly, but we’ve seen no evidence of that so far. So we’re supposed to be all worried about Melody, but it’s kind of hard to care when her adult self is standing right there. It didn’t make for a very exciting cliffhanger.

    Things that I did like about this episode: Was it just me or was Arthur Darvill looking especially sexy this episode?

    And I loved River calling the Doctor out at the end. I am taking this as River justifying my rage at Eleven for doing what he did to humanity with regards to the Silence. Although I'm sure Moffat didn't mean it that way because when it happened no one else cared. And we haven’t seen Eleven be particularly terrifying anywhere else have we? I don’t know. While I liked that speech for reaming the Doctor out because I always love the Doctor being chastised, it didn’t seem to fit with what we’ve really seen of Eleven. Hm. Idk. But then maybe it’s not just Eleven, but his past and future selves. That makes more sense to me. Also, in the library episode, River tells Ten that he’s not the Doctor because the Doctor can make armies run away, and the way it’s written implies that the fact that Ten can’t do it is a BAD thing. And now she’s getting on Eleven’s case for having a bad reputation? I guess her opinion changed between this episode and the library episode. Still it feels a bit more like Moffat didn’t really care about character continuity and needed someone to serve as a plot device to chew the Doctor out and River would do a good job of it.

  12. Karen says:

    A friend of mine (who might be reading this? HAI, KAILI IF YOU ARE), posted this gif in her reaction post to the episode and I feel like it sums up my feelings pretty well, so here it is:

    <img src=""&gt;

    This episode left me feeling very whelmed. I wasn’t disappointed exactly, but I’d been thinking that River could be the Ponds’ daughter since the first episodes of series 6, so this wasn’t as hugely shocking as it was meant to be. Also, I think that Moffat had spent SO long building up River’s ~mystery~ that it was going to take a lot to live up to the hype. Like she was going to have to be the mother of all Time Lords or something.

    Can we stop it with the whole “I knew you when you were a kid and now I’m interested in you in a sexual way”? IT IS VERY CREEPY. It is probably one of my most loathed Moffat Tropes. Doctor/River is now starting to feel creepily like Jacob/Renesmee. DNW. DNW AT ALL. Ok, so it was Amy that briefly had a thing for the Doctor and not the other way around, but still CREEPY. I mean, The Doctor knows her from when she was a baby. And then he also knows from the first time he meets her that they will have a relationship. Dl;fkjdslkjfa I don’t know. I just know that Doctor/River is full of so much ick and dnw for me.

    Also, is the Doctor’s “darkest hour” supposed to come in the fall premiere? Because I sure didn’t see it in this episode. I mean, there was a battle and a few one-off characters died and Melody was taken (but her future self was standing right there, so…). It wasn’t the best day ever, but it was hardly the Doctor’s darkest hour. I mean, he didn’t genocide anyone or try to change the laws of time or anything. He did blow up a fleet of Cybermen, but that was before he “rose higher than he’d ever risen” (not sure I buy that either) and his supposed darkest hour was supposed to come after that, right?

    I know that Moffat loves his time loops, but it’s getting to the point where it’s robbing the story of dramatic tension. I know that “time can be rewritten” supposedly, but we’ve seen no evidence of that so far. So we’re supposed to be all worried about Melody, but it’s kind of hard to care when her adult self is standing right there. It didn’t make for a very exciting cliffhanger.

    Things that I did like about this episode: Was it just me or was Arthur Darvill looking especially sexy this episode?

    And I loved River calling the Doctor out at the end. I am taking this as River justifying my rage at Eleven for doing what he did to humanity with regards to the Silence. Although I'm sure Moffat didn't mean it that way because when it happened no one else cared. And we haven’t seen Eleven be particularly terrifying anywhere else have we? I don’t know. While I liked that speech for reaming the Doctor out because I always love the Doctor being chastised, it didn’t seem to fit with what we’ve really seen of Eleven. Hm. Idk. But then maybe it’s not just Eleven, but his past and future selves. That makes more sense to me. Also, in the library episode, River tells Ten that he’s not the Doctor because the Doctor can make armies run away, and the way it’s written implies that the fact that Ten can’t do it is a BAD thing. And now she’s getting on Eleven’s case for having a bad reputation? I guess her opinion changed between this episode and the library episode. Still it feels a bit more like Moffat didn’t really care about character continuity and needed someone to serve as a plot device to chew the Doctor out and River would do a good job of it.

    • laleia says:

      I think the "darkest hour" bit is supposed to mean that the Doctor realizes he turns the people around him into soldiers and that he doesn't exactly have a GOOD influence on the people around him, much as he would like. Everyone in that room who's lives he touched, he also made worse. Granted, not as "darkest hour" as some other moments in the series … but maybe it's something the Doctor cares about more than genocide, since he does seem to genocide an awful lot.

      But yes, I can see the Doctor/River creepy. It is not creepy for me right now, but I feel like it is on the cusp of creepiness and any moment I am going to smack my head and go … "Ew."

      • Karen says:

        I think the "darkest hour" bit is supposed to mean that the Doctor realizes he turns the people around him into soldiers and that he doesn't exactly have a GOOD influence on the people around him, much as he would like. Everyone in that room who's lives he touched, he also made worse.

        …Isn't that exactly what happened in Journey's End?

        • t09yavorski says:

          I would say it is not exactly that he turned his friends into soldier but more that he caused the whole situation to happen just by being who he is (which could include the soldiers bit too).

          He inspired fear in so many that they tried to lock him in an inescapable box, when he presently escaped from. And he inspires his companions to be more and try to impress him (I cant remember Rory's exact wording from S5. He said it much better.) This inevitably led to the collision of the two sides and poor Melody/River eneded up caught in the middle.

    • bradycardia says:

      Bonus points for use of the word whelmed. Puts me in mind a of Buffy quote:
      (from memory so may be a bit inaccurate)
      "how do you get to be renowned anyway? Do you have to be nowned first?"
      "yes, first there's the painful nowning process"

      And yes to sexy Arthur Darvill!

  13. @M1ssDirect says:

    I have to say that I had this stunning moment of clarity as soon as I realized that Amy had named her daughter Melody. I was all "Oh. Oh wow, I see where this is going, and my brain just exploded." Beyond that well, AWKWARD for Rory and Amy, and I totally get why the Doctor decided to up and leave– have to give them time to adjust to the fact that he will eventually be totally making out with their daughter. And I loved his reaction to the news as well. As for the actual action packed bits of the episode, I'm pretty happy. I love it when the Doctor gets badass, I must admit, and I loved Rory's badassery as well. I could have done without them screwing with our brains again with the intro that for half a second makes you think that Amy is saying Rory is not Melody's father, but I'm getting kind of used to those ridiculous shenanigans. I loved that the Sontaran was a nurse– and a fully equipped one at that. And I really, really loved the kickass fighting females, human and otherwise. Really I'm in one huge ball of love and excitement and will be until it sinks in that I'll be waiting an age and a half until the next episode.

  14. Karen says:

    But other than that big reveal, nothing much happened. The Doctor ran around calling in debts. He was fooled by another Flesh Person. There was a battle and a random one-off character that the script tried (and failed) to make me care about died. Idk. When you think about the plot of what actually HAPPENED, it's quite boring and unimpressive. People kept telling me that this was the Doctor’s finest hour/darkest day, but I just wasn’t seeing it.

    And finally, a tidbit from the latest Doctor Who Magazine in which it is once again proven that MOFFAT NEEDS TO STOP SAYING THINGS. He is really terrible at expressing himself without sounding like a total asshole. In the most recent Doctor Who Magazine, he said this regarding the decision to give Rory and Amy a baby: “A young married couple with a kid? They’re just dating…You tell yourself you’re married and it’s nice, it’s sweet, you’ve got a bit of paper, you’ve had a party, you share a kettle – but really you’re dating. That doesn’t feel tremendous. That’s where the idea of a baby started.” I mean I HOPE he doesn’t mean that you’re not really married until you have a kid, but that’s what his phrasing sounds like. He needs to do what Michael had Tobias do and record himself saying things. Unfortunately, I think it’d be just about as successful as it was for Tobias. I think he’s taking his personal experiences and opinions and applying it to everyone else. There are obviously people out there for whom marriage IS a big deal. If it weren’t then why would gay men and women be fighting so hard for their rights to get married? And some people who are married don’t want kids, and that quote just seems like its devaluing their marriage. MEH. I don’t think it’s what Moffat meant, but he sucks at expressing himself.

    That quote also makes me wonder if River as Amy and Rory’s baby was a bit of an afterthought. Like he felt like he had built up River’s ~Mystery~, and everyone was guessing the other major theory about who she is, so he needed to up the ante or something.

    And now, THEORIES ABOUND. (Also, questions.)

    Ok, so River = Melody. This much we know. It also seems to follow, based on the photo we saw in the opening story of this series, that the little girl is Melody-River. So we can speculate that eye-patch lady IS successful in raising Melody to be a weapon and then she kills the Doctor in The Impossible Astronaut. And then she regenerates at the end of the 2nd episode. So why didn’t River regenerate in the library? Is it because she’s only sort of Time Lord so she only has like one regeneration or something? IDGI.

    And if Melody = River, why doesn’t she remember being the little girl in the space suit? Or maybe she does, but River is a really good actress and is going through the motions even though she knows the outcome? (see! This is why timey wimey nonsense bugs me- everything is just so fatalistic.) I mean, I know she’d forget about the Silence, but would she really forget about EVERYTHING concerning them?

    And finally, it's good to be back! Ugh. My life had been taken overby exams and essays the past month and a half, so I haven't really been able to be a part of the blog like I'd like to be. But now I should be having a lot more free time!

    • FlameRaven says:

      I dunno, I'm going to disagree with the creepy thing. So far, the Doctor has spent what, eight episodes with River as an adult that we've seen? And now he's spent one episode with a total of like 5 minutes with Melody as a baby. That is not the same as meeting someone as a child and then spending their whole life around them and THEN falling in love.

      Quite honestly, given that River Song goes by the name River Song and not as Melody Pond, I think it'll be a minor miracle if Melody Pond spends any time growing up with her parents. The events of episodes 1 and 2 seem to imply that at the very least Melody is 6 or 7 years old before she gets away from the orphanage and Eyepatch Lady's plans. But we don't know how long she stays away from them. Clearly at some point she ends up in their control again as an adult, because she's in prison, which seems to be run by the same church soldiers. I know the Doctor is obviously going to try to get the Pond's baby back, but it seems like even with the best possible outcome, the next time they see their kid, she's probably going to be that 6 or 7 year old, and not an infant at all. That's the best outcome. It's quite possible that they won't find Melody until she's in her teens or twenties, and maybe that's the first time she meets the Doctor.

    • Psi Baka Onna says:

      I think I understand what Moffat meant by the whole marriage/baby thing if only because I have similar views.

      I believe that you can have the same emotional attachment to someone whether you're married or "just dating" as he put it. You can live together, love each other and be devoted to each other without having a little ceremony and a bit of paper. The paper & ceremony is just a formality to make the relationship official in the eyes of society and whatever god you worship. You can have the love bit without the paper bit & in fact you need the love bit in order to ask your partner to get the paper bit in the first place anyway. Marriage in itself doesn't drastically change your relationship & I think that's what he was talking about.

      From a story telling standpoint, nothing had really changed between Rory & Amy besides having said their vows. Sure, Moffat could have continued to have Rory express insecurities over his relationship some more but that was played out last series. The introduction of a baby provides the chance for further character development to take place and for the Pond family to grow. After all, isn't having a baby a natural progression of marriage? I'm not saying you have to have a baby if you're married, just that it's expected.

      That's what I expect Moffat meant, anyway.

      • onlysatellites says:


        Maybe it's just me, but it does feel like Amy (and maybe Rory, but we don't know his exact age) was a big young to get married, and I am from the school of belief that you don't need to be married to be in a committed long-term relationship, and while I definitely believe everyone should have the right to marriage, I think it's ultimately a choice whether you want this ceremony as part of your relationship.

        But that's probably not a common view. And in all honesty, aside from the whole 'night before the wedding' plot we had going last season, I think the biggest reason Moffat got Amy and Rory hitched before bringing Rory on board as an official companion is to make a strong differentiation between Amy & Rory and Rose & Mickey, who were the last couple on board the TARDIS, and we all know how that went, and how seriously Rose took that relationship. So having this official cultural signifier of commitment is really a way to say, "They're not just casual, they're a definite couple" to the audience and shy away from any triangles with The Doctor, which is VERY necessary this season, although they have played with that and ireallywishtheywouldstopthatplease. But on that same level, they're really, really young. And maybe having a baby is a way to shock them into adulthood, I don't know. My biggest fear at the beginning of the season was that Amy would end up a 22-year-old pregnant widow.

  15. knut_knut says:

    I hope River's flirty nature doesn't make things creepy and gross πŸ™

  16. masakochan says:

    Silurian samurai detective and maid sidekick.

    Heh, and not just any detective and maid sidekick:

    <img src=""&gt;

  17. Albion19 says:

    In a teaser for this ep it said to pay close attention to the monitors. I didn't notice anything, did any one else?

    • Shay_Guy says:

      Right side of the screen, at "We're being paid to fight him, not praise him."

      1. It's not sonic.
      2. It's not a screwdriver.

  18. @liliaeth says:

    For the record, I'm not the one who found those links, and I wish I knew who to credit for digging them up. But the second I saw what was behind them, the first thing I thought of was sharing them with the people here.

    Look at the first one in regards to the meaning of 'the Doctor'

    Then check the date.

    Then read this:

    • Reddi says:

      Wow… the doctor who forums haven't changed much since 1996. LOL. Same arguments! πŸ˜€
      I'm just glad the fellah I agree most with was made headwriter. πŸ˜€

      • @liliaeth says:

        Figure it's one way to win an argument online, make sure you get to be headwriter of the show you're a fan of, and then make your perspective on things canon πŸ˜‰

        • Avit says:

          Oh, that's it, I'm changing my major to English and doing an MFA in Creative Writing. Sorry, linguistics, you were lovely, but I guess we'll have to move on from each other…

    • EmmylovesWho says:

      This is pretty amazing πŸ˜€

      And now he's show runner, this is what is happening"

  19. knut_knut says:

    I HOPE he meets Lorna Bucket in a future episode because I felt SO SO SO SO SOOOOOOOOOOO bad for her when he didn't remember who she was when he says he remembers everyone because everyone is important. The whole "we ran" thing just seemed like he couldn't remember and then was like UH….I NORMALLY RUN A LOT…WE RAN???? *pleaseberightpleaseberightpleaseberight*

    • Haaaaa, yeah, I totally got the impression he didn't actually remember her and was just bullshitting. But I hope he really did remember her because that would be sweet.

      • bradycardia says:

        I think he said "Who was she?" after she died so I guess he's confirmed he didn't remember her.
        It was some excellent bullshitting tho – although I suppose "we ran" is always a safe bet for him.

  20. Wookie_Monster says:

    One of the better Episodes this season and the first that truly made me care about the characters – well done.
    What completely fell flat, though, was the whole stuff about "The Doctor's darkest hour" "Rising higher than ever" and the voice-over battle poem. Seriously, this is a guy who has commited genocide in self defense and saved the whole universe's collective ass several times, but a little battle on some asteroid and the kidnapping of one baby is supposed to be the biggest thing that ever happened to him?


    • illusclaire says:

      I think the darkest hour thing was when Amy was scared of him, to be honest. When she flinched away from him like it was his fault that the baby went to goo.

  21. JonT says:

    Something I didn't understand: Was there a reason for the Headless Monks to attack? They had already escaped with the real baby so what was the point?

    On another note (literally) there's this wonderful piece of music that plays right after Rory tells Amy that she's very Scottish. I've heard it before on Doctor Who but I can't remember when.

    • samibear says:

      I think it was to distract the Doctor and his mini-army to buy them time to get away safely? That's what I thought anyway.

    • Shay_Guy says:

      The whole point of taking Melody was to take down the Doctor, and they had another opportunity to try and pull that off. So the logic behind the Headless Monks attacking seems to be:

      If they kill the Doctor, great! Time for IHOP!
      If they don't, but do kill some of his friends, well, the Doctor's angry again, but he already was, and now he doesn't have as many allies.
      If they don't even kill his friends, well, we've still got the baby, so back to the original plan.

  22. monkeybutter says:

    Wow, that is like the entire episode in gifs. Lovely.

    I'm glad that River telling Amy and Rory that she was their daughter was included in this half of the season, too. It would have been frustrating and silly to draw it out, and the scene was really touching.

    And death threats? Seriously? I can't believe a Doctor Who post would cause me more disappointment in people than My Immortal.

    • rewritten says:

      Did i go overboard on gifs? I could only narrow down the initial 42 to 30 because EVERY MOMENT WAS BEAUTIFUL.

      It's crashing my friends computer apparently :s
      Sorry Naomi! And anyone else it's causing problems for πŸ™

      • Nomeyy says:

        Aha don't worry Sam, I had so many tabs up, It was okay once I shut some down.
        I am in desperate need of a new computer ):

    • onlysatellites says:

      Please be referring to the Harry Potter fanfic I think you're referring to.

      But y'know, I was disappointed at first. But then I thought back and realized I was a bit disappointed/underwhelmed with the first part of each two-parter this season, because it really IS hard to judge an incomplete story.

      I really don't get when people profess to be fans and then let loose a whole ton of anger at the person who CREATED the damn thing for things not quite going the way they wanted. There was one letter-to-the editor in a Buffy Season 8 comment that essentially bashed every single character and insulted all the writers. Some folks really have no class.

      • monkeybutter says:

        Yup! Mark is reviewing it over on Mark Reads because we decided to make him suffer (poor guy).

        I feel that way about two-parters, too. It's better if both episodes are interesting on their own, but there are always going to be unresolved things. And I hate it when fans think they're owed stories that go the way they want (lol at me demanding that GRRM not troll his readers downpage). It's okay to dislike and criticize stories or characters — everyone has their favorites and most-hated — but that kind of rage directed at the writers and creators is absurd.

  23. Shay_Guy says:

    As my original comment was eaten, I will attempt to reconstruct here the thoughts I had.

    Where do the Silence come into this?

    If Melody was the girl in the space suit, when was that picture of Amy in her room taken? Was she? We know the girl had a time-head like Melody's, and the Doctor seems to think it was her, but that's not proof. Could River have a little sister?

    Why does River use the Gamma approximation of her name?

    Does "Dr. Song" mean "Melody, the great warrior"?

    Some people are assuming that Melody/River was raised to kill the Doctor, she did it in 2011, and that's what she was convicted for in the 51st/52nd/whatever century. How are those compatible?

    "…this endless, bitter war." Yes, but who's fighting it? We haven't seen the Doctor fight the Church before. Accidents can happen with time travel; might it be not just endless but beginningless?

    • Shay_Guy says:

      Was that opening scene the first time River had met Rory? Or possibly the first time he'd called her "Dr. Song"?


      Eleven speaks Baby. Of course he does.

      The Doctor's cot/crib? Well, maybe. Remember rule one.

      Was this River's first story without a "Hello, sweetie"?

      Let me tell you, I was kicking myself at the end for not catching on to the significance of "Melody." Though it might just be that I never speculated that much on River at all — I just figured we'd find out when we found out. I guess I'm like that with a lot of things.

      I like how "the only water in the forest is the river" turned out to be completely literal. Though without having met Lorna, we didn't have the missing piece necessary to figure out why it was significant. There's a Mr. Knox who'd like a word with you, Mr. Moffat. (And why was Sexy babbling about the logic behind River's name? Was it just totally random?)

      So, the TARDIS's translation matrix kicked in…after it left?

      Rory, after remembering what he'd seen of River's interactions with the Doctor: "I WASN'T SUPPOSED TO HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THIS FOR ANOTHER SIXTEEN YEARS!"

      September… Oh, that title. Really, all it needs is an exclamation point.

      • onlysatellites says:

        Yep, first episode without "Hello Sweetie" OR "spoilers." Then again, I think greeting The Doctor with "Hello Sweetie" after refusing to come fight (for very good reasons) would have pissed him off even more than "Well soldier, how goes the day?"

      • notemily says:

        The Tardis translation matrix kicking in after it leaves is weird, and so is the idea that it takes a while to kick in for written language, because remember that huge HELLO SWEETIE that they found on a wall back in whatever episode, and they just opened the Tardis door and there it was? Or does it take longer to kick in if you aren't actually IN the Tardis?

    • Avit says:

      Oh, I like that. She is a pretty great warrior, isn't she.

    • kartikeya200 says:

      Does "Dr. Song" mean "Melody, the great warrior"?

      This is probably not the case but I suddenly love this very much. Moffat is a brain-bender.

    • FlameRaven says:

      I'm assuming that River Song ends up raised in the Gamma Forests for at least a portion of her life, possibly the earliest portion, so she adopts their version of her name.

      • Shay_Guy says:

        Why, though? What do they have to do with the Church or Kavorian? They're neutral, that's what The Thin One said. All I can think of is that maybe River has to conceal her identity. (Regeneration helps with that. How many hearts has she got, though?)

        • Avit says:

          Maybe Lorna's family or friends find out about what happened, get pissed off, and manipulate their way into having the baby raised in the Gamma Forests in order to honor Lorna's memory and also help prevent the River-weaponization plan from working AND FOR SOME INEXPLICABLE REASON THEY ARE ALLOWED TO (maybe the Headless Monks inexplicably agree and everyone has to go along and one of the conspirators gets real uneasy about that but it's too late to change the plan at that point anyway).

          /wild mass guessing

    • Shay_Guy says:

      And now, a tangential question:

      If you introduce someone successfully to Doctor Who via "Smith and Jones," what's the best way to go from there? On through the rest of Series 3? Would all the Rose references be problematic? What about the appearances from the Face of Boe, Captain Jack Harkness, the Cult of Skaro, and so forth?

      • KVogue says:

        I would at least show the last two episodes from Series 2. By the time you get to series 4 you'll have to explain about Rose anyway since she's a rather big character in those last three episodes. If you're worried about Jack and the Face of Boe and all that, maybe show those Rose episodes as well.

        • Shay_Guy says:

          Does "Army of Ghosts" work that well as a Rose introduction, though? Or Jackie, or Torchwood? And without Series 1 to introduce you to the Daleks, the ending doesn't have the same impact. Starting from "Rose" might be a bad idea if you've just acquired a taste for Ten and Martha, though.

          I definitely want to go back before reaching "Partners in Crime."

          • ferriswheeljunky says:

            I watched series 3 before 1 and 2, and the Rose stuff was pretty confusing. But once someone had explained what happened to her, I didn't feel I needed to watch 2 to make sense of it. I didn't really mind the other stuff, either – I suppose when you dive into the middle of a series like Doctor Who, you expect not to know what's going on half the time.

      • onlysatellites says:

        I feel like a jerk, but seriously, DON'T. Start back at Season 1. If they're successfully introduced, it's best to let them experience the whole thing, and they won't have a problem with it. I introduced someone to Buffy through the musical episode, and she was so enthralled that she started the whole series from the beginning. And I had the same thing happen to me with "The Mighty Boosh", although it's far less dependent on continuity.

    • NB2000 says:

      Does "Dr. Song" mean "Melody, the great warrior"?

      …oh my god, that's a very good point.

    • Bobcat says:


      …but my guesses are! I reckon the Silence and the Headless Monks (or Kovarian, at least) are at war. Very possibly warring over Melody Pond.

      Jimmy Big Hands appears in the toilet (favourite phrase EVER) and tells Amy to tell the Doctor what he must know, and what he must never know. Presumably, this refers to her own pregnancy, and the Doctor's upcoming death. Both nuggets of information are actually pretty useful to the Doctor. I figure there's a sort of "enemy of my enemy" thing going on, there. Using the Doctor to take down the monks – and then they can keep the DNA to themselves. Two civilisations both fighting over one Time Lord.

      "The correct pilot has been found" – their spaceships need Time Lord pilots. Amy will bring the Silence! They want a Time Lord so they can mosey around the universe. The Silence don't invent their own stuff, they hypnotise other people into doing it, so it'd make sense that they own spaceships that they're not qualified to drive. "Someone's attempt at building a TARDIS." I'm not sure what Kovarian wants a child for, meanwhile – but they're warring against the Doctor, and they reckon they can weaponise a wee Time Lord. The astronaut in the lake, then, perhaps?

      There we go. That's my guess.

      • t09yavorski says:

        I just realized about the Silence helping the Doctor is well but well done and thanks for taking it 1000000 times further than any comment I made would have.

        • drippingmercury says:

          Or maybe they're in on Kavorian's Xanatos Gambit – ganger!Amy telling the Doctor about her pregnancy led to him investigating it and eventually reaching Demon's Run, which was one part of a trap. Maybe Amy warning him about his death will set the next part of the trap into motion?

          Granted, the Doctor would have eventually noticed Amy's pregnancy regardless, given that ganger!Amy had contraction pains. Who knows.

    • EmmylovesWho says:

      Does "Dr. Song" mean "Melody, the great warrior"?

      I really like this.

    • breesquared says:

      "Does Dr. Song mean Melody, the great warrior?"

      Potentially, but not on purpose. River Song isn't a 'doctor' until we see her in Silence of the Library; she's surprised to hear Eleven call her Dr. Song in later episodes. She's just a professor of archaeology up until the last few years of her life.
      It's a cool thing to notice, but I think Dr. should just be taken as a doctorate.

      • Neet says:

        Other way round, I think. She was Professor Song in the Library, but Dr. Song in Time of Angels. In the UK, "Professor" is an extra title reserved for senior academics, it's not as general a term as I think it is for teachers/lecturers in US universities, so professor is probably the senior position.

        • Shay_Guy says:

          As a USian, I don't think I've ever heard someone who didn't have a doctorate referred to as "Professor." Now then, quotes:

          Silence in the Library
          "I'm a time traveller. I point and laugh at archaeologists."
          "Ah. Professor River Song, archaeologist."

          The Time of Angels
          "The party's over, Dr. Song, yet still you're on board."

          "Amy Pond, Professor River Song."
          "Ahhh, I'm going to be a Professor someday, am I? How exciting!"

          "Dr. Song was helping us with a covert investigation. Has Dr. Song explained what we're dealing with?"

          In each subsequent River story, she's always been referred to as "Doctor," not "Professor." I eagerly await the day she says "Oh, I will be getting my doctorate, then?"

    • drippingmercury says:

      I'm deeply amused by the prospect of universalizing the Gamma Forest's meaning of "doctor". It's (ALMOST) too bad I just graduated from university – I would have derived so much amusement from imagining all of my professors as "Great Warrior (name) of the (department name) Battalion".

      To all current college/university students: DO THIS! Even your most boring professor just became a Great Warrior of (Humanities/Mathematics/Chemistry/insert subject). This will make any course either more awesome or more hilarious, depending on the professor/course.

      ETA: sorry if this comment moved/had duplicates; my browser kept crashing and I couldn't tell if it actually posted or even to whom I had first replied!

    • notemily says:

      Does "Dr. Song" mean "Melody, the great warrior"?

      …you're a genius.

  24. NB2000 says:

    THEORIES AND SPOILERS ABOUND although as with my comment for last week this isn't a guarentee. I may start theorising I may not (I swear I'll start thinking these things out properly for the second half of the series).

    First and foremost: RIVER OMGOMGOMG. Her opening scene had me in stitches, at this point I'm convinced she's just using the Stormcage as an alternative to having to pay rent or get a mortgage. She appears to be coming and going as she pleases with decreasing interference from the guards. Rewatching the scene makes it extra sweet but also utterly heatbreaking. She's telling her dad about the awesome birthday she just had but he has no idea. River can I hug you? Please. The revelation casts a lot of her appearances in this light. She's been interacting with her parents (and even visiting their wedding) but they don't know who she is.

    Another thing that struck me during that first scene. From the Doctor's point of view at least, this is the first time he's actually asked her for help. So far it's always been her calling on him but now he's actively seeking her out to be part of the next adventure. Yes we saw him send her an invitation in The Impossible Astronaut but he doesn't know he's done that yet (god this is complicated).

    I'll admit that I'd been spoiled about River's identity but I did wonder as it was happening. When she was talking about the cot (I'll come back to that in a moment) I started thinking she might be his mother, which OH GOD NO DNW. Then them saying "Hello" to each other sent me in a "Wait is she the TARDIS?!" direction. But no, she's the Pond baby!

    Speaking of Ponds. RORANICUS FTW! So much awesome from Rory throughout the episode. Particularly love him ordering the Doctor back into the room. Already bossing the possible-son-in-law about. her really needs to stop trying to fight the surname though. You're the Ponds Rory and you know it.

    "Can I borrow your gun?" "Why?" "Because I have a feeling you're gonna to keep talking." Oh Amy, even though she's having a pretty rotten time of it this episode she still manages moments of awesome. Kudos to Karen for really selling the absolute horror of having her baby DISSOLVE IN HER ARMS! JFC MOFFAT!

    • NB2000 says:

      I think I've said it about every single episode this series but MATT SMITH IS AMAZING! Some of the quick changes in emotions he manages, the Colonel Run-away speech goes from hilarious to utterly terrifying so fast. That look on his face right before he asks River who she is, I'm amazed she actually held it together because I'd have been absolutely shitting myself if it had been directed at me.

      When not being utterly terrifyingly awesome we get possibly some of his most adorable moments so far. The miming a plane just before the Spitfires show up or pretty much any of the "I speak Baby" lines are so incredibly cute.

      The cot, oh god. That was where I pretty much lost it, especially at Amy's "It's the Doctor's first stars" line, I just…I STILL HAVE SOMETHING IN MY EYE OKAY!

      • Reddi says:

        This was Smith's finest performance as the Doctor, and he's had some other reeeally good ones. He was incredible- as you said, going from hilarious to utterly terrifying (and in the last scenes, the reverse).

    • NB2000 says:

      Dear Moffat: PLEASE consider a spin-off with Madame Vastra (Yay, a Silurian that wasn't wholly or partially annoying!) and Jenny solving crimes in Victorian London and generally being awesome. All of the side characters that came to help were so much fun. Particularly Commander Strax, I'm sure someone else will do a much better job of talking about the paralells between him and Rory so I'll just focus on how hilarious the possibility of having a Sontaran for a nanny would be "I can produce magnificent quantities of lactic fluid!" indeed. Dorium's "I'm old, I'm fat, I'm BLUE!" will never stop being funny.

      The headless monks are probably second to the dissolving Melody in the DO NOT WANT category. The KNOTS sealing off their necks, just, UGGGHHH.

      My few problems with the episode:

      – Avery, WHY IS YOUR (at least I assume) DYING SON IN THE MIDDLE OF A BATTLE WITH YOU?! And did they just…leave after taking out the crew of Kovarion's ship? They weren't mentioned again so I take it they didn't stick around.

      – Speaking of Kovarion, how exactly did she get away? I can't believe they'd just let her go after taking "Melody" back from her. So how was she then talking to the Doctor over the comunication screen thing?

      Finally, that title for the next episode. I'd read about it beforehand and assumed it was just a foiler, there's no way it was the actual genuine title, Moffat wouldn't really go there would he? But he did. He went there.


      • kartikeya200 says:

        Actually, if you listen really closely to (I think it's Jenny) she says that most of the people that showed up are already off home, and mentions Captain Avery but gets cut off.

        As far as Kovarian, it seems like they really did send her off with the clerics. Rather bad call, Doctor.

        • NB2000 says:

          I hadn't caught that line about Avery, oh look an excuse to go rewatch the episode again to catch it!

      • kirstymhall says:

        I assumed that Kovarion we see on the base is actually a ganger and that Rory or the pirates have locked her in a cell somewhere. At some point, the real Kovarion breaks the link and dissolves her ganger – everyone's busy at this point, so they don't notice. She then either calls the Doctor from her real location or has left a coded message on the base system that's set to play at a specific time.

      • Avit says:

        Sontaran nanny would be brilliant.


  25. Reddi says:

    thanks for the spot to chat! I eagerly await your review. As I watched the ep and we had the twists and turns I wondered what you were going to post.

    I think this was a 10/10 episode, and while not perfect, the good bits were SO good it's still a 10/10. I've watched it four times. Each time I pick up something new- something I thought was a mistake was NOT, it just took repeated viewings to see it.

    I'm not sure about the Big Reveal- it is kinda icky in a way… I started hearing "Zank Heaven, for Leetle Girrllsss" But… I'll wait to see what else we find out here.

    I flippin' LOVED Centurion Rory, but Rory is awesomeness at all times anyway. LOVED the opening where you think she's talking about the doctor- so FINALLY Amy has figured it all out and appreciates who she ought to appreciate.

    Crying Rory… who wanted to be cool. LOL. Oh, Rory, you don't realize how awesome the crying centurion is.

    The weakness, imo, of S5 – the main weakness- was a weakness in characterization. I didn't *care* much about these people, about the guest actors, about anybody. Except, possibly, Rory πŸ™‚ I still enjoyed the season- a few eps I really loved (Vincent and the Doctor, TEH, TPO/TBB). But I mourned the loss of the way RTD could bring even a character with a few lines to life, to make them "real".

    Can't complain now. This ep has caused all those concerns to vanish. This was all about character (especially the doctor's). Just LOVED it.

  26. Asta says:

    – Called it, which meant that most of the slow build to the big reveal was more annoying than anything else.
    – All interaction between River/Melody and The Doctor in the future (of the show. It obviously goes for the past and present as well) will be disturbing, because all romantic interaction with River will sort of be romantic interaction with the baby, and all fuzzy wuzzy interaction with the baby will be with River. It's already weird. (I really want to reference another otherwise brilliant show in which a character has gets it on with someone she held in her arms when he was a baby a few weeks before, but in respect for the spoiler policy, knowing that Mark might watch it, I'll say nothing.)
    – River seems a lot less sad about The Doctor not knowing her, than her parents not knowing her.)
    – The feel of the episode was great, very Star Wars- ish.

  27. psycicflower says:

    Joins in the please don't ruin River/Doctor and make it creepy.

  28. kartikeya200 says:

    I am desperate for the Series 6 soundtrack already.

    This. This this this. I need this soundtrack like breathing, but this episode especially was just magnificent in so many ways, but especially musically.

    Love your post. Also someone sent Moffat a death threat? WTF fandom.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Oh my goodness, yes! I have all the other soundtracks so far, and I was just thinking how AMAZING the music was in the reveal of who River was…

  29. Avit says:

    The disadvantage of writing a famous series is that any telegraphed parentage shenanigans will be theorized to death by the fans and, eventually, correctly predicted.

    I don't expect ASoIaF to fare any better, but, as with DW, I just hope the journey will be entertaining and well-written.

    • Karen says:

      If the parentage speculation regarding ASoIaF is NOT true at this point, I'm going to be super annoyed because all the clues seem to point to one thing, so if it isn't that, I'll feel a bit cheated.

      • knut_knut says:

        Didn't GRRM basically confirm the parentage speculation was true? Or he said something like one is right the other isn't when asked about the parentage thing and Jon/Dany, so it better be the parentage thing

        • Avit says:

          Did he? The Tease himself? Huh. Well, I admit I only touch down occasionally in the waters of ASoIaF fandom proper; pity I missed this then.

  30. Reddi says:

    Complaining about the TARDIS sound since birth! LOL. I missed that. πŸ˜€

  31. Kaci says:

    I'd been pretty sure River was their daughter for…quite a while, and then during the episode, when River and Rory had that scene together in the prison, I actually shouted at the screen, "DON'T YOU MEAN DADDY, RIVER?" so when it was revealed, my mind wasn't so much blown as it was just all about me punching the air and doing a victory dance because HELL YES I AM SO ON BOARD WITH THIS PLAN.

    And then, of course, my friend and I had to do an immediate re-watch of last season to look for clues.

  32. arctic_hare says:

    I pretty much figured it was a joke, yeah.

  33. Nomeyy says:

    ughhhh, perfect episode is perfect.
    Yes the reveal was very obvious, but the way it was delivered was so wonderful I don't even care.
    I adored the Rory/River scene when she realizes who he is, and then goes on to tell him excitedly about her birthday like a little girl.
    My heart
    How are we going to cope until September?
    This week's fan art:
    <img src=""&gt;
    So much more to come for this episode, I've been lazy.
    The rest will be posted here once they are done πŸ™‚

  34. redheadedgirl says:



    After going through THREE downloads before finding one that was, you know, NOT MESSED UP, and realizing that the sad, slow horn version of "I am the Doctor" that plays while Amy tells little Melody about how she'll have to be brave? That cue came up in "The Patient Centurion."

    ADORABLE. Murray Gold, I am your slave. Really.

    I think my very favortie part (out of, well, everythign I liked which was a lot) was when there's a knock on Amy's door, and she yells that she's armed and pissed off, and there's a pause, and Rory responds with a long-suffering, "yeah… I know that." OH RORY.

    And Matt being cute and River and being adorable and Rory being HOT AND AWESOME (seriously, has he ever been hotter? I DID NOT THINK SO) and

    WHY DO I HAVE O WAIT ALL SUMMER MOFFAT!!!!!!!!!!! I hate you

    • trash_addict says:

      Argh I felt like such a fool because I immediately downloaded another file instead of seeing if the audio fixed at any point…say, right after the credits. And the second file had exactly the same problem but I actually thought to ask the internet by that point. So much time wasted! But not getting the full effect of the pre-credits sequence was *crap*.

  35. rewritten says:

    I never for one moment considered that he could be joking.
    How naive of me.
    Feeling silly now.

    • knut_knut says:

      that's such a weird thing to joke about though. Side-eyeing Moffat if it was all a joke but side-eyeing everyone who threatened to kill him <_< >_>

  36. arctic_hare says:

    It broke my brain and I liked it. I'll try to write a full review for when Mark gets back and gives us his.

    omg crimefighting Victorian interspecies lesbians THAT MADE ME SO HAPPY I JUST HAVE TO SAY THAT RIGHT NOW.

  37. monkeybutter says:

    I'm hoping it's tongue-in-cheek, yeah. All I can think is that they should just slow down and shoot him out the window.

  38. FlameRaven says:

    Yes, that too.

    • drippingmercury says:

      And unless River was lying to Rory about dating a Nestene duplicate in The Big Bang, the Doctor wasn't her ~one and only partner for always~, so I doubt she grew up thinking she was destined/trapped as his lover.

  39. karate0kat says:

    Let me deal with the less obvious first- one smallish thing that I really loved was the soldier sewing and embroidering something for Amy's baby.

    I get so damn tired of the idea that for a female character to be strong or not considered sexist then you must not make them do overtly feminine things. The gendering of behaviors may be arbitrarily dictated by society, but the fact remains that they exist, and while no one should be forced to conform to them, it's not in any way better to say women have to give up any behavior that might be seen as traditionally womanly and only take on more masculine traits if they want to be seen as strong.

    So I loved that the badass soldier who helped save everyone's butts in the final fight also sewed for fun. Embroidery rocks. Also, crocheting (which I am doing right now while watching a Stargate Atlantis marathon, in order to prepare for National Yarn Bombing Day on Saturday, because I am that much of a nerd).

    I had been spoiled for the River reveal, so it didn't make my brain explode, but I did love the way they did it. The music in the episode was fantastic, as usual, but especially at that moment, IMO.

    Here's the thing with big mysteries. On the one hand, if it's too easy to figure out, then it wasn't much of a mystery. On the other hand, if it's so out there that no one in a million years could have guessed it because the ground work really hadn't been laid for that reveal, then that's just shitty writing, IMO. So I'm glad that, while the reveal may have been something that some people figured out and/or feel let down by, it also makes sense and fits with what we know so far (which isn't to say that all the answers have been given or that everything makes sense, because we still don't have all the pieces, but what we do have fits, so…)

    • Avit says:

      Of course, she was also practically the only female soldier we saw — were there any others at all? I don't recall — and the only one to exhibit interest in the baby. BLUH. And then there was the LOL LACTATING SONTARAN joke, which just smacked of ~ew men breastfeeding ew~.


      • karate0kat says:

        Uh, yeah, there were several other female soldiers seen throughout the episode. As for being the only one interested in the baby…how would they have worked in other soldiers being interested in a way that made sense? Unless you're suggesting that the soldier interested in the baby and getting storyline importance should have been male. Because girls with babies are sexist, apparently.

      • Openattheclose says:

        I took that more as ew cross-species breastfeeding, which I guess would still be a little hypocritical for anyone who isn't a vegan.

        • I'm with you- cross-species breastfeeding, or even just cultural differences. I don't think the reaction would have been much different if Madame Vastra had offered, minus the disbelief in capability. The Sontarans are coded male, but do they even really have a gender binary? They're all made by cloning, right? Tsk tsk on the TARDIS for gendering them via translation, if that's the case!

      • dcjensen says:

        How do we know the Sontaran was a male?

        • Avit says:

          Moot point. We don't even know if Sontarans have gender or sex the same way that Western humans do. The Sontaran was coded male.

    • NB2000 says:

      I'm just going to say THIS to both parts of your comment. I could try and add more but you've pretty much said it all.

    • RE: the sewing soldier- Fuck. Yes. Unless I am inventing strawmen in my dreams, I already saw someone doing the "oh, she's sewing cuz she's a woman OF COURSE THANKS MOFFAT YOU SEXIST" (obviously paraphrased). The whole "craft/folk art" is really interesting because it's nearly never taken seriously and often devalued. In the mess that is feminism, that pull to get away from traditional feminine roles makes to belittle a form of art that women have used throughout history, and reinforce the patriarchal view that just because it's traditionally women's work it's somehow degrading or unimportant.

      Anyway, basically IA and thank you for bringing it up.

      • Avit says:

        Now if only male characters could engage in feminine activities without it being the butt of a joke.

        –oh, damn πŸ™

        • Sara says:

          Are you referring to the breastfeeding Sontaran? You really don't see a difference between that and sewing?

          • Avit says:

            Are you referring to the anatomical requirements of breastfeeding? You really don't see the ciscentrism of that kind of assumption?

            • @ladylately says:

              I, at least, am referring to MAGNIFICENT AMOUNTS OF LACTIC FLUID
              because that is the most hilarious line to have ever been lined.
              Also the fact Nurse is ~offended~ that Amy doesn't want a wet nurse, and she's all 'CHILLAX I GOT THIS'. In her facial expressions.
              Also if this makes no sense I am ill and tired and sorry.

      • karate0kat says:

        Yeah, I wrote my final art history research paper on the misogyny behind the gendering of needlework and other crafts and the feminist reclamation of same beginning in the 60s and 70s.

        It's kind of a thing with me.

      • Sadie says:

        Right there with you. It has become almost a universal aspect of feminism to imply, even unintentionally, that any woman who ~*gasp*~ actually enjoys or wants to engage in traditional feminine activities (sewing, homemaking, childbearing, etc.) is automatically submissive, conformist, and supporting of gender stereotypes. In reality, it's equally misogynistic for a woman to be told that she has to conform to traditionally masculine roles or activities; how about letting the woman get out there and do whatever the heck she feels like doing? That's the only attitude that, in my opinion, is truly respectful of equality; but unfortunately, it's none too common even among the best-intentioned people.

    • Sara says:

      I get so damn tired of the idea that for a female character to be strong or not considered sexist then you must not make them do overtly feminine things. The gendering of behaviors may be arbitrarily dictated by society, but the fact remains that they exist, and while no one should be forced to conform to them, it's not in any way better to say women have to give up any behavior that might be seen as traditionally womanly and only take on more masculine traits if they want to be seen as strong.

      THANK YOU. I keep seeing 'ugh, of course the woman's sewing' and it drives me mad. You've expressed it much better than I could.

  40. kartikeya200 says:

    I love this episode. Don't care, haters gonna hate, this episode was enjoyable from beginning to end for me, made all the better by fantastic production values and a soundtrack that I want right now.

    I don't find the Doctor/River thing creepy (at least not yet? I mean it could, please don't go that route THANK YOU). But this is the Doctor. He's hundreds of years old, travels through time and has been meeting her out of order the entire time we've known her, I guess maybe I figured it was inevitable he was going to meet young!River at some point (just not THIS young). And that regardless of who she was, it was pretty well guaranteed he'd be a lot older. I see why some people feel this way, though I do strenuously object to the whole 'oh the Doctor is Jacob Black now' thing, because that's kind've ignoring what I found to be the squickiest part of that relationship (and Jacob isn't an effing time traveller, he doesn't get a pass.)

    I don't have gifs to spam, so I'm just gonna save my theorizing for next week and quote spam instead, because this episode is RIDICULOUSLY quotable. (cont)

    • kartikeya200 says:

      "The only reason I joined the Clerics was to meet him."

      "You wanted to meet him? So you joined an army to fight him?"

      "Well, how else do you meet a great warrior?"

      "He's not a warrior."

      "Then why's he called the Doctor?"

      "The asteroid, where you've made your base. Do you know why they call it 'Demons Run'?"

      "How do you know the location of our base?"

      "You're with the Headless Monks, they're old customers of mine."

      "It's just some old saying."

      "A very old saying. The oldest. 'Demons run when a good man goes to war.'"

      "Who was she?"

      "I don't know, but she was very brave."

      "They're always brave."

    • kartikeya200 says:

      And finally the creepy poem:

      Demons run when a good man goes to war
      Night will fall and drown the sun
      When a good man goes to war
      Friendship dies and true love lies
      Night will fall and the dark will rise
      When a good man goes to war

      Demons run, but count the cost
      The battle's won, but the child is lost

  41. FlameRaven says:

    Everyone has been discussing the implications of the Doctor and River's relationship after this revelation, but I honestly feel worse for Rory and Amy. I mean, if one day someone shows up at your door and is all "Hi, I"m your long lost son/daughter you never knew," it can be pretty traumatic. And yet, if you meet someone as an adult and you get to know them and respect them and THEN they tell you, "btw, I'm your kid"? So much awkward. On the one hand, they know now that their kid grows up to be a magnificent badass. On the other, I'm pretty sure they're not actually going to get to raise her much at all. So it's like losing a kid and gaining one all at the same time, and it screws up your friendship with the adult they become. Kind of a terrible situation all around, and that's not even adding in the 'omg my best friend is kind-of dating this woman.'

  42. echinodermata says:

    Uh, I was responding to Stephen_M, not you, so to my knowledge you haven't done anything wrong.

    Do you still want more clarification on why the site policy is what it is, or was the confusion only in who I was replying to? (If it's the former, I'd just recommend you read the site policy and then the comments in the "Bitter Work" Avatar post because it's discussed at length there.)

    • rewritten says:

      Ahhhhhhh, sorry. I've slipped up in the past so I'm constantly paranoid about making another mistake. Hence the speedy reply.

      I guess it's just cause said synonyms are misleading right? No need to reply, I'll head to the "Bitter Work" posts and have a read.


  43. KVogue says:

    When I read the title my mind went to the episode of original Star Trek where they find the planet that became a mirror of Nazi Germany because of the influence of an Earth historian who wanted to help organize the planet or something like that. Then they have a stealth mission, Kirk gets his shirt off, and they dismantle the government . For the Doctor Who episode to be anything like this at all would make me exceedingly happy.

  44. Avit says:

    You make good points! I can't speak for anyone but myself, but for me, the OT3 vibe of the Doctor and the Ponds just makes it feel a bit quasi-incestuous to me, and that just weirds me out. Stepsiblings and nakama-members, I can deal with, but right now "PARENT FIGURE INCEST" is overriding "EXTENUATING TIME SHENANIGANS" in my brain.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      I agree, it does make the whole 'Amy trying to seduce the Doctor' thing back in season 5 kind of awkward. πŸ˜›

    • Sadie says:

      I'm not necessarily squicked by the situation… yet. I'm going to give Moffat a chance to handle it well, and if he does so, no harm no foul. However, there is something a bit weird about the fact that the Doctor, Amy, and Rory have had a serious OT3-vibe since the middle of Season 5, and now we learn that the three of them have produced a baby; all well and good. However, when you add to the mix that that baby is going to grow up to be River, another indispensable adult component of the TADRIS team and the Doctor's once and future love interest, everything just becomes a little gross. As I said, I'm going to give Moffat a chance to deal with it all appropriately (a lot of this is going to depend on how the Doctor/Amy/Rory/baby River dynamic ends up panning out; it could be handled tastefully and tactfully, resulting in a later situation hopefully devoid of squick, but we'll have to see). The show has created quite an admirably twisted web of relationships; now they have to untangle it.

      • Helena says:

        I'm surprised no-one has pointed this out, but the Doctor met Rose as a baby, and no-one thought it was weird that they were in love. Briefly, yes, but still. He also met Amy as a child, and while I'm not saying people didn't have objections to Amy jumping on him back in S5 as far as I remember they weren't 'She's known him since she was six, ew'. And I still don't really get why it's squicky for them to fall in love if the Doctor knew her when she was a child. As long as he didn't love her WHEN she was a child, and he wasn't overtly a 'father figure' (which we don't know yet as all the interaction we've seen between kid!River and the Doctor was her shooting him)…what's the problem? Am I missing something? The Doctor is always going to be a lot older than the people he falls in love with, he was a lot older than Rose, Reinette, etc. Hell, Rose was NINETEEN when she met him.

        Also, Steven Moffat's twitter the day before the ep aired:

        'For all of you who keep on, yes, you will find out who River is tomorrow. Thing is though – was that what you were REALLY asking?'

        And the answer is no (obviously)- go back to the Library episodes and the question the Doctor asks is 'Who are you TO ME?' Which we still don't know (I mean, we have SOME idea but I suspect Moffat has a more specific answer up his sleeve than 'some girl you snog quite a lot'.

        • Sadie says:

          Totally agree with you there about the Doctor making a habit of meeting his companions at a young age, either prior to or after his travels with them as adults; however, in my view, the elements which distinguish the situation with River are 1) that the Doctor never had any canon romantic interest in either Rose or Amy, and certainly never had a romantic/sexual relationship with either of them as adults, and 2) that River/Melody is the daughter of two current companions as well as being a companion in her own right, thus tangling her relationships with everyone concerned. People are operating under the assumption that the Doctor is going to go on to find Melody and have some hand in her upbringing; this is obviously pure specualtion, but is if it does occur, that adds another level of yukky "parental-incest"-vibe to the entire situation. Along the same lines in a rather more subtle area… Melody didn't get that Time Lord DNA from Rory or Amy, and, while the Doctor didn't contribute physically or biologically to her conception, she's the offspring of both the Doctor and the Ponds, rendering her future romantic relationship with the Doctor a bit odd, to say the least.

          So overall, I would say those are the factors most people are concerned about in this situation, in contrast to Amy and Rose. However, Moffat still has a chance to do great things with this storyline; I say we wait and see.

          • Sara says:

            I'm a bit baffled by 'she's the offspring of both the Doctor and the Ponds'. How so?

            • Sadie says:

              Melody has both human and Time Lord DNA, a state of affairs that didn't result from Rory and Amy's genetics alone. A bit of the Doctor/the Time Vortex/the TARDIS/all of the above got into the mix somehow, and that's leaving some people with a bad taste in their mouths regarding her future romantic relationship with the Doctor. His DNA, or something quite a bit like it, is an essential part of Melody's makeup, and that just adds to the potential squick factor of their relationship. As I said, it's something that probably doesn't stand out/matter to a lot of people, but it's an element of the situation to be considered.

              • FlameRaven says:

                I don't think it's the Doctor's DNA at all. Granted, the explanation in the episode was kind of rushed, but the Silurian said that the Time Lords became Time Lords by their exposure to the time vortex over time. Apparently the time vortex messes with DNA somehow. The reason Melody/River is "part Time Lord" is more that her DNA was "mutated" in the same way by the time vortex because she was conceived inside it, NOT that the Doctor's DNA or any other actual Time Lord DNA was somehow combined with hers.

                • Sadie says:

                  Gotcha; that interpretation works too. As you pointed out, the actual in-universe explanation of the scientific process that created Melody was sort of vague, and can be construed several ways, as is usually the case with sci-fi/fantasy technobabble. The writers probably could have clarified things a bit with a sensitive topic like this one, but it's still not a huge deal either way. In my opinion, the more pressing issue is that of the Doctor's future role in baby/child Melody's life, which is obviously still a matter of pure fan speculation.

          • Helena says:

            Wait, what? No canon romantic interest in Rose? I mean, I know we didn't actually get to HEAR him say 'I love you', but like he said, 'does it need saying'?

  45. kartikeya200 says:

    Yep. πŸ˜€

    I noticed that because on my first watching of Day of the Moon, I was like 'gosh that's pretty music…' And then it got stuck in my head for days.

  46. FlameRaven says:

    Pretty much my thoughts exactly. It's really not the same situation. The Doctor fell in love with this woman as an adult and then he met her and had to rescue her as a baby. From his point of view, that's probably not even the weirdest relationship he's ever had. Everything is timey-wimey for him, he probably just treats each new situation separately.

    From the clues we've gotten, I'm suspecting that they'll rescue baby Melody and perhaps get to raise her for a year or so (to account for the pictures we saw) but then she'll get recaptured and end up in the creepy orphanage of doom before escaping. Given that she then ends up captured again by the church (and presumably eyepatch lady) later in life, I'm almost wondering if River saying that the Doctor will make sure she grows up okay to be more like him managing to check in with her every time she escapes, and then she gets captured again. Which makes her being trained to kill him all the more interesting. Does he persuade her when she's young that he's not really the enemy and after that she just goes along with the program with her own goals in mind, or does she really believe whatever brainwashing they're sure to inflict on her?

    One of my predictions for the second half of the season is that the Doctor is going to set up his own Xanatos Gambit to counter Eyepatch Lady's, so I do hope we get some sense of the timeline.

  47. Rumantic says:

    That would be helpful for me πŸ™‚

  48. hassibah says:

    I like this episode a lot. I'm not gonna lie, I never read anybody's theories but that doesn't change the fact that revealing a major character is the child of another major character is just about the most unoriginal twist you can ever have in sci-fi/fantasy, but I still like this episode so much because it has all the things in new Doctor Who that make me like Doctor Who-it was fun, had a halfway decent plot and minor characters I was actually interested in and cared about-and honestly I haven't really been able to say that this season outside of the Gaiman ep. I really don't ask for much!

    I wish they'd developed that soldier from the forest more though-or at least I hope they will and it's not one of those random things they just put on the show and don't explain. And while it's good to see some more gay characters (Moff: some more brown characters would be nice, too) the whole time watching them interacting I was kind of wondering why they can't write Amy and Rory like that, and why this season people seem to think "development"=having them sitting around being angsty. I don't get it, and I don't like what this season is doing to Amy in particular.

  49. enigmaticagentscully says:

    Oh, but weren't these two just freaking awesome??
    I swear, the second this episode ended I was all 'must…draw…fanart…'

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  50. thefireandthehearth says:

    IDGAF what anyone else says, I loved this episode and the reveal.

    <img src=""&gt;

    No, seriously. I hadn't even considered that River was Rory and Amy's baby, though when I heard that the baby's name was "Melody Pond", I started to wonder.

    AND MY RIDICULOUS THEORY WAS SORT-OF RIGHT! Okay, it wasn't the Silence who were modifying Amy and Rory's baby, it wasn't to help fly a spaceship, and I definitely didn't expect Rory + Amy = River . But I was kind of right in that someone was building the time vortex-addled baby into a Time Lord. This is so amazing for me, because I never ever guess this shit right. I'm still bouncing, fuck yeah.

    There were lots of little things that I liked about this episode- Amy talking about the Last Centurion, Rory being gorgeous and kickass, the nurse Sontaran realizing that dying in battle kind of sucks, and Swashbuckle Victorian Crimefighting Interspecies Lesbians. Seriously, can we have an episode devoted to Madame Vastra and Jenny? I would like that very much. River calling the Doctor out on his bullshit was appreciated as well. I love the man, but god he needs to be called out.

    I'm curious to see how they're going to handle the Doctor/River relationship. I really don't want any Twilight-level nonsense in my DW, but I'm optimistic. And it doesn't seem like they're going that route, so hey.

    Fun fact- apparently, Moffat wanted John Barrowman to appear, but he was unavailable because Torchwood. I really wish Jack Harkness had shown up, because that would have made it more awesome.

    Question to the group- so how do we think this is comparing to a corresponding two-part episode in Ten's run, "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End"? Both share some similarities- they're essentially a Crisis Crossover with lots of surprises. I suppose that it's not fair to compare them yet, seeing as the second part of this arc hasn't come out yet, but I'm liking this one better already. It's less bogged down by cameos (though I will admit that I adored the ever-loving hell out of SUDDENLY, SPACE PIRATES).

    I have no idea how I'm going to survive until September.

    Also, "Let's Kill Hitler"? WHAT.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Question to the group- so how do we think this is comparing to a corresponding two-part episode in Ten's run, "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End"?

      I was just listening to the guys from 'Radio Free Skaro' and I pretty much agree with them – in many ways it feels a lot like an RTD-written episode, but I think it's done much better.
      Like you said, THIS is how you do cameos properly. The space pirates are there, being awesome, but they don't take away from the actual story.

      So yeah, I think I prefer this one so far. But we'll see in September I guess! oh god it's so far awayyyy…

      • thefireandthehearth says:

        'Radio Free Skaro'? I've never heard of that- is it a podcast? I always need more Doctor Who to feed my craving addiction hunger obsession interest.

        And I hadn't thought about this being like an RTD episode, though you're right, it's got that Rusty Epic Story feel. It's just grating on me less than "The Stolen Earth" did- mostly because the cameos are less intrusive.

    • KVogue says:

      I have a feeling that Madame Vastra will appear again at least, because unless her debt is something having to do with Hungry Earth/Cold Blood. Sexy could have just known to take him to Madame Vastra and the source of her debt is something the Doctor has yet to experience. This is what I will tell myself at least, because I also want more Victorian crime fighting interspecies lesbians.

      Oh I really wish that Jon had been free. I hope that even just once we get an interaction between Captain Jack and River. That would be off the charts of awesomeness. I'd even take an adorable gif of Jon and Alex being amazing.

      As for 'Let's Kill Hitler', I am genuinely excited. If it didn't come after this episode I would be hoping for it to be full of cheesy, campy glory. I'm interested to see where they go with it, since I doubt it's a literal title.

      • thefireandthehearth says:

        I have a feeling that Madame Vastra will appear again at least, because unless her debt is something having to do with Hungry Earth/Cold Blood. Sexy could have just known to take him to Madame Vastra and the source of her debt is something the Doctor has yet to experience. This is what I will tell myself at least, because I also want more Victorian crime fighting interspecies lesbians.

        Please let this be true. Or let them have their own TV show- I would watch those two fight crime more than I ever did Torchwood.

        As for Barrowman… I really want to see Jack's interactions with Eleven. He was flirty-friends with Nine, their was a weird power balance with Ten… how does he behave around this one? Jack hits on him, obviously, but I want to know more!

        "Let's Kill Hitler" is just such a beautifully ridiculous phrase that I have to love it.

        • Helena says:

          Her debt was vaguely explained, something about trying to avenge her sister on some 'perfectly innocent tunnel-diggers' or something. But yes she NEEDS to show up again or I will cry.

          Also: if there is any episode title perfect for the return of Cap'n Jack to Who, 'Let's Kill Hitler' is IT.

          • Helena says:

            What I wanted that was missed was the others' debts, especially Nurse!Sontaran. Why in hell does a SONTARAN owe the Doctor??? MUST KNOW. Kind of curious about Dorium, too. Oh, and the Judoon. Speaking of whom, WHY NO JUDOON SPEAK. I EFFING LOVE JUDOON SPEAK. AND I WANTED TO HEAR ELEVEN GO 'FLO GRO SNO BLO WO FO MO DO' AND SO ON. No fair, Moffat, no fair!

    • whatsername says:

      The Stolen Earth/Journey's End parallels occurred to me too, but I went the other way with it from you. ST/JE had me so epically invested and fulfilled because it contained all these characters I CARED about IN ONE ROOM for once! That was so beautiful, and I felt like RTD did a really good job weaving that together without it seeming awkward or forced.

      This felt like a really, really, REALLY, watered down version of that. I just wasn't that invested, though I loved Madame Vastra and her "maid"/companion Jenny; I hope they come back, that would turn them into characters I WOULD be really invested in.

      It's possible Jack's presence would have stolen the show but I think he would have helped my underwhelmed-ness, I would have been really into what he made of these new companions and his interactions with his third incarnation of The Doctor not to mention the one person in the room who knew Tennant's incarnation too. Maybe the break until September will mean Jack can pop up before this series is through though, that'd make me very happy: <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

  51. kartikeya200 says:

    Me too. There are an awful lot of ginormous hints in this episode that this is still to come, mostly coming from Lorna (I have this nagging suspicion the Doctor visiting her world wasn't actually a good thing for them), but also from how the clerics and Eyepatch Lady behave. And River showing up seemingly specifically to slap him in the face with it.

  52. enigmaticagentscully says:

    Hey, did anyone else wonder how the headless monks were doing the Attack Prayer chant if they, y'know, don't have any heads?

  53. kartikeya200 says:

    I never really saw her as interested in the baby at all. She was interested in Amy because Amy is the Doctor's companion, and it's established that Lorna really wants to meet the Doctor. All of her focus is on Amy throughout. (and there are some interesting parallels between the two brought up in that conversation).

    She sews the thing for Amy. Sure, it has the baby's name on it, but that's because, as she explains, it has cultural significance. Amy's losing her kid, and in Lorna's culture, one of these things is supposed to make sure your child always comes home.

  54. thefireandthehearth says:


    I've just realized something. Remember in "The Pandorica Opens", how River didn't know who Rory was? As her father, he's part of her personal timestream. When he was erased from time, she wouldn't recognize him.

    Okay, maybe this is ridiculous. But it's Doctor Who, so that's par for the course.

    • calimie says:

      It's so sad! I'm glad she has her dad back now.

    • Shay_Guy says:

      That did occur to me.

    • When he was erased from time, why wasn't SHE erased from time? Time Lord powers?

      • thefireandthehearth says:

        I think it's the same reason Amy still existed though her parents had been erased, the same reason the Atraxi hadn't destroyed Earth even though Rory and thus his cell phone were erased, and the same reason the world wasn't destroyed because the Doctor was erased. The space-time continuum/the universe/what-have you bent to compensate for the losses through the crack.

    • nanceoir says:

      I think it's pretty obvious that River's and the Doctor's timestreams aren't in a one-to-one reverse trajectory. Perhaps River in "The Pandorica Opens" doesn't have any memories of her parents (or just her father?), and it's after that point that she learns about her past and finds out who her parents are (or sees pictures of them or puts the pieces together or something).

      Or she's very good at compartmentalizing information within her head.

      • thefireandthehearth says:

        That's definitely possible, too. I'm still not exactly clear on what a "personal timeline" is within the context of this ridiculous show.

      • drippingmercury says:

        IA about their timestreams; I've never understood the one-to-one reversal idea that lots of people have. Obviously people think this because of River's "back to front, firsts to lasts" dialogue in The Impossible Astronaut, but I never took that literally. Just given what we know happens in TIA (that River meets Dr.1103 and then Dr.909 in short order, while having past events in common with one Doctor and not the other) contradicts the idea of completely reversed, linear timestream progression. Although there is probably a general reversed-timestream trend, I don't think their meetings are in a regular chronological order one way or the other. Even when you don't consider aspects the latest episode revealed/implied (that Dr.909 met infant River at Demon's Run, or at least a flesh avatar of her, and the fact that child!River saw Dr.909 in the warehouse and possibly the orphanage, as well as how it was probably child!River who shot Dr.1103 on the beach), I think it's clear the pair aren't back to front and the diaries are necessary.

        • FlameRaven says:

          Exactly. If their relationships were exactly back-to-front, they wouldn't have any need for those diaries.

  55. kartikeya200 says:

    Also fair! That's just my impression of the interaction between them.

  56. thefireandthehearth says:

    I think you've got a good point about how Jack, as an established character, would have weighed down the plot with his backstory. As a fan favorite and a semi-important character, it would have been tough to just throw him in their without any explanation. This episode managed to avoid the baggle that comes with most cameo-filled stories, and Jack probably wouldn't have helped.

    But I do hope we get to see Eleven and Jack together one day.

    • Bonnie says:

      While I agree with NB that Jack may have messed up the story dynamics I must admit in the team up montage I was like ' and this is where he picks up Jack right? Hey that blue guy was implied to have met Jack at one point this obviously means Jack? And no.'
      He may not have fit with the episode but by golly I wanted him there.

      However jackless episode was still flawless.

  57. thefireandthehearth says:

    I think Captain Avery and his son showing up surprised me more than the River reveal. I mean, "Black Spot" was such a filler episode that I wasn't expecting another reference to it. Then again, I thought that everyone was ignoring "Victory of the Daleks", and then the Spitfires showed up…

    • Shay_Guy says:

      Having not seen "Victory of the Daleks" in full, I had to look up who "Danny Boy" was.

  58. Kaybee42 says:

    I know a lot of people are a bit squicked out by the fact that the doctor has held baby Melody/ River in his arms, when she was a baby and has flirted and kissed her as an adult. But I'm, kind of, not? Partly, I think, because he held the baby AFTER he's flirted with River, and also partly because (I'm sure someone else will have mentioned it) Emma is one of my favourite books and Mr Knightley is my favourite of Austen's heros…
    (For people who've not read it, he is much older than Emma and even mentions having held her in his arms as a baby. Which when I first read it, and a few times after that, I was MAJORLY squicked out. But not any more πŸ™‚ )

    • Openattheclose says:

      I LOVE Emma! Yeah, he was 16 years older than her IIRC. Mmm Mr. Knightley. I wasn't really squicked out by that situation and I'm not really squicked out by the Doctor holding River. For me, it depends on the relationship he has with her as a child. If she views him as a godfather/uncle it's going to get creepy, but that doesn't seem to be the direction her storyline is headed in.

      • muddledstyle says:

        My impression is that, even if they *do* have an uncle/niece type of relationship (and I am pretty sure that, knowing what she has at the very least strongly implied about her adult relationship with him, he will have the sense to avoid that now!), it's still very much going to be her developing feelings for him and him being reluctant due to No Srsly This Is A Bit Wrong (but eventually her breaking down his defences), rather than him 'grooming' her or something ridiculous like that.

  59. __Jen__ says:

    I have to say that I love that the antagonists (Kovarian/the church/the Silence/whoever else is involved) of this arc aren't just OTT villains for villains sake- that can be fun, don't get me wrong, but it's nice to have enemies that seem to have goals beyond simple (or absurdly complex) wide-scale destruction. They are a challenge to the Doctor and seem to be a reaction and natural consequence of his positioning himself as a "lonely god", which is nice to see. Beyond their roles as foes to be conquered, they also propel the Doctor's characterization in interesting directions. I just love it.

    • hassibah says:

      YES, spot on, that bit was way more interesting than all the soap-opera-y stuff going on with the Doctor's companions. I loved the idea when it was half-assedly brought up at last season's epic finale but I was totally bummed it was just a plot point. Here's hoping we'll actually get a developed villain and find out more about them because it could be brilliant if done right. At the same time I just hope Amy/Rory have a decent role to play cause I feel like they're in arrested development and are just plot points now :/

      • hassibah says:

        no id YOUR session has expired >:(

      • drippingmercury says:

        "I just hope Amy/Rory have a decent role to play cause I feel like they're in arrested development"

        OK, I know what you mean by Amy/Rory arrested development but all I can think of is TV show crossovers: "The story of a time traveling family who lost everything and the one Doctor who had no choice but to keep them all together."

        • __Jen__ says:

          I would watch that show EVERY DAY. I can only imagine what it would do with bananas.

          • drippingmercury says:

            I KNOW, RIGHT? My brain won't stop:

            "It's a banana, Doctor, what could it cost? Ten dollars?" "Small price to pay for a good source of potassium!"

            … I guess Dorium "blue" himself early, before the episode.

            Or maybe a good man went to war and then prematurely "shot his wad", so to speak, on what was supposed to be a "dry [demons] run" – and now it's his darkest hour.

            It's not Madame Kavorian's flesh baby TRICK, it's her ILLUSION.

            … an extra sonic screwdriver! But wherever did it come from?!

            OK, now I'm conflating loads of AD and DW episodes/quotes/characters but that's probably just because of the sheer awesomeness of this crossover.

            I CAN'T STOP.

            • hassibah says:

              I could not upvote this enough.

            • __Jen__ says:

              DON'T EVER STOP.

              I just spat partially chewed cookie all over my screen when I read the Dorium line.

              I just really need to hear everyone in the cast say, "I've made a huge mistake." It can be Eleven's "I'm sorry, I'm so so sorry." πŸ˜€

              Poor George Michael would be so confused by the relationships in the TARDIS. They'd all fit right in.

        • hassibah says:

          My choice of words is not accidental!

          I need this in my internets, in video form..

      • __Jen__ says:

        Agreed about Amy/Rory. Can't we have it all, writers???

  60. The Rules of the Cracks would—wait, no, that would be a terrible band name.

  61. thefireandthehearth says:

    Neat! Thanks for the link. πŸ™‚

  62. banana kush says:

    anyone see end credits and the buried skeleton with a sonic?

  63. miabuterflie says:

    I said it in the liveblog and I'll say it again – the twist was not as expected to all people as everyone here thought. I watched it with my family, who should know better. My dad said she was the doctor's mother. My sister guessed she was the doctor's daughter. My mum thought she was future doctor. I was all "Seriously guys, do you NOT GET IT?!?" but they really didn't. So I was not disappointed by the twist-that-wasn't-a-twist, although the level of secrecy they showed on confidential was silly. A husband/wife who both work on the show and the husband knows but the wife doesn't? Fake endings in read-throughs? Eep.

    Doctor Who is a giant jigsaw puzzle, and we don't even have all the edges. Thus said my father.

    • drippingmercury says:

      I think people who are invested in Who fandom (or any fandom) tend to forget the show isn't just for them. I'm fairly new to fandom (I saw classic who, mostly Tom Baker, as a kid, and have only started seriously watching NuWho/engaging in any fandom since Mark started reviewing it) and I've gotten the impression that Whovians tend to forget how large the show's audience is. Average TV watchers, who don't have the level of investment in the show that drives many toward internet discussions, don't analyze and speculate over everything in the way those involved online comms do. I think it's important to keep this in mind when considering a show: the twists and reveals we internet folk saw coming a mile away probably took much of the audience by surprise, and it's only afterwards that the general audience is supposed to piece together all the subtle hints fandom had been poring over since last season.
      At least, that's the impression I've gotten – online, people are saying "blah blah, knew that was coming, w/ev" but average fans, like your family and mine, had AMAZING BRAIN EXPLOSIONS because of the last couple episodes.

      I guess I'm just glad that overall NuWho has been written for the general audience and not the fan base the writers, as members themselves, are so familiar with.

      • miabuterflie says:

        Exactly! In a way I'm glad that my family hadn't guessed the twist, because their brain explosions reminded me of why the show is so popular. Overanalysis can kill a show, y'know. I realised that for myself. And the reveal was done in such a clever way as to satisfy even the Whovians. I'm not disappointed. The reboot of Doctor Who was not done simply "For the fans," it was to introduce a new generation to Who.

      • kartikeya200 says:

        This. (My family was surprised too, when they got around to watching it last night)

        It's not just Who of course. Same thing happened with Harry Potter, especially the last book. 'Oh, that's so obvious, we guessed that'. Well sure, you've been speculating for years about the outcome, bouncing ideas off of each other and pouring over every bit of material. Of course a lot of people guessed it.

        A twist or a mystery has to have SOME clues lying around to pick up on after the fact, otherwise it's pretty poor writing and your audience will call bullshit. And even if the clues are so obscure that no one knows they're there, wild mass guessing in a large enough fandom pretty much guarantees someone's going to get it right.

  64. andreah1234 says:

    I have nothing to say that I haven't said before. It's just. GAH WHAT HAPPENED. I CANNOT COMPUTE.

    It was a good episode. It really was. I liked it, it had it's flaws but it was overall good. I am, however, waiting to see what Moffat is planning to do for the second half because to be honest I have no idea where this could go.

    Oh, and that has to be the best tease ever. MOTHERFUCKING HITLER. HOW IS IT GOING TO WORK.

    And there better be some fucking Amy-The Doctor "YOU CORRUPTED MY BABY GIRL. EXPLAIN BEFORE I ENDS YOU." talk. And Rory standing there torn between agreeing with her and being terrified. And then River teasing her parents about her sex life. It's just something she would do (and she has, but it's like a billion times more funny with them being aware and awkward about it).

  65. nanceoir says:


    Just a random thought rather than a theory, but to be on the safe side, let's call it theories. Anyway. Between discussions from last week and the teaser trailer (kind of spoilers, obviously) for the second half of the series, I noticed something with the sonic screwdriver in rewatching this episode today.

    When the Cybermen are all "INTRUDER! INTRUDER" and we have Amy's voiceover that sounds like she's talking about the Doctor but isn't, we see a hand with the sonic on the Cyber ship; I think it's safe to say that's Rory. When the Doctor has started his escape dressed as a Headless Monk, Lorna sees him using the sonic to get out of the room. Well, presumably it's the Doctor, since Lorna is trying to follow the Doctor and all; that'd be a cumbersome amount of layers for Rory, and his job when they got there was probably to get into position to stop Madam Kovarian from taking the baby.

    So, assuming that it was the Doctor in the monk's robes using the sonic, where did Rory get the sonic to open the room Amy's in? Because that's very definitely a sonic noise we hear, and I don't think there was time for the Doctor to meet up with Rory and give him the sonic. So… two sonics, yes? (Possibly three, depending on your take away from "The Almost People.")

    If that's the case, that both the Doctor and Rory have a sonic, that teaser trailer? *worries a lot about both the Doctor and Rory*

    • agrinningfool says:


      • nanceoir says:

        So… the theory my brother has about Rory and a course-correcting universe and a correlation between Rory and Charlie from Lost isn't going to help matters, is it?

        (Though, I should add that my brother's theory also includes a happy, if vague, ending for Amy and Rory, together.)

        *crosses fingers for a happy Rory-and-Amy ending*

    • kartikeya200 says:

      On rewatch, I think it's almost a total guarantee that's Rory with the sonic at the beginning, and not a randomly offscreen Doctor. Look very closely, you can see his cape swish past the screen right after.

  66. Pingback: The War You Dont See » Mark Watches 'Doctor Who': S06E07 Γ’β‚¬β€œ A Good Man Goes To War | Mark …

  67. arctic_hare says:

    This is an awesome comment and I love all the gifs. <3

  68. Hotaru_hime says:



    So I really liked seeing the brain in the leader Cyberman because it reminded us that the Cybermen are cyborgs, not robots. Very nice.
    What was also very nice was Rory being the motherfucking BAMF Centurion we all know him to truly be. Rory Williams, local nurse from Small Town, England. FUCK WITH HIS WIFE AND CHILD AND HE WILL IMPALE YOU ON HIS FUCKING SWORD AND THEN SHOOT YOU IN THE FACE AS EXPLOSIONS GO ON BEHIND HIM.
    After that, everything goes all "OH MY GOD WHAAAAAAAT" but I kind of knew that the baby was going to be River because her name was Melody Pond y'all, it's River Song backwards but the same. Her telling Rory it was her birthday was also a hint. So sad because River CLEARLY grows up in the future or some shit and that means… Rory and Amy don't raise her?! Because she is the girl in the astronaut suit, right?! RIGHT? I DON'T EVEN KNOW. WHAT DOES IT MEAN???????
    Weirdly, I felt this was an unusually Doctor-lacking episode, concerning the events.
    I want to know more about that Sontaran Nurse. I mean, everyone wants to know about the Silurian/Lady lesbians, but I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE LACTATING SONTARAN.
    I might have issues.
    I wasn't sad when that Fat Zhaan died (the blue guy, for those of you that are living life without Farscape, what is wrong with you) because I didn't like him. But shit those Headless Monks!! Can you say Sith Lords with Red Lightsabers?!?! I MEAN REALLY MOFF.
    Eyepatch Lady. Stuff of nightmares.
    Lorna Bucket! Poor child, 30 seconds with the Doctor and she spends the rest of her life searching for him, even when the word "Doctor" becomes a word for "Warrior" and not healer. (I had a bit of a tiff there because the title of "doctor" was for people with Ph.Ds and all. MDs didn't come about 'til long after.)
    The worst part, of course, was Melody turning into melted flesh in Amy's arms. Poor Amy!!! Already her hormones are crazily out of whack (that's not ableist, right? I'm referring to hormones that are legitimately physiologically imbalanced) and then her baby melts in her arms.
    Also, what happened to the Space Pirates? Bonneville and Toby showed up for like two seconds and then NEVERMORE
    Also, if a girl I was known to snog a lot and be really coy and throw lots of innuendo around with turned out to be the baby of my current companions, I wouldn't think it was lovely and exciting and run away in my blue box. I would be like "EEEEEEEWWWWW OH MY GOD EEEEEWWWWWW, NOTHING ELSE CAN EVER HAPPEN AGAIN."
    Lastly, the crib. Everyone is saying, oh Susan's crib or wondering how it got there.
    I'll tell you how, the Doctor used to go to Gallifrey every so often, even got voted the President. You don't think he had a storage locker or a house or something where he had stuff and when he realized that President shit wasn't gonna work out he didn't empty that shit into the TARDIS?
    I want to know who that cradle held and who rocked it. I want to know. At the same time, I don't, because that will make the Doctor more known, more human and I want him to be mysterious and alien.

  69. Sadie says:

    Something else I'm starting to wonder about is Rory's changing role in everything. We know that new series companions have a habit of being oh-so-ordinary but still super!special!snowflakes who always end up saving the universe in one way or another, and Amy had her era of that treatment in Season 5 (not to complain, though, I genuinely like her). My point being, that's how the regular companions tend to be framed, but very few male/recurring members of the TARDIS team, with the possible exception of Jack, have wound up being portrayed that way. However, is anyone else getting the feeling that Rory is slowly edging Amy out of her place in the ~*amazingly magical*~ spotlight? This episode featured Amy as a regular girl caught up in huge events, while Rory was the unstoppable force striding across galaxies and bending starfleets to his will. His scene at the beginning of the episode as he confronts the legion of Cybermen and stands framed against the fiery explosion of hundreds of space ships was worthy of Rose "I can see every atom of your existence" Tyler. Circumstances were definitely different, but the vibe was similar, and I for one think it's freaking awesome that a male companion is finally being cast in this light. Centurion Rory at the top of his form is almost twice as old as the Doctor, and has seen and experienced things that the nurse from Leadworth could never have imagined. It may just be me, but if it could be handled in a way that wouldn't involve Amy getting hurt/killed, I'd really like to see the Doctor and Rory traveling on their own for a while. Considering the person Rory is fast becoming, just the two of them traveling together would be an extremely interesting dynamic.

  70. Kaitlyn says:

    Upon rewatching this episode, I've realized that the scene between Rory and River in the beginning is MY FAVORITE DOCTOR WHO SCENE. OF. ALL. TIME.
    She looks so happy to see him when she tells him it's her birthday, and babbles on to him about what she did that day just like a little girl talking to her daddy and it's more adorable than I know what to do with.

  71. hassibah says:

    Yeah that is how I feel. So long as River spends NO TIME with the Doctor as a child other than shooting him I will feel the same way. Most important thing to me is that he knew her as an adult FIRST and spent a lot of time with her before he ever saw her as a child/infant(and when he did he had no idea who she was anyways.) With the show being about what it is, it seems really likely they'll skip over her growing up entirely but we'll just have to wait and see I guess.

    That said, I do think Moffat's tendency for the Doctor to meet his companions as children is getting kind of tired and he should try something else.

  72. MissC_93 says:

    I'm still undecided about this episode. I think I'll need to re-watch it a couple of times, and maybe even watch the second part of the series before I make up my mind.
    At first I was extremely underwhelmed by The Big Reveal, probably because I've seen everyone guessing this all series and it was a theory I found a bit too obvious and silly. The more I think about it, though, I'm starting to like the idea more, and actually find it kind of sweet.
    I'm also not sure about the whole Doctor/River relationship just yet. I'm sure it won't be anything like (shudder) Breaking Dawn, but it does remind me slightly of The Time Traveller's Wife, which also gave me very creepy vibes when I read it. Again, I'll have to watch the rest of the series before I make up my mind, and I hope it doesn't go too far into squicky territory. I the meantime, though, until there's evidence of Extreme Creepiness, I think I'm still alright with the ship.
    As for the episode itself, apart from the twists and moments of complete awesomeness and adorableness, did anything actually happen? Regarding the big battle, and collecting the random side characters at the start, not to mention the reappearance of the pirates, it really just felt like a bunch of Stuff thrown together pointlessly, and that part of the storyline seemed really detached from the other bits.
    Just a little side note; was that crib the cutest thing ever, or what??
    Okay, I'm really loving the idea a couple of people threw around last week about there being three (now two) Doctors. When you use the sonic screwdriver thing as evidence, it sort of does make sense. We saw one screwdriver get destroyed with Ganger1 at the end of the last episode, and there were definitely two more in this episode. So I'm thinking that there is still OriginalDoctor and a GangerDoctor2 running around. I also think that the Doctor in this episode was the ganger, rather than the original. I'm probably completely wrong, but I think this because of that line, "I'm angry, that's new" or something. No, it isn't new, we've definitely seen the Doctor angry before, so maybe it's a hint that it isn't the same Doctor? Maybe? I don't know.
    With this theory, I also think it will come into play with the Doctor's death at the start of the series. However! Rather than GangerDoctor2 being the one that's killed, I think it really was the original, and GD2 will take his place. Nothing wrong with that; they're both the same person…right, guys? This idea would also explain why the TARDIS was missing at the start of the first episode – the other Doctor had it.
    Okay, this is the longest comment I've ever written, and my head is hurting, so I should probably stop now. I'd love to see what everyone else thinks, though!

  73. Reddi says:

    They purposely attacked his friends– so are they, like Angel Bob and Crew, trying to make him angry? If they get him angry he'll make mistakes?

    • kartikeya200 says:

      It's possible! Or really, Eyepatch Lady (I know she has a name now, I just remember Eyepatch Lady better) just seems to really really really have a personal thing against the Doctor. She, at least, wants to piss him off/hurt him. Whether or not there's an additional motive beyond that, I guess we'll find out.

  74. VicarPants says:

    …so…what if River's "I'm quite the screamer…" was a cheeky double-entendre but actually just a reference to her being A WAILING INFANT in the doctor's near future?


    • Claire says:


      Because I totally thought it was a joke about screamy wimminz companions.

  75. kartikeya200 says:

    Theories Abound

    Well, not really a full fledged theory, but mind rambling. In The Pandorica Opens, River's alone in the TARDIS (I haven't seen the Tennant River episodes, but I presume there isn't a point there where she's alone in the TARDIS, is there? So this would be the first time in the Doctor's timeline that this happens).

    Instead of going to Stonehenge, the TARDIS apparently takes her to the date the time cracks began (and it seems no coincidence that, if the Doctor's guess is right, not only is the day of Amy and Rory's wedding it may very well be the date of River's conception). And then it apparently gets hijacked again and won't leave that point in time, but instead decides to go kaboom, with the crack appearing in the TARDIS again and the creepy voice saying 'Silence will fall'. (cont)

    • kartikeya200 says:

      So, here's the thing. River's reactions seem genuine, she certainly seems to think the TARDIS is being hijacked and not doing what she wants it to do (and she has no reason to be putting on a show when she's alone in there). Except River's (seemingly) alone in the TARDIS. And now we know the goal of Eyepatch Lady and friends is to use River as a weapon against the Doctor, and there's strong evidence that River is ALSO the girl in the astronaut suit, who was with the Silents. The Silents who told Amy she would 'help bring the Silence', but that her role was almost over.

      Was the TARDIS hijacked by an outside force? Or is River the one who actually caused the explosion, albeit presumably without realizing what she was doing?

  76. Claire says:

    You basically just said all if my thoughts minus all the swearing and "STOP COMPARING STEVEN MOFFAT TO STEPHANIE MEYER YOU IMBECILES"

  77. knut_knut says:

    don't remember if it was here or on tumblr but someone said all those Doctor and River adventures it was just a Godfather taking his Goddaughter out for a fun trip! and that REALLY creeped me out o_O

    • Karen says:

      To be honest, I hadn't thought of it before, but I much prefer the idea of the Doctor being River's fairy godfather to the idea of a romantic relationship between them. But then all the sexual innuendo between them becomes super creeptastic. Unless of course we can just handwave that away by saying that River just likes being flirty and teasing the Doctor like that.

      • onlysatellites says:

        I think the smoochfest in Day of the Moon disproved that pretty well. Because it was clear that it was a regular thing for them, or at least for River.

  78. Meenakshi says:

    Yes, I also repeated the last ten minutes over and over. And did you notice that the Doctor said 'Hello' to River Song, once he understood her identity was exactly the way Sexy said 'Hello' to him, in the Doctor's Wife. Nice homage. But the best part was the cute little noise the Doctor made when he poked his around the Tardis door. Matt Smith is just the best.

  79. monkeybutter says:

    I dunno, but I demand fanart.

    If Matt Smith can walk around like this

    <img src=""&gt;

    then anything is possible.

    (quick, quick, someone cap the Doctor realizing Melody's made of Flesh and add "I've made a huge mistake" text!)

  80. aleja23t says:

    I just can't shake off this feeling that the Moff is luring us into a false sense of security.


    For some reason, I believe that River is lying about being the Pond baby. It is just too easy of a solution. What is this is all a plot of the Monks and Madame Kovarian or someone else entirely? What if River is a "double agent", for lack of a better word, and she spends the rest of her sentence at Stormcage finding a way to prevent, somehow in killing "a good man"? Maybe by having done that all the events, we've seen her in "Silence in the Library, Flesh and Stone, Pandorica Opens" happen because she kills the Doctor and her penance is to make sure he comes to her and saves the day? Or is that too reminiscent of "Turn Left?"

    Or maybe she is some kind of weapon but she falls for her 'target, our lovely Doctor and turns good.

    I just can't/won't trust the Moff would take the easy route and that the second half of the series is going to have us begging things were really all unicorn cupcakes and sunshine happy families.

    • agrinningfool says:

      …And because River is from the future as far as we know, she could find out what Amy and Rory named their baby, about the Forest Gamma's language and name herself after the child? And create a whole elaborate ruse? I would not put it past Moffat – Not because I feel like I know his writing style but because this episode did seem "easy". I agree with that.

      I'm not one to theorize.. I just don't pay attention to anything and pretty much watch each episode only one time so.. Yeah I'm just going to agree. I can't elaborate or answer any of these hypothetical questions. :/

  81. Kaybee42 says:

    Hey, hey lets not fight here! They can BOTH take their shirts off! see- compromise! Everybody wins (lives?) πŸ™‚

  82. whatsername says:

    I have to disagree about throwing the episode out of balance. I personally felt the episode WAS out of balance specifically because in rounding up all these useful people The Doctor DIDN'T go get Jack? Gimme a break.

    But then I've been waiting for Jack's appearance with Matt Smith's Doctor since the start of this season and getting progressively irritated that it doesn't seem to be in sight. I'd honestly started thinking that Moffat was going to write his series' with no continuity to the past ones (with the exception of River of course, HIS character…) and it was pissing me off. LOL.

    I feel better now that I know Moffatt actually realized the Jack Harkness-sized hole in this episode, though.

    • onlysatellites says:

      He's mentioned that in interviews, too, especially when people have referred to Jack as being one of RTD's pet characters, as Moffat actually was the first person to write Jack. But I think with Torchwood and Who helmed by different people, it'd be really bizarre to reconcile canon as they're in such different places now, and RTD orchestrated the crossovers rather beautifully.



      • whatsername says:

        Hmm, I don't know. In my view, and I mean obvs we'll have to watch Miracle Day to know for sure (can't help but noticing it's airing in between the parts of this Who season…) but it seems to me that Torchwood still lives in the Whoniverse, I'm not sure how much would have to be reconciled for Jack to make an appearance in Who be a reasonable one.

  83. whatsername says:


    I was satisfied but not jumping up and down with glee about this episode. But mostly what I want to ask the masses (and in looking for it in the main posts but not every thread it doesn't seem to have been asked) is:

    If River is Melody and Melody was the girl in the space suit and Melody can thus regenerate and is part Time Lord…

    Why the EFF didn't River regenerate at the end of The Silence in the Library???

    I mean am I just totally missing something there, or what?

    (Side note: "The SILENCE In the Library"? Interesting name choice being as spacesuit!Melody is hooked up with the Silence? hmmm).

  84. Jaxx_zombie says:

    So straight out of the gate we get Rory dressed as a Centurion. Rory is basically being a BAMF throughout this whole bit with the Cybermen.
    When we get to Rory and River, the fact that she yet again hinted about her sex life made it entertaining.

    Okay now this needs a whole paragraph plain and simple. How many times had River just spouted out her sex life in front of Rory and Amy… If I was them I would find this a bit awkward. Not only that, BUT Amy kissed her daughter's…. I don't really know what to label him at this point…. um… I guess I'll call him beau. I would find that to be even more awkward….. I feel like River is the ultimate troll at this point, because she does things just to mess with them later in their timeline.

    Oh and can we please have the crime fighting victorian interspecies lesbians be a tv show spin off, please!!!! I would honestly watch that, because that would be very entertaining!!

    Now this "Kill Hitler" business is going to be interesting, because many many people have tried and obviously it didn't work for them…

  85. trash_addict says:

    About 15 minutes into the episode after Melody's name was revealed I sat there saying 'OH. OH. I GET IT. HERRRRP'. I was totally proud of myself for being anywhere ahead of the twist before it was actually revealed…even though I'd read the theory on here several times.

    I guess I was therefore pretty prepared for it because the possibilty had occurred to me before, but I'm VERY interested to see how it will effect the Team TARDIS dynamic. September! Argh!

    Apart from that…not a huge fan of the episode. I don't like the rushed nature of finales, but there was some cool character stuff. Roranicus Pond is pretty much king of my heart (and I love that he just went along with the Doctor's suggestion of the Centurion outfit).

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  87. Next.Companion says:

    OMG is the little girl RIVER/DOCTOR'S daughter? The Doctor doesn't think River can regenerate, maybe she can't, but maybe their daughter could… :p

  88. aleja23t says:

    On a side note: Cybermen

    I will be honest, I was kinda thrilled that the Cybermen were not the focus of the episode at all. This is the way that I think that, for now pleasedontkillme FOR NOW, that the Cybermen and Daleks should be introduced/used. I feel that every new series wants to bring back these enemies with a BANG and sometimes it just doesn't work (i.e: Skittle Daleks).

    I don't know if it's because I started watching WHO with the 2005 series but these two enemies just do not hold as much fear and anxiety in my heart. ESP after having watched the bedazzled, glitter-fab Cybermen of the 70's. DNW.

    So applause to the Moff, for keeping them present but not central and for keeping the Daleks at bay until next series. This leaves room for him to bring to life more childhood terrors. What's next Moff? Clowns? Dust bunnies? Air?!

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  90. Karen says:

    Really? You didn't know the baby was a flesh? Sorry, I did. River? Hubby called that one as soon as he saw the "Melody" on the nursery cot. His words, "Melody Pond = River Song, Oh, brother" I am one of those who is not impressed at all with Moffat or this season at all.

  91. hassibah says:

    Oh dudes I don't even care River's still awesome. It figures we'd start agreeing on the very last day. It's like _Jen_ said a few comments down, I'm way more interested in the villains than anything else in this ep and I'm so glad they picked up the thread from last season with people challenging the Doctor about his ego and how much he fucked up the world-ie villains with an actual reason to be mad at him. I just hope they don't half-ass their story. We'll have to wait and see I guess.
    I'm way too excited about the next episode. But then I also was way too excited about the Winston Churchill episode and that was kind of a letdown :/

    I don't even know where we are in the Golden Compass I'm like a week behind on those posts so I'm not sure what's been revealed and what hasn't yet. I need to get on that..

    • BradSmith5 says:

      Oh no, you're a week behind!? You're missing all of my fabricated controversy––HURRY.

      Yeah, they'd better not dismiss the villain's motive, the same way I dismissed ever watching "Firefly." Exploding TARDIS! Remember guys, we still need a reason for that!

      Man, and after I hurried by butt off, NOW British TV decides to do the whole summer break thing. When did they start this!? Ah well, let's just lower our expectations to make the wait easier. Let's see: the Hitler episode will probably just be him and a Delek arguing for thirty minutes. "We're the master race!" "Nuh-uh!" "Am too!" Then the Dalek shoots him. πŸ˜‰

      • hassibah says:

        Oh man there was controversy? I meant to start shit by pretending to get enraged at totally random things in Moffat's scripts since so many people love to complain about them, but somehow I just forgot. Why you gotta be trolling me though? Is this cause of the movie? Cause seriously. Show is so much better. What else are you going to do for 4 months?
        Nah it's cool watch what you want.

        Hahaha I think I found it. People were really serious about hypothetical daemon questions! Wherabouts in the book are we, have we passed the halfway point?

        • BradSmith5 says:

          While I wait, I will read all of "Hark! A Vagrant." Perhaps I will look at ONE episode of "Firefly." But only to silence all of my "YOU GOTTA WATCH IT BRAD" friends. Which is like you and two other people. I don't even talk to the other guy, really, ha,ha,ha.

          In the book, we just discovered that Lyra was kidnapped and taken to Bolvangar! Zounds! Tune in next time for chapter fifteen: "Coulter's Revenge" or "A Good Bear Goes to War!" πŸ˜›

          • hassibah says:

            Yeah, I should probably shut up about it so you aren't totally disappointed.
            Hark! A Vagrant is a joy.

            • BradSmith5 says:

              Ha,ha,ha. I was reading reviews on "The Webcomic Overlook," when one of the links sent me to the comic that your icon was from. I may not know who all these guys are, but I like the short, absurd statements that make up the writing style.

              • hassibah says:

                Hah did you see the Aquaman ones? Yeah I'm Canadian and kind of a history geek but I mean all you really need to appreciate H!AV is to like cussing and butt jokes. She used to do these awesome personal comics about her younger self and her family but I think she might have took those down when the site got massively popular.

                There's a delusional part of my brain that imagines me and Kate Beaton are BFFs because we are both roughly the same age and from the same country and I feel like I should let her know whenever I find an awesome documentary about Lester B Pearson cause I'm creepy like that. At least on the astral plane, as Mark would say.

                • BradSmith5 says:

                  Cussing!? Butts!? Hassibah, this is high art we are talking about. Do not give any passer-bys false expectations. We are sophisticated. πŸ˜‰

                  I didn't find the ones about Aquaman yet, though. πŸ™

              • hassibah says:

                Aww I totally forgot to post her comic about Dr Who (which she drew without ever having seen it)

                Also, I don't know if you've seen the x-men movie yet but this girl drew a bunch of comics about it (spoilers, obviously)

                • BradSmith5 says:

                  Ha,ha,ha, to think I was that naive about Daleks, all those weeks ago! I wasn't going to watch the latest X-men, but I'd better go see it so that I can appreciate those fine comics. πŸ˜‰

  92. Karen says:

    Meh. Really. I'll be glad when Moffatt leaves. This was not mind blowing or surprising. I like Matt Smith and see "The Doctor" in him. Maybe time can be rewritten but it doesn't have to be. Making Who in your own image, SM doesn't make it better.

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  97. AndiBlac says:

    Besides this episode making me go from HIGH FIVING A MILLION ANGELS IN GLORY! To clutching my pillow in horror to absolute WHAT?!
    Did anyone else not laugh their face off with Samurai chick being all "Dude, you are so over uptight about discussing human sex, I'm trying not to embarrass you here."
    And of course the Doctor "BALLOONS!" and then the sheer horrified expression on the Doctor's face when he realizes "OMG! They had SEX! On my TARDIS! On their WEDDING NIGHT! EE GADS!"

  98. AndiBlac says:

    Omg I loved that part. "I thought I'd be cool"
    Yes you are Rory.
    Your the freaking Centurion, crying over his daughter.
    You deserve +100 Awesome points.

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