Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S06E13 – The Wedding of River Song

In the thirteenth and final episode of the sixth series of Doctor Who, the Doctor finally faces his death at Lake Silencio. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.

If you told me that you enjoyed “The Wedding of River Song,” that you found it fantastical, thrilling, and entertaining, that you were satisfied by the series arc, and that you love what series six has done with Eleven, I would agree with you. We could sit down over tea and discuss how much we love how series six turned against the Doctor, forced him to analyze his faults, and saw him confront how he truly treats companions.

If you told me that “The Wedding of River Song” was so pseudo-complex that it stopped making sense and became irritating, that it was a gigantic letdown of anticlimactic absurdity, and that there are so many questions left unanswered, I would agree with you. We could sit down over tea and talk about how Moffat’s series-long arc is nonsensical and that it felt rushed and simplistic, especially given how complicated it was supposed to be.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so conflicted about an episode of Doctor Who. I don’t normally read reviews of anything I am watching before I write my own. I like to keep my thoughts as separate as possible and not be influenced by what others think. This time was an exception, and I found myself reading thoughts and reviews on Tumblr, and nodding my head at nearly everything I read. The strange part? I was agreeing with CONTRADICTORY STATEMENTS from VARIOUS PEOPLE. I agree that “The Wedding of River Song” is a hot mess of plot that makes little sense once you give it a closer look. I agree that “The Wedding of River Song” was immensely entertaining. I agree with TOO MANY THINGS and I don’t know what Doctor Who has done to my head.

What I’ve liked about series six is the fact that the Doctor has had to face the entirety of his existence, to examine whether or not he is a force of good or a force of destruction in the universe. We’ve seen that more and more in the second half of series six, though the idea was thrust before us in “A Good Man Goes To War.” Is the Doctor a good person if his involvement in the lives of others leads to kidnapping, goo babies, lost children, and death? Does one cancel out the other? I think that “The Wedding of River Song” answered that question definitively for the Doctor, who learns from River that millions of souls want to fight to keep him alive. Yes, he has made some awful, arrogant mistakes, but on the whole, he is a force of good, and I love that it’s River who makes him see this.

This episode gives me a lot to like, and I mean that genuinely. History happens all at once, and what brief moments we get to see of that are hilariously weird and strange. Charles Dickens is on television! Pterodactyls are considered vermin! The War of the Roses! This is pulled off extremely well, especially in the sense that we see how cluttered the world is when everything happens at once. We also get yet another example of how talented Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan are when we see the aborted timeline’s version of those two. Rory in particular is like nothing we’ve ever seen. That moment when he tells Amy that the eyepatch has already started hurting him….oh my god my heart swelled.

The show also continue’s Eleven’s ability to be obtuse beyond belief; in this case, he gives Amy a brilliant monologue about the time they spent together and doesn’t even realize he’s holding a replica of the TARDIS. He is so dim sometimes I LOVE IT. And let’s not ignore that series six gave us AMY AND RORY, one of the best couples on television, and I was immensely satisfied with what we saw here in “The Wedding of River Song.”

But honestly, y’all. I just have a whole lot of questions.

QUESTIONS STILL REMAINING AFTER THE SERIES SIX FINALE
(Which is kind of ridiculous because didn’t Moffat say he’d answer all of them but one? that is a lie)

  • If the Doctor told River Song to look into his eye, so she could see his actual self inside the Teselecta, then what on earth did River whisper to him in “Silence in the Library”? Did the Doctor double lie and really tell her his name?
  • Why marry River Song? Okay, I do actually believe that he loves her (and holdfasting HHHNNNNGGGGG), but was that all just to get her to kiss him? Which is both an amazing and romantic thing and one of the silliest plot resolutions ever. At the same time. I mean…isn’t marriage a bit of a stretch just to get someone to touch you? Right?
  • Okay, if the Silence needed the Doctor’s death to repair time, and the Teselecta took his place, how exactly does that “trick” work? The touch seemed instantaneous, but how exact must it be? Wouldn’t it be easy to figure out that it wasn’t physically the Doctor?
  • What was the point of the weird lines to the Ganger Doctor at the end of that two-parter? Just a feint on Moffat’s part so that we might think the Ganger Doctor was the one to actually die?
  • WHY DID MADAME KOVARIAN HATE THE DOCTOR SO MUCH? I understand that The Silence as an organization wanted the Doctor’s end, but she had literally not a second of character development beyond I AM EVIL. And that would have been nice?
  • Okay, so…what’s the point of “creating” River Song? As I understand it, Madame Kovarian stole her from Amy and Rory in order to brainwash her to kill the Doctor. Now, that didn’t work out as planned, as we saw in “Let’s Kill Hitler.” There are problems with that story, too, but let’s just accept the idea that River was able to break that programming and she gave up her remaining regenerations in order to save the Doctor. I can roll with that. But then we see in “The Wedding of River Song” that all her brainwashing has absolutely no effect on anything. Madame Kovarian simply had her kidnapped and drugged, put in a suit that could control itself, and used that to kill the Doctor. Now, let me just put this idea out there and see if it works: COULDN’T YOU HAVE SKIPPED THE BRAINWASHING THING AND JUST KIDNAPPED ANYONE TO KILL THE DOCTOR. I mean IT MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. Am I missing something integral here? I genuinely think I might be. Was this just Madame Kovarian’s back-up plan in case the “Let’s Kill Hitler” River failed?
  • Could I never see a group of The Silence hanging from the ceiling ever again? I think I’d be entirely okay with this.
  • So why did the TARDIS explode? That makes two questions you’re not answering, Moffat.
  • Okay, doesn’t this whole episode sort of invalidate the Doctor’s journey towards finding out whether he is truly a good moral force? I’ll admit that it is entirely possible that this may be addressed in the future. I think the Doctor really is going to go into hiding and we’ll probably see more of that in the Christmas special and maybe in the Easter special next year. Maybe that’s what this is all about: the Doctor needs to take time away from everyone and stop intervening as much as he is. Still, the end of this episode gave me a funny feeling. Why take the Doctor on this journey of guilt and then just have him cleverly avoid death anyway?
  • Is that really the question? Part of me thought ARE YOU SERIOUS and then part of me finds it genius and I don’t know which side to get into, so, my dear community, please CHOOSE FOR ME. Or something! God, is that going to be the next series’ story arc? It is, isn’t it? WHAT IS THE DOCTOR’S NAME? How can that be a pleasing answer?

I genuinely still don’t know how I feel about all of this, even after this whole review. I feel like the stories of Amy, Rory, and River have been completely wrapped up. I don’t see the show bringing any of them back as companions, except maybe in brief stories here and there. So I’m left feeling pleased because of the smaller moments in “The Wedding of River Song,” but all the big plot points confuse me.

As a whole, I do like series six, even including the River storylines. It’s no secret at this point that I adore the character of River Song, either. Yet this was one of the weirdest series arcs I’ve ever watched on television, especially when I consider the one-off episodes to be stronger than the mytharc ones. To be fair, I still find “The Impossible Astronaut” to be a fantastic opener for the season. I just wish that I felt that elated about how this all ended.

I think that the one thing that could have saved this all is time. Ironically so. I enjoy a complex plot line as much as anyone, but nearly every mythology episode aside from “The Impossible Astronaut” felt like it needed to be an hour longer. If series six had been twenty-six episodes long, I think the execution of this story could have worked a lot better. These stories would have had room to develop in a capacity that didn’t feel so rushed. Out of everything that series six gave us, and especially this final chapter of the story, I just wish we had more…time.

That is a weird thing to say about Doctor Who.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Doctor Who and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

399 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S06E13 – The Wedding of River Song

  1. Stephen_M says:

    So Series 6 comes to a close and, for me anyway, it’s continued the great work of Series 5 and delivered another set of 13 episodes that don’t have a bad one amongst them. Even the worst would be average and the number of great episodes is ridiculously high. It was an interesting, and frankly brave, decision from The Moff to go so far into a proper story arc this year and he’s delivered spectacularly. No reset button, no timey wimey, just the Doctor dying… at least as far as the rest of the universe is concerned. Along the way we’ve had BAMF’s showing their mettle, some superb comic moments, action, adventure, romance and, most impressively, a really good deconstruction of the Doctor done in very subtle ways.

    I’ll get to the episode in a sec but there’s one thing I wanted to touch on first. Ever since Victory of the Daleks I’ve had a pet theory that Moffat hasn’t just been building his story but having to resolve some of the more awkward problems from the RTD era. Now let me be clear, RTD’s time was great, gave us some of the best episodes ever and all that jazz but the last couple of years (S4 + Specials) left the show with serious problems. Earth very much knew about aliens, the Daleks and Cybermen has been wiped out multiple times (and made to look very weak in the process) and, worst of all, we had a Doctor who’d gone off the deep end and who had been made into an in-universe God. Moffat’s been working on these sorts of problems steadily over the last two years giving us a Dalek race that can be brought back in groups, Cybermen that are at least a little efficient, the cracks sorting out the worst excesses of the past few years (hellllllo Cyberking) and now, finally, Moffat has returned the Doctor to what he SHOULD be. A traveller, spoken of as a myth if mentioned at all, not the great warrior and public hero. Nicely done Mr Moffat, nicely done.

    Right, onwards to the Wedding of River Song! Short version: perfect. Absolutely perfect. A great big problem to solve that, ironically, the Doctor had ALREADY solved back in episode 1 and Rivers efforts to save him made much much worse, no wonder he’s so frustrated at her! A character study of the Doctor wrapped up in a big action adventure romp. In fact, from what I’ve seen, some might have missed that first part… the problem to be solved this series really wasn’t the Doctor’s Death, it was what came after. The Doctor we saw at the end of The God Complex was very much the one going to his ‘death’, deciding to effectively drop out of the universe, cut himself off and away from everyone because he could only see the dark aspects of his character. Remember Amy’s Choice and the Dreamlord? Our wonderful Doctor isn’t exactly Mr Positive at the best of times when it comes to his own self image, the events of this series wouldn’t have helped any. Think back to Demon’s Run when he fell so far… people at the time complained that wasn’t delivered but look at it again. The moment Flesh!Melody dissolves is the moment the Doctor looses that fight with himself. He looks so sad when he’s on the shore of Lake Silencio not because he’s going to die (he’s got that covered) but because he has made up his mind to turn away from everything he cares about for their own good. Death, if you like, in every way other than physically dying.

    Which is why I adore that it’s River who, ultimately and with a little help from her parents, turns him around. The countless voices reaching out, not to give him power, not to turn him into sparkly Jesus Doctor, but to say thank you. To offer to help despite there being nothing they could do. To, in short, show him there’s still something in the universe worth living for. This show has a history of powerful images going back almost 50 years and that one doesn’t disappoint. While many will focus on the physical death of the Doctor for me this entire series has been a battle for his soul… and the good guys won.

    • Stephen_M says:

      Talking of the good guys, ladies and gentlemen, the family Pond, professional BAMF services a speciality. I loved this alternate look at them as they were still the same people at their core just with different choices and environment from the versions we know. Rory being able to effectively block out the eyeDrive trying to cripple him for so long fits perfectly, as does his determination to protect everyone he can. River is… well, River but she’s made of awesome anyway and has an exemption clause for stuff like this with that Child of the TARDIS gig. Her answer to the Doctor about whether it would hurt more to see him die than the pain of everyone else in the universe… ouch.

      And then we have Amy. Perfect, wonderful, magnificent Amy Pond. Okay, granted, I’ve said before that I adore the character so am a tad biased but here she was spectacular. The reunion in her office was a thing of joy, her casual acceptance of being in command of an armed force entirely in-character, the rather direct problem solving route to saving Rory all of it was just fabulous. And then it’s capped off with two moments of perfection. Her confrontation with Madame K is cold and brutal… and I’ve been hoping for that ever since Demon’s Run. Nice echo of The Big Bang and River with the Dalek. The fact she never flinches from that decision makes it all the better and fits in with her usual way of handling problems perfectly. Do not hurt those she loves or Amy Pond will END you. Period. And then we get that wonderful quiet scene with River at the end where she looks back on that decision and just… deals. Doesn’t try to excuse it, knows it was a ‘bad’ thing to do but accepts the decision she took. Plus the “I’m his… Mother-In-Law” line. And in that moment, in that look… does anyone doubt she’s flashing back to Flesh and Stone? And probably a few diaries that need shredding?

      On the subject of Amy Pond, while everyone involved acted their socks off all through the series, Karen has been outstanding. She keeps bringing so much to Amy, so many little moments through looks and body language, and I will miss her horribly when she finally leaves the series. And yes, sorry buy I’ve got to say this, she looked absolutely stunning in the alternative reality… a basic black suit and eye patch should not look that good damn it!

      Okay, random bits: The whole episode looked gorgeous. Not a surprise I suppose, even a block of flats has looked great this year, but this could have been a movie. I wanted to see more of that alternative London, heck that whole world! And the production design also lead to what could have been an incredibly cheesy moment with the carnivorous skulls being instead utterly horrifying. The Silence continue to be an incredibly effective presence on-screen, hope we get to see more of them. They probably need to learn not to tempt fate quite so much though! Loved the callbacks to earlier episodes, Moffat’s ability to get genuine laughs out of what could so easily be cheesy moments never ceases to surprise and delight. Loved the Doctor managing to fake out time itself, yeah it’s ridiculous but Who should be, to a point anyway. Loved 11 not being able to resist playing matchmaker despite the universe they’re in being doomed. Loved Kovarian getting the same treatment from the Silence that she gave her soldiers on Demon’s Run. The mention of the Brig… oh lord, stiff upper lip time there and a wonderful tribute. Can’t wait for the boxset to come out for series 6 as I’ve been resisting watching the whole thing back again and get the feeling this is absolutely going to shine as a 13 episode story arc.

      And so we head into the Christmas special with a Doctor who is, once more, the stuff of myth, dare I say a fairytale. Maybe even a Doctor with the weight of the universe lifted, at least for now, off his shoulders a little. It will be fascinating to see where we go from here but, and again this is just my opinion and not speaking for anyone else, we are currently in a golden age of Who and long may it continue!

      • arctic_hare says:

        *applauds* Fantastic review!

      • Elexus Calcearius says:

        Very good review! I really enjoyed this series (and sometimes feel like I'm the only one who does!) and while I didn't like this season finale as much as the last one, thought it was a really great ending to Six.

      • masakochan says:

        This is wonderful. And yes, the Doctor going back 'underground' so-to-speak. Even he said that he'd gotten to loud.

        Her confrontation with Madame K is cold and brutal.

        To quote: "River Song didn't get it all from you..Sweetie."

        • Stephen_M says:

          I've now watched that scene at least half a dozen times and it is just perfect from all involved. I maintian the only way that could have ended worse for The Silence and Madame K is if they'd pulled the same trick with Ace.

          "Hey guys, someone left this cookie basket for us!"
          "How the heck did they do that, everyone forgets us as soon as they look away?"
          "I dunno, but hey, free cookies! Huh… that's odd… why is the basket ticking?"
          "….. Goddamnit Ste*BOOM*

      • Dent D says:

        Fantastic review, brilliantly articulated, well done. All the upvotes are yours. I am finding myself falling on the side of being unsatisfied by this episode but I cannot fault you at all for the points you have made.

        • Stephen_M says:

          Thank you… trying to adjust to praise on t'interwebs, it's proving somewhat difficult. I keep expecting a giant cartoon anvil to fall on me…

      • Hotaru_hime says:

        Ahh, reading your review is great. I have a whole different perspective and I can appreciate this season better. I'm still not too fond of it, but Moff did have to do some cleaning up, didn't he?

        • Stephen_M says:

          While there are many things to like about the RTD era he did seem to loose track of the fact he wasn't actually ending the show, just his time on it and I think it sorta forced him into a corner. Not only did he have to go bigger and bigger but also give the Tenth Doctor an appropriately huge sendoff. Let me illustrate that:

          Series 1,2 and 3 – No major changes to the human race except for a very brief battle in London which can just about be explained by the usual denial muscles of the species kicking in. The Ghost stuff… well that's a little harder but, again, it's just about possible to handwave away.

          Series 4 – Entire world pulled across space, massive Dalek invasion that goes on for a good long while, LOTS of people dead, huge swathes of major cities destroyed.

          Specials – Cyber King in Victorian London and the entire human race turning into the Master. Oh, and the Master redeeming himself, at least a little bit, which makes his return somewhat tricky too.

          You really could have ended Who with TEOT and I really don't envy Moffat having to pick up a show that sorta left very little dangling other than big ol' issues that made it hard to move on from what had come before. Oddly enough, if you read The Writer's Tale (and if you have any interest in Who you should, in depth and candid e-mail conversations from RTD to the author of the book) the original final special would have been a small story of one family on a spaceship with the Doctor sacrificing himself to save them. I think I'd have greatly prefered that TBH.

          Oh, and thank you!

          • Starsea28 says:

            the original final special would have been a small story of one family on a spaceship with the Doctor sacrificing himself to save them

            I found this out just recently and was like D: "WHY COULDN'T YOU DO THAT STORY? THAT STORY WOULD HAVE BEEN PERFECT!" I would have looked back on Ten with fondness!

    • Thiamalonee says:

      Amazing analysis! Your interpretation of the canonnically retconning is really well considered.

      I just wanted to add that in terms of the doctor WANTing to live, the episode with Craig is really important. Craig knows that going with he doctor is dangerous, but as he explains to Stormie, someone needs to help the doctor because the universe is better off with him in it. Craig balances out Amy’s loss of faith. He still believes in the doctor. Even if eleven doesn’t necessarily make this connection on-screen, its a friendly reminder to the audience that people out there still owe everything to him.

      None of that maynhave made sense. I just word-vomited it during the fifteen minute late lunch break I’m taking, because it’s the day fr
      He’ll at work. Thanks for puttin your review up just in time to cheer me up, mark!

      • Stephen_M says:

        No no, it made sense… I'd want to watch the whole series again before coming down either way but my gut reaction would be it might be the event that tips him from "time to go die" to "time to go die… but before I do I'm at least going to find out what's happening". Not quite the start of the recovery but that moment that pushes him onto that path.

        Honestly though folks, if you're bored one day sit back and really think about the 9th, 10th and 11th Doctor's. Those of you that go that far back start at the 7th πŸ˜‰ It's a fascinating piece of character development if you look at the Doctor and judge him by his actions and not the in-story reactions to them.

    • Ashnwonderlan says:

      Thank you so much! I've been reading reviews (my first mistake) and trying to identify my problems with the interpretations I'm reading of this episode, and you've done it for me! I found the episode clever and endearing, and I love the character flaws which have developed in this doctor and I love how we can see the evidence of his age.

      • Stephen_M says:

        I, well, that is… uh… huh, sorry, really don't know what to say to that. Thank you!

        If there's one thing that Matt brings to the Doctor that I honestly believe eclipses everyone else that's played him it's that sense of being *old*. Last year it was the monologue in young Amy's bedroom, this year.. well you could pick from at least half a dozen examples. Something in the eyes I think…

  2. anne says:

    I am not and will never be okay with Amy not getting to experience her own damn pregnancy or raising her daughter. that is just wrong and I can't separate it from Moffat's history as a writer with these kinds of plots. I'm just overall really disappointed with this season and wish the baby plotline could've been switched to something else.

    • Thiamalonee says:

      I dont understand, are you saying that you can’t forgive Moffatt because you find the idea upsetting, or because it’s poor writing/plotting?

    • Minish says:

      To be fair, I think Amy was quite upset with it as well. Is wasn't exactly portrayed as "yay, she didn't have to suffer pregnancy and raising a child!" I mean… she killed a woman because she was so disgusted.

      That's the emotional response Moffat was aiming for; it's a terrible, unacceptable thing that happened which is what makes the Silence and Kovarian so damn evil. Moffat's on your side with this!

    • kohlrabi says:

      Agreed. Especially as it seemed River being their daughter served no other purpose than to be OMG!shocking! Wouldn't it have held the same weight if River was just River and had been raised to be a killer (which also seemed pointless because of auto-spacesuit)? Why a horrible pregnancy storyline in which the emotional turmoil of losing a child isn't even really utilized?

      Oh wait, they mostly ignored it for the series and then had Amy kill someone at the end! Don't you see, it makes it all worthwhile! /sarcasm

    • leighzzz31 says:

      I have to agree with this. Baby/Pregnancy plots in sci-fi are always iffy to me and this felt all the more uncomfortable because Amy was not aware she was pregnant and she never had the chance to raise her daughter. Plus, there was really no point in having River be Amy's daughter – she could have been brought up to be a psychopath killer without the whole pregnancy story, which as it's already been pointed out, served no other purpose than t shock people.

      • Pam says:

        The fact that it was Amy and Rory's child makes it so much crueler, though, because they're using the people the Doctor loves to bring him down. Plus, if she hadn't been their child, she wouldn't have been part Time Lord, which they clearly saw as a huge advantage in taking that particular child (though they obviously didn't know for sure she was part Time Lord until after she was born).

        • I agree. I'm not entirely sold on the whole idea of the pregnancy and that, but, as we've got it and we're stuck with it, I think that this setup does make sense on a number of levels.

          On the other hand and possibly a tad controversially, at this point… I don't want Amy and Rory to get baby Melody back. It's a bit harsh I suppose, but I don't really want a story that's happy all the way through. Even though with the timey wimey hijinks they could well get baby Melody back AND still have suffered not having her. But yeah. I'm not sure that the trauma will ever get addressed in the tv series though – it might be something shunted into the radio plays or books or comics, which might be good as it could get fleshed out more without the budgetary constraints of tv.

    • feminerdist says:

      Yeah I also agree with this. While I had to sort of let this go in order to actually enjoy the show, it still bothers me. Sorry, but THE WORLD STOPS if a child goes missing. I'm just a step mother, but I wouldn't be able to function properly if my step son went missing and was used as a sci-fi weapon to kill someone. I think that's just weak writing, cause Moff started down one path with this plot and then changes it and gives us a weird resolution and I'm thinking, "wait no, I don't know of a single parent that would find that an acceptable solution." I'm still waiting for a better resolution, personally.

      Though, that being said, sure I enjoyed this. Cause I turned off the critic and just resigned myself to being confused by this and going "SPACE! THEY'RE IN SPACE! AND THERE ARE PTERODACTYLS IN A PARK! AND IT'S PRETTY!" If I try to think about this show too much, I'll get confused and irritated. So I'll just sit over here and continue to be confused and delighted.

      • FlameRaven says:

        I don't know. Amy had like ONE DAY between being (in her mind) on the TARDIS having adventures, having a kid, and then having that kid taken away. I don't know that there was even proper time in there to really grasp that she'd just had a kid, let alone get really attached to said kid. With all the timey-wimey that Amy and Rory have been through already… I think it's within their characters to be like "well… we did sort of grow up with her so we know she was okay, and she turns out totally badass so let's roll with it." I think it took them some adjusting, but I understand why they weren't completely distraught.

    • true, but from reading a bunch of things and putting the pieces together i've figured this out. After TIA and DOTM we tested the BBC was worried about viewers picking up on the longer plot. This resulted in episodes being shifted around, some re-writing, and re-editing (the worst editing is seen in CotBS where a pirate just goes and disappears). It's really sad, and i like to hope that initially Moffat would have had Amy and Rory discuss/show emotion/worry/frett about their missing child after AGMGTW.

  3. leighzzz31 says:

    I’m pretty much as conflicted as you are, Mark. I rewatched the episode today and I didn’t understand a hell of a lot more than I did the first time. And I’m not sure if I liked it or not. Or rather I liked some stuff and other stuff just turned my face into a gigantic question mark. Oh, Moffat.

    Questions:
    -Why was River imprisoned? She didn’t kill the Doctor! Was it so the Doctor could lie low and people would think he’s dead, because, if so, that’s kind of…well, selfish of him.
    -Why did the Silence explode the TARDIS in Series 5?
    -Why did River have to be the one to kill the Doctor? What was the spacesuit? Why did she have to be part Time Lord? How did she drain her weapon system the first time, I thought she couldn’t control the suit?
    -Why did they have to get married? I seriously do not get that at all. They could have kissed without all that redundant ceremony surely.

    Things I’m not sure I liked:
    I’m not entirely comfortable with River willing to let all of time and space collapse so she doesn’t have to kill the Doctor. She’d suffer more than any living thing in the universe if she had to kill him – despite millions potentially dying. Also, much as I started to love the River/Doctor ship, I get the feeling that there’s a huge imbalance between the feelings they have for each other. I’ve no doubt she loves him, she proved it once and for all in this episode, but I’m not sure about the Doctor. I mean, he cares for her, sure, but it seems to me it’s more because she’s the Ponds’ daughter and they’ve had some fun together and he feels guilty about her dying for him than it is because he’s in love with her. It seems unfair to River to be honest.

    Things I liked:
    Live chess was kind of amazing.

    “Good Lord, man, have you never heard of downloads?”
    “…said Winston Chruchill.”
    I can see Steven Moffat writing this episode purely to have that line in it.

    Every scene with Amy and the Doctor was perfection. The scene on the train was basically a flashback to their awesome twosome in Series 5 and I remembered why I loved them together so much. You could see why they consider each other their best friend and I realized I’d missed the silliness of their interactions (Series 6 was entirely too serious or too flippant when it came to just Amy and the Doctor for me).

    “The man who dies, and dies again, die one last time and know she isn’t coming back for you.” Rory and Amy’s relationship continues to be one of the best things ever. I was so scared he was actually going to die this time!

    I appreciated the fact that Amy not raising Melody was acknowledged – that was one of my main complaints since AGMGTW.

    Favourite scene by far was Amy and River drinking wine, mother and daughter, catching up on timelines. Wish Rory had more contact with her, though.

    I did enjoy the reveal at the end. What am I saying? If the ‘I Am the Doctor’ is playing in the background of course I’m going to enjoy anything accompanying it. Doctor Who? I have no idea why that’s the oldest question in the universe, I mean the universe existed before the Doctor, but obviously timey-wimeyness and all. It made me a lot more excited than I thought I would be for the next series.

    • NB2000 says:

      -Why was River imprisoned? She didn’t kill the Doctor! Was it so the Doctor could lie low and people would think he’s dead, because, if so, that’s kind of…well, selfish of him

      I think that's probably it. She's in prison so people are convinced that yes the Doctor is dead and yes the person responsible is being punished. IMHO that might be why she has such a casual attitude to being in prison. She knows she's basically in there voluntarily so she's going to come and go as she pleases (that and she seems to enjoy messing with the guards in the process).

    • kartikeya200 says:

      -Why was River imprisoned? She didn’t kill the Doctor! Was it so the Doctor could lie low and people would think he’s dead, because, if so, that’s kind of…well, selfish of him.

      As far as the rest of the universe is concerned (for now anyway), she DID kill him. The only way to prove she didn't would be to tell people that he's still alive, and I think River being in prison (as much of a cardboard prison as that seems to be…is she breaking out every night? Lulz. Or maybe the Doctor is breaking IN…) not only protects the Doctor, it also protects her. It's basically so the Silence will leave them both alone, because it seems like as soon as she's done what they wanted her to do, they just kind've abandon her to whoever decided to prosecute her for the murder (or did she turn herself in?) They already messed up her entire childhood, tore her away from her parents, raised her to be a murderer and then kidnapped her a second time just to force her to go ahead with it even after she'd decided she absolutely didn't want to do it. Who knows what they would/will do when they find out the Doctor tricked them again and she still hasn't killed him.

      I mean, we're talking about people who may or may not have been willing to retcon the entire universe just to make sure that question is never answered. They're probably protecting a whole lot of people by keeping up this lie (again, for now. I highly doubt this secret is going to stay a secret, with how the Doctor runs around saving people).

      What I want to know is, since we're seeing immediately post-Byzantium River at the end, did she earn her pardon? Because she's still in her fatigues, which suggests she didn't even bother to change before dropping in on Amy. I want to believe 'yes', but it's just as funny to think she slipped her handcuffs and jumped back in time to go have a drink with her mum, leaving the Clerics facepalming and waiting for her to come back.

      • Openattheclose says:

        What I want to know is, since we're seeing immediately post-Byzantium River at the end, did she earn her pardon? Because she's still in her fatigues, which suggests she didn't even bother to change before dropping in on Amy. I want to believe 'yes', but it's just as funny to think she slipped her handcuffs and jumped back in time to go have a drink with her mum, leaving the Clerics facepalming and waiting for her to come back.
        This has been confusing me as well! Was she headed back to prison? That's the "oldest" River we've seen except for SitL/FotD, right? So we don't really know if she's in prison after that.

        • kartikeya200 says:

          It's always been my feeling that the River in SitL/FotD is long since out of prison. She's no longer 'Doctor River Song' but 'Professor' (and she's not a professor in Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone), she feels a lot older, seems a lot more into the archeology thing, and I doubt Stormcage let her out just to go on an expedition to the Library (not that she NEEDS them to let her out, but it did all seem more official than 'hey I broke out of prison again to go off on a jaunt with these other archeologists).

          • Openattheclose says:

            Oh yes, I agree that the River in SitL has probably been out of prison for a good amount of time at that point. What I meant was, do we know that River ever goes back to prison after her visit to Amy in WoRS?

      • The Clerics!

        Do the Clerics run the prison? Are they to do with the Silence? OR is River just freelancing for them? WHO KNOWS?

    • burritosaurus says:

      These are my thoughts on your questions:

      -Why was River imprisoned? She didn’t kill the Doctor! Was it so the Doctor could lie low and people would think he’s dead, because, if so, that’s kind of…well, selfish of him.

      I think that because her killing the Doctor was a fixed point in time, she had to kill him to get everything back in place. As someone else mentioned, perception is very important and maybe it was just necessary for that lone Silent on the cliff to witness it. Because of all that, I don't think she or the Ponds or the Doctor could come out and say "oh hey, it didn't really happen, so please let River out of jail." I'm not sure if time would fall apart if the secret got out, but I think he and River wanted to keep it quiet anyway. Looking back at Time of Angels, I wonder if people from here on out will think that the Doctor just hasn't gone to Lake Silencio yet?

      -Why did River have to be the one to kill the Doctor? What was the spacesuit? Why did she have to be part Time Lord? How did she drain her weapon system the first time, I thought she couldn’t control the suit?

      I think it had to be River because the Silence thought only a Time Lord could really kill the Doctor. My guess is they probably assumed it would take her several tries, so they'd need her to be able to regenerate. I wonder if they kept young Melody in the suit so they wouldn't have to care for her? Dump her in an orphanage with a suit that keeps her alive and disappear until it's brainwashing time? Ew. Anyway: having her in a suit would keep the element of surprise, and having it be River–the daughter of his best friends, and someone he cares for–is just insult to injury.

      -Why did they have to get married? I seriously do not get that at all. They could have kissed without all that redundant ceremony surely.

      I'm kind of wondering if her knowing his name has something to do with the Time Lord marriage ceremony and if that was important to the whole ruse. In order for silence to fall, someone had to hear the answer (even if no one asked the question), so the Doctor had to get married. Maybe? Also, it adds ~drama~ and ~romance~ oooooo.

      I mostly agree with you on the Doctor/River imbalance. I love them together, but it does seem more her than him. Ultimately, though, I'm ok with that for now, because I don't think we've seen the end of it. In my head canon, there's a point where they meet in the middle and know each other as close to equally as they can, and there is balance. Otherwise, the scales will always be tipped in one direction or the other.

      • Anyway: having her in a suit would keep the element of surprise, and having it be River–the daughter of his best friends, and someone he cares for–is just insult to injury

        Plus, if it wasn't River, the daughter of his best friends and someone he already cares for anyway, could he have just… killed her? Or seriously incapacitate her to get around her killing him?

        • catryona says:

          Someone else mentioned somewhere (lol my references are so specific) that River is either the woman who marries the Doctor or the woman who kills him, like her personal timeline was always going to involve one event or the other. The Silence may have figured that if they eleminated the possibility of her marrying him (by kidnapping her before birth and training her into a single-target assassin) then her killing him would be inevitable.

    • nanceoir says:

      -Why did they have to get married? I seriously do not get that at all.

      If nothing else, the Doctor's following up on his proposal to her in "Let's Kill Hitler."

    • notemily says:

      I am hoping that we will see the Doctor fall more in love with River as time goes on. Not sure this will happen, but it'd be nice to see them have a relationship that wasn't so lopsided as it appears in this episode.

    • Always Amy says:

      I’m not entirely comfortable with River willing to let all of time and space collapse so she doesn’t have to kill the Doctor. She’d suffer more than any living thing in the universe if she had to kill him – despite millions potentially dying.

      As someone else reminded me, River Song has been raised to be a complete Psychopath. It's in character for her to not care about sacrificing the universe for the person she loves, and it's not treated as a good thing.

    • Why was River imprisoned? She didn’t kill the Doctor! Was it so the Doctor could lie low and people would think he’s dead, because, if so, that’s kind of…well, selfish of him.

      I suppose because everyone thinks that she killed the Doctor which is apparently a fixed point. There are other points about this that I feel but…am unable to articulate πŸ™

      On the other hand, she does seem to quite enjoy swanning in and out of prison all the time. And I guess she doesn't have to pay rent or a mortgage and at least has a stable postal address.

    • Also!

      Why did they have to get married? I seriously do not get that at all. They could have kissed without all that redundant ceremony surely.

      I think, because of the timey wimey bits to their relationship, the Doctor is at the point in his relationship with River where, yeah, he's ready to commit a little bit more (well, as much as anyone going in a different timestream direction to their incarcerated partner in a sort of rubber-band long-distance, short-distance relationship) and perhaps, he does it because then was as good a time as any. We've seen time and time again how the Doctor is keenly aware of the shortness of the lifespan of his human companions (in fact, he's just been reminded when he tries to call the Brig) and it might be that because it currently fits into the situation he's found himself in, he has just taken the opportunity.

      River on the other hand… I dunno. Even with her zaniness and her being slightly off kilter to the rest of the universe… I suspect at that point she's emotionally vulnerable and a raving fangirl. A raving fangirl with good reasons I suppose, but a raving fangirl nonetheless. We see at the end of her story in the Library that yeah, she really does love the Doctor and we've seen earlier how their first/last kiss touched her emotionally, but the River we have at this point in her timeline? Hmm. She carries on with the marrying a bit impulsively I suppose (although River seems pretty impulsive in general at least until she settles down a bit).

      AUGH. My problem, I think, is that they are going in different directions timewise.

  4. Minish says:

    I THINK the point of the marriage (because there wasn't much that was fully explained) was because, as stated earlier, history remembers River as either the woman who marries the Doctor, or the woman who kills the Doctor. I would imagine it would be easier for the Doctor to cheat his way out of a fixed point in time if at least one of those were genuinely fulfilled.

    On the whole, I AM VERY CONFLICTED ABOUT THIS EPISODE. It was a hot mess that I still like for some reason. Also: TEXTING AND SCONES. AMY WITH A MACHINE GUN.

    • pandalilies says:

      I'm willing to agree to this either/or statement.
      I'd chalked it up to; if it was River in the suit, he would be less likely to fight back.
      The suit being a back-up because LKH!River failed to complete her mission.

  5. Natalia (@mellafe) says:

    All I have to say about this episode is that it was brilliant, and I had the biggest, stupidest, most amazing smile on my face at the very last scene. I adore this show (with its flaws and its 'being for children' and 'not having sexy times'), and I adore this Doctor like I never adored the ones before him. <3

    (now, where is the fanfiction, people? REC ME GOOD THINGS. There must be Eleven/River somewhere, right?)

  6. elusivebreath says:

    I feel like this entire series just works better if you don't think about it too much, lol. I personally loved the episode despite the questions that I still have, but I do have to say that I miss RTD at the helm. As much I love the Ponds and Eleven, nothing from series 5 or 6 has really packed the emotional punches of the four series before them (at least for me). I feel like I spend more time just trying to figure out what the hell is going on than anything else!

    • kohlrabi says:

      Agreed with this very much. While I'm watching these more arc heavy episodes I'm entertained and having fun. Then it ends and I put a modicum of thought into it and it all falls apart. It doesn't help that I then have the internet point out about a billion more things that are irritating and/or confusing.

      Also agreed on the emotional aspect. I can't figure out exactly *what* is missing for me to not care nearly as much as RTD era, but I hope series 7 will somehow rectify that. I'm still hopeful that Moffat can pull out a satisfying series for me. Sadly I have to wait a long time to find out if he will.

    • Lady X says:

      Agreedagreedagreedagreedagreed

    • FlameRaven says:

      Personally, I feel like RTD was always too heavy-handed with the emotions. I would rather have a hundred quiet moments like the grief on Eleven's face when old!Amy is locked outside the TARDIS than just one Rose-and-Ten-running reunion moment. :/

  7. feminerdist says:

    I am also confused but delighted at the same time.

  8. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    I AM PLEASED THAT WE ARE ALL SO CONFUSED AND DELIGHTED SO FAR.

    also texting and scones FOREVER

  9. guest_age says:

    The moment they went back to Lake Silencio and there was no new Canton, I resigned myself to the fact that this episode was going to be an anti-climactic letdown. And it was.

  10. totiebinds says:

    I really don't see the chemistry between River and the Doctor romantically. I just don't. Can't do it. So I literally groaned aloud when the whole process of their "wedding" began. It was just stupid. Maybe it didn't help that I was watching it with my boyfriend and he doesn't like River as a character. Like some, he just finds her too full of herself.

    I can't seem to escape minor spoilers for episodes but I saw on Twitter someone wrote an article why this Doctor Who finale was better than the last or the rest or something and I WAS SERIOUSLY LET DOWN WHEN I ACTUALLY SAW THE EPISODE. In fact, while on it's own it was a good episode, I would call it one of the weakest finales on Dr. Who.Moffat did well in creating the mixed timeline's environment but beyond that, it was confusing even for me and I was the one who had to briefly explain to my boyfriend about how you can't remember the Silence once you turn away from them and how awesome Rory is ALL THE TIME. By the way, I think I'm going to steal Amy's marriage proposal in real life, by far my favorite lines.

    "We should get a drink sometime…and married."

    But this entire season as a whole got me thinking, including Eleven's thoughts about himself. How old he is, how down he gets on himself for getting so involved, etc. It really made me think that next season will be the final season (although I'm probably wrong) because it would tie in really well with the original series' rule that the Doctor can only regenerate 10 times.

    My boyfriend also brought up the fact that if the Original Question was answered, "Doctor WHO?" (oh, and that was perfection right there, best question ever) that would go within the lines of "Jumping the Shark." On the other hand, Moffat can't hold out on the secret much longer. We first met River, who proved herself by sharing his name, in Season 4 in Silence in the Library. We are now on Season 7. He's already stretching the lines of a show writer teasing the audience, eventually we're all going to succumb to our human limitations and become exasperated and/or bored.

    ANYWAY. Okay finale, I liked the last three episodes better, Amy and Rory are amazing, I'm curious about how this is all going to go and…we'll see.

  11. echinodermata says:

    Ponds! PONNNNNNNNNNNNDSSSSSS! The Doctor's totally an honorary Pond now! Love them so and aww they're a family and AMY AND RORY – RORY'S FIST WAS SHAKING BECAUSE HE WAS IN LOTS OF PAIN BUT HE WOULD ENDURE FOR AMY, AND THEN AMY COMES IN AND GUNS DOWN THE SILENCE AND THEY SHOULD GO AND GET A DRINK SOMETIME. AND MARRIED. AND THEN RIVER AND THE DOCTOR RIVER AND THE DOCTOR MARRIED MARRIED THAT KISS (that heh, started time instead of the cliche of stopping time). THE DOCTOR WON'T LET RIVER REWRITE TIME OMG FOREST OF THE DEAD OMG THEIR RELATIONSHIP OMG LOVE THEM SO!

    Amy confronting Kovarian and her vengeance at having her baby stolen and even if River is fine now Amy doesn't get time with her as a baby and River gets it from Amy, sweetie, and ooh angry vengeful Amy you are exciting, but then her guilt at the end of the episode! Oh Amy I love you. I love both your anger and your compassion, and your remembering and drawing and writing about the Doctor in your train office, and your leading this team and people calling you ma'am, and your gun-wielding, and your funny lines, and your being very attractive in that black suit wowza. Oh Amy, my sweet funny badass Amy.

    River. River Sonnnnnnnngg you are my favorite, I think, and I love everything about you. River who has had some shit things happen to her but who perseveres and lives her life to the fullest. River, who is an enigma to the rest of the universe and is she the Doctor's wife or is she the one who kills him and I love that it's both and there are theories written about them! River who is hell on wheels and can stop time itself and rewrite fixed points and kinda had a Time Lord Victorious moment for herself but got over it quickly. River who carries handcuffs and can be an outrageous flirt and can inspire the Doctor to be an outrageous flirt and isn't that uniquely her. River who is a younger version of herself in this episode and would call her pain at losing one person larger than the pain of the whole universe, and it is sad and it is wrong but it is her in this moment, and she shouldn't do it but she wants to and why can't he just let her and I love how much she cares and how much it shows how she's grown from this point in her earlier episodes because I wouldn't imagine this from her in her older incarnations. River who wants to show the Doctor just how loved he is and just how much he means to the world and she gives us that heartwarming moment on the roof with the rest of the universe worrying for the Doctor. River who drops in on her parents and compares notes over wine and is simultaneously their daughter but is also that fairy godmother who grants wishes and brings loved ones back. RIVER RIVER RIVER (I am disappoint we never got to see you naked and I feel betrayed by the S6 trailer).

    Oh, Doctor. My Doctor who doesn't want to be that Time Lord Victorious and who runs and runs and who now has an out and can finally reign back his persona and not turn armies anymore. It's the Doctor who (and I totally unintentionally wrote 'doctor who' here and noticed this only in a proofread) can go back to his space adventures and explore and live a simpler life than what he became before. This Doctor is a secret, and I'm really excited for that and this new direction has a lot of potential, I think.

    "We got married and had a kid and that's her" and then the Doctor uses his bowtie for when he and River get married omg and then happy endings!

    This episode was just lots of fun and I was so happy for these characters that I love and I just cannot dislike any part of it, even while I simultaneously do think it could probably make more sense and tie things together better than it did. Just, I am very very happy about everything and am looking forward to what's next!

    I admit S6 was an interesting ride and I do think it could have been done better, but all the same I found many episodes just wonderful and thrilling and those episodes I didn't enjoy as much still don't make any sort of worst episode list for me and merely fall into 'decent' to 'okay' categories, not 'bad'. There are questions and there's still time to answer them, and I generally love where all the characters stand at this point. Sou could S6 have been better? I definitely say yes. But was S6 enjoyable and lots of fun, and in my estimation better than some other seasons of Doctor Who? I still definitely say yes. And happy endings! That counts for a lot in my book.

    My Ponds are alive and happy and wonderful and have lots to live for ahead of them. And I will always appreciate that.

    • arctic_hare says:

      I love your love for the Ponds and River and Eleven. <3 It is my love as well. Excellent comment is truly excellent.

    • kartikeya200 says:

      Your entire comment is beautiful and joy. I agree with it so much.

    • psycicflower says:

      THE DOCTOR WON'T LET RIVER REWRITE TIME OMG FOREST OF THE DEAD OMG THEIR RELATIONSHIP OMG LOVE THEM SO!

      THEIR LOVE IS SO CANON AND THEY ARE FABULOUS AND MARRIED AND OH MY GOD THE FLIRTING AND THE WIBBLY WOBBLY TIMEY WIMEY AND THE CHEMISTRY AND AND AND *ahem*

      My Ponds are alive and happy and wonderful and have lots to live for ahead of them. And I will always appreciate that.
      All I've ever wanted is for the Ponds to get a happy ending and I'm so happy they did.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      So much agreeing!

    • __Jen__ says:

      Yes yes yes to all of this! <3

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Oh god, i love how much joy there is in this.

      also if Rory had died i would have forgiven NO ONE.

      • psycicflower says:

        If Moffat killed Rory I think he would've had to go into hiding because there'd be a lot of angry fans with pitchforks and torches hunting him down.

    • notemily says:

      Ponds! PONNNNNNNNNNNNDSSSSSS! The Doctor's totally an honorary Pond now! Love them so and aww they're a family and AMY AND RORY – RORY'S FIST WAS SHAKING BECAUSE HE WAS IN LOTS OF PAIN BUT HE WOULD ENDURE FOR AMY, AND THEN AMY COMES IN AND GUNS DOWN THE SILENCE AND THEY SHOULD GO AND GET A DRINK SOMETIME. AND MARRIED. AND THEN RIVER AND THE DOCTOR RIVER AND THE DOCTOR MARRIED MARRIED THAT KISS (that heh, started time instead of the cliche of stopping time). THE DOCTOR WON'T LET RIVER REWRITE TIME OMG FOREST OF THE DEAD OMG THEIR RELATIONSHIP OMG LOVE THEM SO!

      <img src="http://blog.2modern.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/james-joyce-4.jpg"&gt;

      Basically this comment expresses all the happy things I felt about the finale. <3.

    • widerspruch says:

      You just basically wrote all my feelings <3333333333

    • Xander Bazaar says:

      BOWTIES ARE COOL.

  12. NB2000 says:

    Eeep early review. Which means I haven't rewatched the episode fully yet (just bits and pieces I wanted to see again).

    It hit me somewhere around the scene where the Doctor speaks to Rory alone (and I said so in the liveblog) that it was an episode devoted to giving Matt Smith one-on-one scenes with each of the other regulars (and Churchill) so we can see just how well these characters interact. However busy the episode was we got these beautiful moments of interaction between the characters we know and love, much like The Big Bang last series. The Doctor and Amy's scene on the train (aside from being so cool I wish they'd just stuck with that timeline and given us a series of the characters on a train solving mysteries) was so beautiful because it was so them. There's been a lot less of Eleven/Amy interacting this year, at least I've thought so, as much as I adore Rory I do kind of miss the two of them being mates from last series so this little glimpse of it was lovely.

    If I do have one criticism about Moff's episodes from this year it's that they've felt less…episode-y. Okay that sounds dumb. The structure of them feels different to his previous works, and to the surrounding episodes. Maybe it was a conscious decision on his part, maybe it was because of the storyline. Actually maybe it's not a criticism so much as an observation…this thought isn't well developed sorry.

    • Stephen_M says:

      Being VERY careful about what I say to avoid even the sniff of spoilers but Moffat has said he deliberately went arc-heavy this year and that this may not always be the case. Personally I can see why the story he wanted to tell (i.e. pulling the Doctor out of the spotlight as far as the rest of the universe is concerned) kinda needed this sort of arc but at the same time you can't go ALL arc as it wouldn't work for this series. I think they hit the balance just about perfect but that's just me.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      I agree, it was very different, and I mentioned that in my review of the season as a whole. If he wanted to change the show's structure so drastically, I think he showed have eased a bit. Personally I like a more arc driven story, but I think it would be nice to be more episodic next season.

      • NB2000 says:

        I was referring more to the individual episodes with the structure point, comparing say AGMGTW or this episode with some of his other episodes they do seem to be written with a different structure to them. They feel more we're being thrown into the middle of the plot and how it started gets revealed as we go along. Like I said this might just be Moffat trying to stretch himself as a writer or stretch what the show can do. It's different and I'm not sure if I like it just yet.

        But I do agree with you that he does seem to be changing the structure of the show as a whole but needs to do it a bit more slowly. I have been concerned with the serialised nature of this series because it does conflict with the usual structure of a Who series. The multiple, loosely connected episodes written by different writers doesn't seem to lend itself too well to the type of arc Moffat was going for and that does show in places (hello poorly rearranged episodes and slightly awkward arc references). I'm not saying it shouldn't have been done but, maybe be a bit more organised and careful about it next series?

        Yeah that turned into a bit of a word/thought vomit, sorry.

    • The Doctor and Amy's scene on the train

      Has Who "done" the Orient Express? Because a special on the Orient Express would be cool. Maybe Agatha Christie could come back and totally not recognise the Doctor? Or maybe they could just shove in a Poirot-alike in there for the Doctor to bounce off of? OR OR OR….ALL THE THINGS.

      edit: WHY DO I KEEP BREAKING INTENSEDEBATE COMMENT SYSTEM WHEN I EDIT? AUGH

      • NB2000 says:

        Eleven did mention the "Orient Express…in space" at the end of The Big Bang (and as much as I enjoyed A Christmas Carol I'm so bummed they didn't follow up on that). They totally need to do an episode on either the real thing or the Space version at some point!

  13. kartikeya200 says:

    Alright, I have many rambling, stream of consciousness thoughts, but FIRST, I mentioned in the Liveblog that it was music video time. As soon as I saw Let's Kill Hitler, I knew I had to make this one, and that only one song would do. So I may've watched the finale (twice) and then immediately got to work.

    [youtube ZettteD0n1A http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZettteD0n1A youtube]

  14. sageofmudora says:

    I felt that the fixed point in time was the Silent on the hill witnessing the apparent death of the Doctor, as confirmed by the grief shown by Amy, Rory, and future!River at the lake. The Silent had no reason to believe the grieving friends holding a funeral and literally burning the corpse were lying because three of them *did* believe it and the fourth was the second best liar in the Universe. The fact that it was the Tessalecta was irrelevant. Perception is greater than reality, and the Silent (and the rest of the world) believing the Doctor died there was all that mattered.

    As for why he married River… I don't think he had to. I don't think River was "holding the Universe ransom" as one reviewer on Tumblr put it (though that reviewer made lots of other excellent points!). She let him fix time not because she was married, but because she knew he wouldn't really die. If he had said, "It isn't me!" on the beach she would have done it. If he had merely whispered to her on the roof, "It isn't me, look in my eye!" she would have done it without a ceremony. The Doctor married her because he wanted to.

    So, maybe technically they aren't married. But to quote the glorious Amelia Pond, "I can remember it, so it happened." As far as they are concerned, they are married- and with no sticky legal documents making it harder to believe that River carried out the deed.

    Love your blog, Mark. You are awesome as always πŸ™‚

    • arctic_hare says:

      Well said!

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      I assumed that the Doctor got her to marry him since he knew it was the one way that he could get her close to him, and to listen, and to really look into his eyes. Earlier he tried to just grab her, but that didn't work, so he needed to gain her trust.

    • pandalilies says:

      Ugh, your first paragraph. SO MUCH THIS.

      And absolutely; " I remember it, so it happened."

    • Kirby_T says:

      I agree so much- I think it was actually an important line when whats-his-face said that it wasn't so much that the silence wanted him dead, it was just that they didn't want him alive. If everyone thinks he's dead then that counts.

  15. Ponz says:

    By the way there was no "trick" to fool time in this episode. The fixed point was always that the Tesselecta would be shot by River in Utah. River screwed it up by not shooting it, and this was eventually fixed, but it was always the Tesselecta who was supposed to "die".

    Also, some could argue that the Silence's plan was always for River to refuse to shoot the Doctor and create the abotred-statis-timeline-thing, and therefore they needed River to kill the Doctor since she would refuse to do it and screw up time. Or something.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      hmmm. That's a good point. I never considered that the fixed point in time was always the Teselecta.

      • @sab39 says:

        Right – remember how it was future!River (who remembered all this!) saying how important it was to burn the Doctor's body? Now we know why.

    • Stephen_M says:

      Can I suggest something here? The Silence's goal (not plan, important difference) was to prevent the question being asked at the fall of the Eleventh on the plains of really hard to spell place. Everything else has been several different plans.

      Kidnap Amy and take her child – psychological warfare against the Doctor and increases the odds of him putting Melody's safety ahead of his own. Plus he may die in the rescue attempt, you never know.

      Brainwash Melody to kill the Doctor any way she could – Primary Plan and it would have WORKED too if she hadn't thrown off their conditioning.

      Put River in the suit – Secondary plan which utilises elements of the first two and ensured the Doctor wouldn't just run from her. Again technically this works, she does kill the Doctor, he just did something the Silence didn't expect.

      About the only thing they didn't try was shooting the Doctor with electricity but, let's face it, that's a Who Trope at the best of times and with the S5 / S6 version of the Doctor actually kinda understandable. Threaten him directly, you tend to get dead. Trap him or trick him… well, you've got a better chance that way, just don't stop to mock Rory when Amy's armed because that'd just be dumb… goddamnit Steve!

      • Dent D says:

        "Goddamnit Steve!" I love you and know exactly what image macro you are referencing with that.

      • notemily says:

        I agree with this comment and I think it's a good rebuttal to that Skit video that was posted a couple of times. They couldn't have always known that Lake Silencio was a FPIT (new acronym!), because they're the ones that made it happen. The only way we knew it was a FPIT is because the Teselecta had it in their information banks, which we have to assume contain a lot of knowledge about various points of history since that's basically their job. I don't think too many other people knew about it.

        • FPIT… makes me think of the Feepits in Neopets. Man. It's been a lonnnng time since I was on that site.

          I wonder if my account is still active? I signed up when I was about 15 and I'm, uh, significantly older now.

      • arctic_hare says:

        I agree with all this. We've seen various attempts to get the job done.

    • PK9 says:

      Totally agree. It makes no sense that the true Doctor's death could be a fixed point, because then they'd never be a prophecy about the Question being asked on the fields of Whatever at the Fall of the Eleventh, because he could never have been there.

  16. sara says:

    Mark, I just want to tell you that I think this review is PERFECT. You have EXACTLY summed up my feelings about this episode. Your list of questions is concise and amazing and includes everything my brain has been grinding on, particularly the connection back to what River tells the Doctor in "Silence in the Library".

    I haven't read other comments to this blog yet but my thought re: the wedding was this: the Doctor said he didn't want to marry River, and she said she didn't want to kill him – and since he needed to convince her she HAD to kill him, he married her as sort of a quid pro quo. I loved the ceremony and the kiss and everything, but here's the sitch – I'm not convinced the Doctor loves her YET. I think he knows he's going to? And they definitely enjoy flirting with each other? But I don't feel like we've reached the point where the Doctor has really fallen in love. Unless Matt is playing it really subtle and I'm not picking it up.

  17. sara says:

    (Continued…) Although I agree the companions in this series feel tied up cleanly, I'm hoping for more River if only because I want to see some of those happy times they have together – and I want to see the night before SITL when the Doctor gives her a sonic screwdriver. I don't know if we'll get to see the other end of River's story.

    I've been refreshing my reader all morning for your take on the finale and it was all I hoped for and more. Thank you Mark!

  18. monkeybutter says:

    You know, your review helped me make up my mind about this episode and series. Just like I think that the Doctor is still good despite the goo babies because he saves the universe and the people he loves, I think that series 6 and episode were fun in spite of the hot mess of plot, and fun is what really matters when it comes to Doctor Who.

    Just a thought, but I wonder if the way this series was split is partially to blame for the way this story arc developed. I think it would have benefited from more time, too (har har).

    Hmm, I also really liked Amy's drawings, and I never, ever want to see Silence hanging from the ceiling again.

  19. Lurker says:

    Found this vid which makes the problems with the whole idiotic plot very clear:
    [youtube T9Q5baJ223M http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9Q5baJ223M youtube]

    • Karen says:

      HURRR DUURRR. I DIDN'T SEE THIS AND I POSTED IT DOWN THREAD. AH WELL. I'M LEAVING MY VIDEO UP TOO BECAUSE IT IS SO ACE.

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      I'm in a reviewing group with this guy, and we've done a couple podcasts together. He also does great Animorphs videos.

    • rumantic says:

      This is made of win.

    • Vikinhaw says:

      This video illustrates everything I find wrong about this series mythology and why I have totally given up on figuring out it or caring about it. Compare it to Series 5 where it was neat and well-structured. There are cracks in time. Why and how? Cause someone blew up the Tardis and it blew up time. Oh! Who and why? See, simple and interesting. All the non-mythology stuff has been amazing but the rest….

    • I only got 2 minutes into the video before the thing on telly started so I had to stop…but now? I am wondering what is impossible about the Impossible Astronaut?

      I mean. Really?

      I have vague memories from when I was an astronaut obsessed 7 year old that they do training in water so… while unconventional, fair enough, astronaut in a lake could happen. So that's not impossible.

      River being impossible? Improbable, possibly, but since Amy and Rory being in an established relationship that very likely involves them doing it in the bunk beds somehow… not entirely impossible. And on the Tardis with the timey wimeyness irradiating embryonic Melody?

      I bet it was just a cool name.

  20. arctic_hare says:

    THIS IS MY SECOND FAVORITE SEASON FINALE OF DOCTOR WHO EVER. RIGHT BEHIND PANDORICA OPENS/BIG BANG. IT WAS MADE OF PURE AWESOME AND NO ONE CAN CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE.

    I'm going to semi-organize my thoughts in a semi-list.

    – Okay, so that controversial line: "A woman." I can see the interpretation of it as sexist, though that's not my interpretation. I read it as simply a succinct way to begin the story, since "River Song" wouldn't mean anything to Churchill. There was also a kind of fairy tale/storybook-ish feel to it for me, in the vein of "Once upon a time, there was a girl who…" And we know how Moffat loves his fairy tale motifs and references. But, that's just me, and I'm not saying anyone else is wrong to read it another way. I think it's one of those things where it's ambiguous/fuzzy enough to be read either way completely legitimately.

    – Okay, the stopped time alternate reality is, let's not mince words here, FUCKING BADASS. Reality looks a whole lot less interesting without those flying cars and pterodactyls, doesn't it? AND WHERE IS MY PERSONAL MAMMOTH.

    – This one is for my fellow gamers: perhaps this is actually what Ultimecia in Final Fantasy VIII was trying to bring about with that "time kompression" thing, and in stopping the advent of a world so cool, the player characters are actually the villains.

    – Discworld reference/spoilers in rot13: Lrnu, bxnl, zl vqrn bs jung unccraf jura gvzr fgbcf vf cerggl qvssrerag sebz nyy guvf, gunaxf gb Guvrs bs Gvzr. Qvqa'g fgbc zr sebz rawblvat gur uryy bhg bs gur jrveqarff, be znxvat n wbxr nobhg tynff pybpxf, gubhtu. Bu zna, V pna'g jnvg sbe Znex gb ernq gung obbx.

    – HAHAHA I LOVE THAT THEY BROUGHT BACK CHARLES DICKENS JUST FOR THIS.

    – The way I see it is this: it was always the Tesselecta getting shot. That was the fixed point in time. The fixed point wasn't changed, time was not rewritten, there was no second Doctor, no Ganger used. When River attempted to change that fixed point by not shooting him, there were real and very dangerous consequences. This part of the show's mythology, that you cannot alter a fixed point in time and that it's a Very Bad Thing to Try, didn't get handwaved away, there's no contradiction: we saw what happens when you do, and as cool as the time-stopped world was, that's not actually something you want to have happen because it was not going to last. Not everyone is going to feel this way, but I personally do not feel cheated at all. I don't feel like there was a cop-out. We merely found out what really happened, and the rule about not messing with fixed points in time is intact. Not only that, but I feel that the act of faking his own death wasn't just the Doctor cheating death, but the Doctor actually finally learning something. He's going to slip back into the shadows and not be so damn obvious, a lesson that's been a long time coming, even since before he regenerated into his eleventh incarnation. "Look me up", anyone? Time Lord Victorious? This whole brouhaha with the Silence has finally taught him the consequences of behaving the way he has been. Starting with his climbing into the Tesselecta to fake his own death, the madman puts himself in a box, hiding his continued existence from the rest of space and time. And how appropriate is it that the madman is the box for that period of time: he hides within a machine that has taken on his form. As for the regeneration thing? Special effect. If that thing can switch forms from one person to another, I don't see faking an aborted regeneration as being a stretch for its capabilities. Not an issue for me.

    Moreover, I think we were led up to something like this, subtly. Not just by meeting these people in Let's Kill Hitler, but let's look at the prevalence, especially in recent episodes, of the Doctor watching things via some sort of hidden camera. God Complex, most obviously. Girl Who Waited. Closing Time. I'd have to rewatch the first half to see if there are any instances of it there, but these are enough too. It popped up much like cloning and memory loss popped up in series four, subtly leading us along to Journey's End and the resolvement of certain plot threads we're all familiar with. So when I look back, I don't feel this came out of nowhere and appreciate those other episodes all the more.

    • arctic_hare says:

      – So. Apparently some Doctor/Rose shippers are getting pretty worked up over this Doctor/River thing. Like, to the point of actual tears in some cases. I find this pretty ridiculous and irksome. Not because I think their choice of ship isn't canon or I begrudge them the right to enjoy that pairing, but because of the frankly silly at best and disturbing (to me, anyway) at worst attitudes such reactions lay bare. These particular shippers are painting the whole thing as an either/or situation, when that's just not the way it works at all. This isn't a love triangle, this is the story of a person who loved someone in their past and now it's over and is moving on and falling for someone else. It happens in real life all the damn time – people break up, they get divorced, they're widowed (which I think is the closest RL comparison one can make with what happened to the Doctor and Rose, because although she's alive, he can never see her again), and often do find love again. Does it mean that their previous relationships suddenly mean nothing? Do these new romances invalidate the old and mean that the feelings they had for their previous partners never existed? Of course not. Doctor/Rose and Doctor/River are not ships at war. They coexist peacefully, there is no conflict. He loved Rose, was separated forever from her, and is now moving on and falling for River. No different from anyone who's lost someone they loved, whether to death or growing apart or whatever, and is in the process of falling in love with someone else. And as I've said multiple times before, if humans can do this, then certainly a Time Lord, with a much longer life span, can do it too. With fictional races as long-lived as that, I've always felt that there's no such thing as an OTP for any one of them, there's no one true love for all of space and time. It doesn't work that way. There will be great loves, yes. But my emphasis here is on the plural, and that it being plural does not in any way erase what came before or make what comes after lesser. All are unique and important (much like companions).

      I'm not saying that anyone is required to like both. I'd be a hypocrite if I did, because I love Eleven/River and Ten/Rose largely left me cold (with the addendum that I really liked her with Nine, so it's not an anti-Rose thing, but I've been over all that before and won't rehash). What I'm saying is that it's not a contest or battle between them, that neither one invalidates the other. It's two ships passing in the night, is what it is. It doesn't bug me that some people prefer Doctor/Rose, it bugs me when they act like that's the only relationship he's allowed to ever have, that he must spend the rest of his days pining for someone he can never see again. Silly, and unreasonable, and sadly present in the real world as well, for there are so many stories of people judging widowed people for finding love again after the loss of a spouse. I think that everyone is perfectly entitled to move on and love again after loss or disintegration of the relationship, that new love doesn't mean the old love is erased, and why should the Doctor be any different?

      • arctic_hare says:

        And yes, I do feel that the Doctor is falling for River, and that he most definitely did not marry her out of pity or whatever stupid thing some people are saying. I personally think LKH especially makes it crystal clear how he's coming to feel about her. Then you have him here telling her he forgives her and trying to comfort her before the suit makes her fire on him (and he winks at her!), and I do honestly believe he was in full control of that Tesselecta and he certainly was not required to go with a kiss to restart time. (Also, I know it wasn't really him, but that kiss was still hot. Just saying. I tend to think, thanks to that, that Eleven knows perfectly well what to do when kissing when he's not taken completely by surprise like in Day of the Moon.) And you know what? I like that. I like them together. I think they've got sizzling chemistry, and the fact that we already know how it will end for them lends it a beautiful, bittersweet quality. It isn't going to last, we know that from the getgo, so it's sad; but there's also some happy times in between to be cherished. I think that poignancy is a large part of the pairing's appeal for me. I also happen to like the message it sends that he's able to move on after what happened with Rose and fall in love again. Not because I want to deny that relationship ever happened, or because I'm the shipperiest person to ever ship, but because of the hope it represents, the idea that people who have lost someone aren't doomed to be forever alone and miserable afterwards. The Doctor moved on with his life after that, and is falling for someone new; and eventually, it will happen again someday after he and River part ways for the final time. I'm not going to be angry or upset when that happens, I'll be (hopefully) invested in the new relationship for what it is. But I won't hate it just for not being Doctor/River, because by then this will be a part of his past to deal with and move on from. Life goes on, both for humans and the Doctor.

        – I love the sequence with the Doctor going into the Seventh Transcept. So Indiana Jones, and they even reference Last Crusade. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

        – I really really need to watch some classic Who with the Brig.

        – My exact reaction to Amy gunning down those Silence: "MARRY ME, AMY POND!"

        – Ceiling Silence are watching you do everything.

        – Oh, Rory. Oh, Eleven. Best/worst matchmaker ever, y/y?

        – The handfasting is just beautiful. I barely have words for how lovely that whole sequence was. DAMN YOU FOR MAKING ME GET ALL SHIPPERY IN HERE, SHOW.

        • arctic_hare says:

          – I oddly kinda liked the Doctor's longer hair.

          – Dude, that's that Silurian doctor from the two-parter in series five!

          – Okay, so River being selfish. The elephant in the room. Yes, I don't deny that she was selfish and very very dramatic about it on top of the pyramid (oh god I love typing that I love pyramids and THERE WERE ANUBIS STATUES FUCK YES ANCIENT EGYPT last week was a good week for my Egypt obsession from childhood, got indulged in Reads and Watches), but I think it humanizes her further (tell me again how she's a perfect, flawless Mary Sue and I will laugh all the harder at you now). Moreover, let's remember something. Right now, this River that we see here is the reverse of Eleven: a young woman in an older body. The River we saw at the end of Closing Time, who was forced into that spacesuit and dropped to the bottom of Lake Silencio, who could not bear to kill the Doctor, had only just received her doctorate. She isn't that much older than when we saw her in Let's Kill Hitler, and additionally is still recovering from years of brainwashing, something that will of course result in a different level of maturity and whatnot. So what we're seeing is a selfish, impulsive, and very melodramatic young woman who fully believes that she will suffer more than every living thing. She won't, of course, and part of me giggles a bit at this absurd declaration. But I also know that it's real for her and that she really is suffering. I find myself thinking back to things I said at the end of Amber Spyglass, for reference. Alex Kingston really sells me on it, so with this and that I can't help but feel for her, and react emotionally when she's upset. I don't excuse what she did, I think it was selfish and stupid and rash and all those other adjectives. But it doesn't make her a bad person in my eyes, people are more complicated than that. She's just a person, who made a foolish decision for the right reasons (yes, I do think sparing a life, particularly that of someone you care deeply about, is a perfectly good reason for doing something; it doesn't make questionable actions right, of course, but I believe that people do the wrong things for okay reasons and vice versa too)

          – "River came twice" AHAHAHAHA OH GOD I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE

          – I love the scene in the garden at the end, especially when Amy realized that she's the Doctor's mother in law. The look on her face is priceless. LOL I THINK YOU NICKNAMED THE WRONG PERSON "MRS. ROBINSON", DOCTOR. Which had to be a joke on Moffat's part, I bet he was laughing his head off at that. Seriously, he's the troll of trolls. I fully believe he lives under a damn bridge at this point.

          – The flipping of their lines to each other in Forest of the Dead breaks my damn heart.

          – If I had one minor complaint, it'd be that more wasn't done with all the people the Doctor had helped answering that beacon. I can understand why, though, what with scheduling and budget issues.

          – No, not everything was wrapped up with a neat little bow. Yes, I'm perfectly okay with this. I like mysteries, I like and am used to multi-season arcs. And I honestly hope we never actually hear what the Doctor's real name is. I do not want to know. Some mysteries need to stay unsolved forever, and there should always be some unanswered questions at the end of any work of fiction. You don't need to, and shouldn't, explain every little thing. So please, Moffat, let the Doctor's true name be one of those eternal mysteries. It'll be better that way, I promise.

          • Stephen_M says:

            Firstly, and just because I don't think I've said this before and should have, I love your reviews. Plus, y'know, tend to agree with everything you post (though the avatar of Amy doesn't help, it's kinda like the pretty version of the Silence, you tend to agree with everything said in whatever the image is attached to).

            "- "River came twice" AHAHAHAHA OH GOD I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE " – *snerk*, although I've gotta admit I prefered the other little under the radar bit they put in "You can turn around now" *cut to Amy sitting perfectly still in her chair and looking straight at the Doctor*

            My wife wants to do River's story in her (uh, River's) order when the S6 boxset gets here. This may just kill me… manly tears are permitted right?

            Yes you do indeed need to see the Brig. Badass Normal personified.

            One question: Amy Pond in full-on badass mode firing a machine gun or Karen Gillan in… uh… Karen Gillan mode firing a machine gun while wearing a pink dressing gown? Also is it just me or has the entire Moffat era been a cover for training Karen to be an assassin right under our collective noses? They've taught her to shoot, drive and weild two different types of swords. Oh, and a quarter-staff. This is starting to worry me….

            • psycicflower says:

              My wife wants to do River's story in her (uh, River's) order when the S6 boxset gets here. This may just kill me… manly tears are permitted right?

              I want to do this as well, even though it'll probably break my heart.

            • arctic_hare says:

              Thank you! πŸ˜€ Also, I am tempted to do that too… but I'm also sure it would crush my heart. D:

            • Elexus Calcearius says:

              I'm still holding off a while to do watching it in River's order. Partly because she crosses over her own time-line so many times, I'm not sure how to order it, partly because i think we'll be seeing more from her.

              And God, 'Forests of the Dead' is going to tear me apart.

            • notemily says:

              although I've gotta admit I prefered the other little under the radar bit they put in "You can turn around now" *cut to Amy sitting perfectly still in her chair and looking straight at the Doctor*

              HA! I didn't even catch that, but it works perfectly with him changing clothes in The Eleventh Hour.

              My wife wants to do River's story in her (uh, River's) order when the S6 boxset gets here. This may just kill me… manly tears are permitted right?

              They actually do that on this episode's Confidential. Which it seems like you have watched, so never mind.

          • kartikeya200 says:

            All of your thoughts are my thoughts made coherent <3 <3 <3

            And yes. Yes you do need to watch the Brig. He is awesome.

            Also, HELL YES to the bit about Doctor/Rose, Doctor/River. The idea that a person, especially someone like the Doctor, who knows going into both of these uh…can they be called relationships? ANYWAY, both of these things, that he's almost certainly going to outlive them, can only ever love one person just irks me. It's one of my major fandom pet peeves. I mean, and everyone seems to ignore the implications that at one point, the Doctor did have kids, which suggests he did, at one point, have someone else he probably loved. We know he had a granddaughter, anyway, and Ten mentions to Donna that he had a family. It's not guaranteed, but it's very likely he had a wife or a lover of some sort.

            I once heard someone put it this way (about pets, but she meant it to include people too): love is an unending resource. You can love someone tremendously, and this does not mean that you somehow have less love to give to other people, or that you have to love them less. This does not mean, if you find someone else you love just as much, that you somehow have to take away some of that love from the first person in order to give it to the second. We've had two blatant acknowledgments of Rose Tyler in this season, and I don't think that's a coincidence.

            • psycicflower says:

              love is an unending resource. You can love someone tremendously, and this does not mean that you somehow have less love to give to other people, or that you have to love them less. This does not mean, if you find someone else you love just as much, that you somehow have to take away some of that love from the first person in order to give it to the second.

              This, this, this, a thousand times this!

            • arctic_hare says:

              ALL OF THIS. Especially that last paragraph, that is such a beautiful and true sentiment.

          • nanceoir says:

            And I honestly hope we never actually hear what the Doctor's real name is.

            One of the things I've been thinking is that the answer to "Doctor who?" doesn't actually mean a name. There's a whole bit in Babylon 5 dealing with the question "Who are you?" and the person's name is simply not a sufficient answer. Nor is their family or occupation or anything. It's deeper than that. It comes down to who they are as a person, at their core, away from the world.

            In terms of the Doctor, take a look at what River said to him in "A Good Man Goes to War." She's talking about what his name (Doctor) means around the galaxy, that it means different things different places. So who is the Doctor? Is he the Doctor Warrior or the Doctor Healer? Or something else entirely. I think the Doctor answering the question in that way could definitely have far-reaching consequences.

            In my brain's meandering thoughts about all of this, I keep coming back to the idea that these things aren't necessarily going to be the most obvious, practically literal things.

            • arctic_hare says:

              I've never even seen B5, but that way of looking at it rings so true to me. I love this intepretation and it fits with the issues I actually have with the phrase "real name" (in that I think a name a person chooses for themselves IS their real name, because you are what you make yourself, nobody can define who or what you are for you). <3

            • psycicflower says:

              I love this idea so much. It's one of my favourite theories.

          • notemily says:

            I oddly kinda liked the Doctor's longer hair.

            I thought I was the only one! It was a bit silly-looking, but I wanted to run my fingers through it. Especially during that kiss. Yum.

          • chikzdigmohawkz says:

            I have to admit, part of me is hoping that we do find out the Doctor's name – and that it's Bob. Or Mark. Wait, now I really want it to be Mark.

          • I don't excuse what she did, I think it was selfish and stupid and rash and all those other adjectives. But it doesn't make her a bad person in my eyes, people are more complicated than that. She's just a person, who made a foolish decision for the right reasons (yes, I do think sparing a life, particularly that of someone you care deeply about, is a perfectly good reason for doing something; it doesn't make questionable actions right, of course, but I believe that people do the wrong things for okay reasons and vice versa too)

            "Because sometimes the needs of the one… outweigh the needs of the many."

            RIVER IS CAPTAIN KIRK. Oh god. So many Star Trek related points.

            • Xander Bazaar says:

              This pleases me greatly!

              good grief, there are so many Spock parallels off of the Doctor, too. Thank you very much for this, I will go have my field day now.

        • masakochan says:

          My exact reaction to Amy gunning down those Silence: "MARRY ME, AMY POND!"

          Can I ask her too? Even though we'd have to see what her and Rory's thoughts are on an open relationship. xD

          • arctic_hare says:

            Go ahead, feel free! Especially since I also want to marry River. And Eleven. All at the same time. There's gotta be a place in the universe where that's legal…

        • notemily says:

          I love the sequence with the Doctor going into the Seventh Transcept. So Indiana Jones, and they even reference Last Crusade. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

          Did you watch the Confidential? The set-building guys are like "Well, the script just says 'the Doctor enters an Indiana Jones tunnel.' But those are kind of hard to find, so we built one."

        • Lady X says:

          Thank you! Thank you, thank you for having the balls(or ovaries) to wade through the shipper infested waters of the internet and say something that is smart, sensible, and completely validates BOTH ships πŸ™‚ You sir/ma’am are my hero of the day! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      • Elexus Calcearius says:

        I agree with so much of what you say, but here especially.

        In a way, Doctor Who has always been about moving on. You have a show where the companions and the main character is constantly changing. Imagine if the writers decided just to get hooked on things that happened in the past, and never moved on? If every time the Doctor got a new companion, he wasn't just comparing them to Rose, as in Season 3, but to Adric and Leela and Romana and….yeah, it would be ridiculous. I like references to past companions as much as everyone, but you can't do that.

        Its the same with romance. Rose has been said to be stuck in another universe, never to see the Doctor again, and even if she does, she's got Handy. She's probably not going to come back, except for one-offs or the anniversary. Does that mean that writers can never put the Doctor in a romance again? That's incredibly limiting. It would be like Sarah-Jane/ Doctor or Romana/Doctor shippers coming in to complain when the show restarted!

        Personally, I didn't really care for Ten/Rose either. But I never thought RTD should stop writing it. For now, I'll enjoy River/ Doctor, and when River's time passes, as it must, and the Doctor falls in love again, I'll accept that,too.

        • arctic_hare says:

          VERY well said. Change is one of the few constants in this show, it goes against that core to insist that the Doctor never be allowed to move on and change. And yes, that is so very limiting. tl;dr WORD to this comment.

      • widerspruch says:

        It happens in real life all the damn time – people break up, they get divorced, they're widowed (which I think is the closest RL comparison one can make with what happened to the Doctor and Rose, because although she's alive, he can never see her again), and often do find love again. Does it mean that their previous relationships suddenly mean nothing? Do these new romances invalidate the old and mean that the feelings they had for their previous partners never existed? Of course not.

        I had sudden flashbacks at the Kraine VS Kranna ship wars.

        But basically, yes. Everything you said.

      • With fictional races as long-lived as that, I've always felt that there's no such thing as an OTP for any one of them, there's no one true love for all of space and time. It doesn't work that way. There will be great loves, yes. But my emphasis here is on the plural, and that it being plural does not in any way erase what came before or make what comes after lesser. All are unique and important (much like companions).

        YES. Sarek never has this issue thrust upon him when it comes to Amanda or Perrin or that Vulcan princess that got mentioned in The Final Frontier.

    • icingflarewhite says:

      On the point about fixed points, I don't think altering a fixed point always results in bad things happening. Remember, the Doctor did alter and fixed point in Waters of Mars by saving all those people when they should've died, but nothing happened then. It's probably only fixed points that'd drastically alter time and space as we know it that shouldn't be altered/tried to be altered.

      • arctic_hare says:

        Adelaide fixed it by taking her own life, though – there's no telling what would've happened if he had simply saved her and not let on that she was supposed to die at a fixed point in time. I think this episode shows us the kind of catastrophic consequences that could have ensued.

        • icingflarewhite says:

          I thought they were all supposed to die though, so wouldn't her taking her life not been enough? So maybe there are exceptions the Doctor doesn't know of but this wasn't once of them? Either way, I agree with you that it wasn't a copout and hopefully Ganger!Doctor'll show up again later on.

          • Stephen_M says:

            Yes and No. Yes, they were all supposed to die but it was HER death specificaly that inspired her daughter to go out to the stars and was the fixed point in time. The others were, to use the Doctor's own words, 'little people', the sort he saves every day.

          • arctic_hare says:

            IIRC, it was Adelaide's death that was the "most important", since it inspired her granddaughter to go into space, hence the whole "little people" line of conversation. I could be wrong, though, since I haven't watched it in a while and I admit that most of my memory of it centers around a certain meme here… xD

    • pandalilies says:

      – "The way I see it is this: it was always the Tesselecta getting shot. That was the fixed point in time. The fixed point wasn't changed, time was not rewritten, there was no second Doctor, no Ganger used. When River attempted to change that fixed point by not shooting him, there were real and very dangerous consequences. This part of the show's mythology, that you cannot alter a fixed point in time and that it's a Very Bad Thing to Try, didn't get handwaved away, there's no contradiction: we saw what happens when you do, and as cool as the time-stopped world was, that's not actually something you want to have happen because it was not going to last. "

      YES. I love you. <3

  21. Anzel89 says:

    Disclaimer: If you’re a huge fan of Doctor/River and feel the need to flame those that think differently, please don’t read. I’m sick of being told I’m stupid and a horrible person because I don’t like it. I hate what Moffat has done to River and by extension the Doctor, so some of this is going to be angry.

    Now, the episode itself was not really that bad. Straight forward and I actually kinda liked the get out plan the Doctor came up with. Was it a cop –out, well yes, yes it was. But Moffat had written himself into a corner and there really was no way out, but a cop-out. So I was expecting either the Flesh or the Robot. What else was he going to do, though I will admit I have less forgiveness toward some of the other obvious answers, like the question being “Dr. Who?” *bangs head on wall repeatedly* No, what killed the whole thing for me was the Doctor/River scenes. I’m sorry, I just can't see their chemistry or the validity of their relationship, because I can't get past how truly CREEPY I find it. We are told but never shown that they love one another or that the Doctor even cares about her as more than a great friend and companion. Yes, they flirt and River makes innuendos but frankly she's like Jack, she does it with everyone so in the grand scheme of things it means nothing. I also have several other reasons for feeling this way… I shall list them now.

    First, every single meeting that the two have had on screen has, by the very nature of their relationship, been about manipulation. Ex: In LKH the Doctor told her he loved her or whatever he said to trick her into giving him her regenerations. A fact proven by the scene in the hospital afterwards, were he looks disgusted with himself. She says, "He said no one could save him, but he must have known I could." Then the Doctor says, still looking thoroughly depressed, "Rule one the Doctor lies." Yea, not seeing the love from that whole scene or any before it. He's protective of her, yes, but never more so then he would have been with any companion. He thinks she's a fantastic person, but again, he says that about everyone he's traveled with. He only travels with the best after all. Lastly, yes I know he says "no River don't" but I think that had more to do with the fact that he doesn't WANT her to have to do it. However, she has to if he's going to survive. Again, not seeing the love. More like the Doctor frustrated by the injustice of the whole situation, he's already taken so much from her, now he has to take more.

    Second, the fact that this whole time the Doctor knows that she's going to die for him and that her final wish was that he not change a line of their story… can you say forced and depressing. This whole setup gives the Doctor very little choice at all in the relationship, he has to do it. He has to fall in love with someone he knows he's going to lose. How anyone can see this as a great thing for the Doctor is beyond me. Hasn't the man had enough trauma in his life, now he HAS to fall in love, and constantly lie to the women he loves about where their relationship is going. O wait never mind no he doesn't because Moffat put in that clever little plot twist that, outside of the screwdriver scene, River is going to go to her death with Doctors that kinda like but don't really love her enough for it to be a real emotional problem….. Nice.

    Third, is River herself. River Song/Melody Pond is a damaged, damaged young woman. She was abused as a child and conditioned to be a sociopath, not a psychopath by the way. Sociopaths are people who develop psychotic tendencies because of childhood trauma. Psychopaths are people who are born with a mental condition; sorry that's just bothered me. Back to topic, essentially the narrative and the author are telling us that after everything and everyone the Doctor has sacrificed over the years he deserves the best and that is to be with a sociopath. …WHAT? O and not just a sociopath, but a sociopath who has never known anything other than him, never had a chance to. “It was such a basic mistake, wasn't it, Madame Kovarian? Take a child, raise her into a perfect psychopath, introduce her to the Doctor… Who else was I going to fall in love with?" How sad is that! She's was born and then manufactured to be obsessed with the doctor. I’m sorry but I’d rather have the Doctor with someone who was their own person and then fell in love with him. Rather than the creepy Stepford Wives-esque sociopath we got, who’s absolutely perfect for him in every way and has only the tiniest flaws. No Thank You Mary Sue. No thank you Moffat, you sexist ass. Don’t believe me on the sexist thing, yea look up some of his comments. I think they’d surprise you. I quote “There’s this issue you’re not allowed to discuss: that women are needy. Men can go for longer, more happily, without women. That’s the truth. We don’t, as little boys, play at being married – we try to avoid it for as long as possible. Meanwhile women are out there hunting for husbands.” Now doesn’t that just explain a lot about River?

    (continued)

    • arctic_hare says:

      I could swear I read recently that that particular Moffat quote was from a show he wrote, and people were mistaking it as his thoughts, not the character's, and IIRC he confirmed it on Twitter. I mean, yeah, he's said other things I side-eye, but that one doesn't bother me anymore because a character saying something doesn't mean the writer feels that way.

      • masakochan says:

        Yes, I've asked someone about that quote- and they said it was quote from the character Steve in the show 'Coupling'.

        • arctic_hare says:

          Ah ha, yeah, that was it. Yep, I'll freely side-eye Moffat for other shit he said, but to do it for this quote when you know it's a character saying makes about as much sense as, well, the people who think Harry Potter is Satan's Series because the villain said that line about no good and evil, only power and those who are too weak to seek it. So yeah, I let this one slide now that I know that.

      • Karen says:

        It's not a quote from a show. He did actually say it. But now he's saying that he was saying it AS if talking from a character's POV?

        Anyway, here is the interview it comes from: http://news.scotsman.com/doctorwho/Time-Lad-score

        • masakochan says:

          But now he's saying that he was saying it AS if talking from a character's POV?

          I'm thinking the article writer pulled a quote from the show when he brought up 'Coupling'. People have even sent him a link to the article through twitter, and he's said he can never remember saying that, or thinking like that. Besides- it does contradict the fact that he has said he doesn't understand why women have to take a man's last name anyway (and brought up the fact that his wife didn't take his last name either).

    • kartikeya200 says:

      I have objections to this idea that the Doctor 'tricked' River into giving up her regenerations for him. I think it does her character a huge disservice, because River Song will do what River Song damn well pleases, but moreover, I think it's something I've seen done towards a number of female characters in various fandoms, bizarrely often with the argument that the people saying such things are being champions of strong female characters and feminism.

      We don't know what he whispered in her ear. I think it's safe to say that we do know it wasn't 'give me your regenerations, babe'. Why? Because his reaction when he realizes what she's doing is anything but happy. He tells her not to. He says 'River…no. What are you doing?' And he looks rather depressed later in the hospital room, especially when he says 'Rule one…the Doctor lies'. What did he lie about? He lied about 'no one can save me'. Why did he lie? The only reason that makes sense to me is because, well, River COULD, and he didn't want her making that kind of sacrifice.

      River did it anyway. Love or hate her character, love or hate her decisions, but it was her decision, and I find it really squicky any time someone starts saying that, clearly, the Doctor somehow tricked her or made her do it. Not only is that pretty much the opposite of what actually is shown to happen in that scene, but it implies that River is incapable of making her own decisions on her own. It turns her into a puppet or a victim, and River is neither of these things. Not even a childhood full of mental programming and a spacesuit acting of its own volition can make her do something she doesn't want to do, so no little whisper from the Doctor is going to do that either.

      • arctic_hare says:

        Well said. Thank you. One of the biggest things I've taken away from River Song's story thus far is that she does indeed do whatever the hell she wants, and that she is first and foremost a fighter.

  22. psycicflower says:

    I have no review because I’m ridiculously tired so have some gifs and quotes!

    ‘Hello, get him, tell him it’s me and we’re going out and it’s all on me except for the money and the driving.’
    <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/2qnz807.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    ‘She said that you were a mister hotty nurse and she would like to go out with you for texting and scones.’

    <img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/wtsqhs.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    ‘There are so many theories about you and I you know.’ ‘Gossip.’ ‘Archaeology.’ ‘Same thing.’
    ‘And you are forgiven. Always and completely forgiven.’
    ‘Time can be rewritten’ ‘Don’t you dare.’

    <img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/mkvu3l.png&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"> (lol Amy’s view of Rory. Bless their love)

    <img src="http://i52.tinypic.com/1zg58cx.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"> ‘So you and me we should get a drink some time.’ ‘Okay.’ ‘And married.’ ‘Fine.’

    <img src="http://i56.tinypic.com/2hqe39y.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    ‘This world is dying and it’s my fault. I can’t bear it another day. Please help me. There isn’t another way.’ Then you may kiss the bride.’ ‘I’ll make it a good one.’ ‘You better’
    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/fwhjjd.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"> ‘And Doctor Song in prison all her days’ ‘Her days yes, her nights … well, that’s between her and me, eh’

  23. Karen says:

    My initial reaction to the finale: LOL WUT. No but seriously. What. A. Mess. This episode was basically like: EVERYTHING IS EXACTLY YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE AND IT STILL DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE. We all know the Doctor was never going to die, so the only suspenseful thing was how the Doctor was going to get out of it… and it just wasn't interesting or clever at all.

    Moffat's entire tenure on this show just feels really chaotic. There are all these slippery threads that are somewhat connected, but I can't quite hold onto any of them for very long. And it just feels like more threads/mysteries/whatever are being thrown at me and I can't catch them all. There is still so much that I just don't get which all leads me to believe that Moffat doesn't have everything as planned in advance as he would like us all to believe. We still don't know why the Tardis was exploding in series 5. And wasn't the ~questions (which was "Doctor Who?" LOLLLL OK) supposed to cause the Silence to fall or the universe to implode or something? I still would like to know how River knew to make it to Amy and Rory's wedding. In The Big Bang pre-Amy remembering, Alex Kingston's River shouldn't even exist. Rory and Amy's baby was only Time Lord (and thus able to regenerate into Alex Kingston) because it was conceived on the Tardis… which wouldn't happen in a universe without the Doctor. I still don't quite understand the Silence and why they (apparently) destroyed the vampire-fish's home planet. And how did bbRiver end up regenerating in the alleyway in the 60s in New York?

    In a lot of ways, I feel like Moffat Who has a lot of the same pitfalls that Lost had. (rot13 just in case for some Lost expectation spoilers) Gur rneyl frnfbaf bs Ybfg jrer nofbyhgryl oevyyvnag, ohg nf gur fubj jrag ba, gur jevgref sryg yvxr gurl arrqrq gb cvyr ba zlfgrel naq cybg gjvfg ba gbc bs zlfgrel naq cybg gjvfg, naq V sryg yvxr gur fubj ybfg gur bevtvany cybg. Rirelguvat whfg orpnzr bire pbzcyvpngrq naq pbashfrq naq jngpuvat vg jnf n sehfgengvat rkcrevrapr. V'z fgnegvat gb srry gung jnl jvgu Qbpgbe Jub. Vg nyfb unf gur fnzr ceboyrz bs perngvat nyy bs guvf ohvyq-hc gb gur cbvag jurer vg'f vzcbffvoyr gung gur cnl-bss jvyy rire srry fngvfsnpgbel sbe nyy gur ohvyq hc gung vg'f tbggra. I feel like Moffat thinks he's so clever with his time loops and timey wimey nonsense, playing with the concepts of time travel, and maybe he is. But I just do not care. Do you know what I find to be even more clever? Telling creative, compelling and emotional stories withing the standard rules of time travel.

    Also, having the two main characters (the Doctor and River) lie all the time is just lazy. Instead of planning ahead and making sure that scripts and timelines make sense, it's just retroactive retconning. The Doctor/River lied! BULLSHIT.

    Speaking of the Doctor and River, their wedding just confirmed how weird their entire relationship is and why it just doesn't work for me. Instead of just doing a simple love story, there has to be a ~reason~ that the Doctor married River. He needed her to look into his eyes, so she would see that it was the Tessalect (or whatever its called). Idk. I just keep getting the impression that River needs to read He's Just Not That Into You because while I totally believe that River is head over heels in love with the Doctor, I'm not getting the impression that the Doctor feels the same. He certainly cares for her a LOT, but it doesn't feel like he has that same passionate and romantic love that River does. And I have to wonder if that is intrinsic to the storyline. The first time that the Doctor meets River, she dies for him because she loves him THAT much, and I think that casts a shadow over their entire relationship. I don't know how conscious it is, but I do think there is some element of the Doctor feeling obligated to love River so that it will be worth it in the end when she dies for him. I saw someone say that with River, it's like he loves her because she needs him too, but with Rose, the Doctor loved her because he needed HER. I think that's an interesting contrast.

    So, on the subject of the Doctor and River’s marriage, why DID they get married? Was it just because the Doctor needed the ~super special~ power of Eleven and River’s kiss to set time back in place? (I’m not quite sure I understand why Eleven touching River set time going again in the first place. Also, the Doctor wasn’t actually touching River. It was a robot that LOOKED like the Doctor that was touching River so… not quite sure how that worked as far as restarting time goes.) So the point of the marriage was to set time back into place by getting her to have prolonged physical contact and also to make sure that she looked into his eye and knew that he was the Tessalect? How romantic. Down in the pyramid the Doctor says "I don't want to marry you." To which River replies, "I don't want to murder you." which makes this all seem like some sort of compromise. The Doctor agrees to marry River so that she will agree to murder him? IDK.

    • notemily says:

      I agree with you about Lost, but the fundamental difference to me is I actually care about the characters on Who, while the characters on Lost were mostly utterly unlikeable to me. I didn't give a shit about Jack's daddy issues and Kate's love triangle. They were sometimes amusing to watch, but I didn't love them. I love the characters on Doctor Who, though, so even when the plot makes no sense I have fun watching it anyway.

      I'm not going to pass final judgment on the Doctor and River's relationship until we've seen the whole thing play out, and I don't think we've seen the last of them. I'm still holding out hope that the Doctor will fall more in love with River as time goes on.

      • arctic_hare says:

        I hated that love triangle so much. That was the worst. I loved Lost, and I had characters I really liked, but the love triangle was just bullshit. So painful to watch. I DID NOT CARE WHICH GUY SHE CHOSE, AAAARGH. So much potential with her backstory and everything and they reduce it to ship wars, ugh. I HAVE ISSUES WITH HOW THEY HANDLED KATE, LET ME SHOW YOU THEM.

  24. Karen says:

    This all feeds into why I just do not like the River Song/Melody Pond plot. Everything about her life is so predestined because of time lines and fixed points and blah blah blah. It just feels like her life doesn't have a lot of free will about it, and her life is pretty awful. She spends her childhood being brainwashed by a religious organization. She never gets to properly raised by her parents. After ~getting over~ her brainwashing, she seems to live a life that is a bit obsessed with the Doctor (wanting to find him is the reason she she becomes an archeologist). Then she gets married to him as a compromise because she said she would never kill him and he said he would never marry her. So thus he marries her so that she will kill him. Then she goes to jail for "killing him" and lives for the days where she sees him. And it all ends with her meeting a version of him that doesn't recognize her and she dies for him. So yeah, while I do like River's personality, I just really hate her story.

    While I’m talking about River, I want to look at her actions on top of the pyramid. Which.. giiiirl…. You need to sort out your priorities. She’s ok with the whole of creation being destroyed because she can’t stand the idea of murdering the Doctor? Really, River? I’ve seen some discussion relating River on top of the pyramid to Rose in series 4, and I’ve got to disagree. River knew exactly what she was doing. She knew she was going to let the universe be destroyed to save the Doctor. Rose didn’t start to build the dimension canon until after things in Pete’s World had gotten so bad that it was clear that they needed the Doctor. I think River in the spacesuit refusing to kill the Doctor is perhaps more analogous to Rose in “Father’s Day” when she first saved Pete’s life. But even then, when Pete realized he was going to have to die to set time right again, Rose didn’t stop him. She realized she was going to have to let her dad die for the sake of the universe. I’m also thinking back to Rose in “World War Three” when the solution to saving the world might mean Rose’s death. The Doctor says, “I could save the world and lose you” to which Rose replies without hesitation, “do it”. River though is just being stupidly stubborn and Amy is just standing there and not making any objections? WHAT? WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU GUYS? UUUUGH.

    So the Doctor never died at Lake Silencio. The fixed point was not actually the Doctor's death, but rather… other people thinking he died (which is actually moot because Amy, River and Rory all know he’s alive…)? Because fixing time did not involve the Doctor's death. Well, ok. I guess. I mean, I figured that whatever the ~solution~ to the Doctor's death was going to be, it would be anti-climatic, but yeah…

    This episode also left a bunch of unanswered questions/plotholes:
    Why did Amy remember River and all that stuff, but not being married to Rory? Do her super special memory powers have selective memories? Why did River need to be in the suit if it acted on its own? Why did she have to be part Time Lord for the suit to work? Why did the Tardis explode in series 5? What exactly are the Silence anyway? Was their whole goal just to make sure that the Doctor died in order to preserve Time? That doesn’t seem THAT bad.

    All that said, I did enjoy the fun imagery of all of history happening at once. I loved the Rose line just because I grin at every mention of her name and I love that the show hasn’t forgotten her. But NO TY, ELEVEN. LEAVE BB!ROSE ALONE. You have a terrible track record with messing up children’s lives. I liked Amy showing emotion about losing her baby. I liked Amy being all boss in general. I loved that Amy and Rory are ~meant to be~ in any and all universes and the Doctor trying to fix them up was hilarious. Speaking of Amy, seeing Amy’s drawings all over the office only reinforced my wish that Amy’s post Doctor career had been something arty instead of “vague celebrity with perfume line”.

    Ten died to save a single life of a man he cared about. Eleven “died” in order to maintain a time line. Yep. That sums up the difference between RTD’s Who and Moffat’s Who and I think succinctly explains why I’ve been so dissatisfied with Moffat’s tenure as show runner. It lacks the human emotion and is full of silly plot twists with no consequences.

    • Minish says:

      "What a mess" was exactly my reaction too. I wasn't sure if I was allowed to like it or not.

      And in some way, that kind of appealed to me, especially on rewatch. It occurred to me that it was SUPPOSE to be chaotic and hectic and extra wibbly wobbly. It's what I love about Moffat stories; nothing is straightforward. But at the same time, I longed for a little more clarity and chronology.

      I'd the give the episode an A, but it doesn't feel like it would be an A, but there wasn't really anything wrong with it to give it a B. So I'm going to give it an ∀. There, you go, I just reinvented the grading scale.

    • Lambchop919 says:

      River needed to be in the suit because someone had to take the blame for it, otherwise the authorities would be investigating to find out who was behind it. Clearly, River could have implicated the Silence, but she doesn't. She takes the punishment to protect their secret. And it is their secret, not just the Doctor's. Why River? Because she'd killed the Doctor as she was programmed to, and then had the audacity to bring him back to life. Don't you think the Silence were a bit miffed about that? Also, they had gone to the trouble to set up the fixed point, but by that time, River had overcome her programming. So I felt that they did it as punishment as well. "You think you outsmarted us, but think again."

      As far as River being selfish, sure she was, but seriously? She didn't want to kill the Doctor. If you were in her place, would you just acquiesce without trying to find another alternative? Or would you just give in to the inevitable without trying? As it turns out, there was no alternate solution that River found while in the time bubble, but – and this was clearly in the dialogue – she didn't want him going to his death without knowing how much he was loved, not just by the her, but the people throughout the universe he'd helped over his lifetime. Considering how we've been shown up to now that the Doctor seemed to be going willingly to his death with his dark thoughts of "Everyone I love gets hurt just by knowing me" and all his mainpain, she was countering this specifically.

      Now, unknown to everyone else except the crew of the Tesselecta, the Doctor had a plan to avoid death, and to me, it was clear that when River refused to shoot him, he was frustrated that his plan had been interrupted. In fact, he was the one being a bit selfish. Telling River she is forgiven always was supposed to placate her? Really? Was she selfish? Sure, she was, but she also knew she'd have to fix the time bubble eventually. She just had a few things to say first.

      In the end, in my view, the Doctor realized that he couldn't do it alone. I thought it showed him really acknowledging that not only was she his equal, but that he really did love her. Remember, too, at the beginning of TIA when they're in the diner after she shoots his hat off, they're syncing their diaries, and they've had a LOT of adventures together off-screen: Jim the Fish, etc. So the Doctor has spent a lot of time with her. Whether she can remember any of this in the alt-bubble (if you noticed, in her drawings, Amy remembered "future" things that happened post TIA/DotM) I don't know. But she is part time lord, so things are a bit different for her than for others. And Amy did remember being married to Rory. She just got hung up on the drawing she'd done and didn't put two and two together that "Commander Williams" was Rory. She didn't know his first name in the alt-bubble.

  25. Anzel89 says:

    Now for those of you who say o well she's not a sociopath anymore LKH fixed that. I say to you; no, and this episode proves it. River was more than willing to sacrifice the lives of uncountable numbers of innocent people, while subsequently asking them to help her by the way, so that she could get the outcome SHE wanted. Her thoughts and feelings were more important than all of reality because she was River Song. That ladies and gentlemen is one of the main traits of a sociopath. Everyone else can stuff it as long as they get what they want. Forget the fact that if she hadn't been stopped the Doctor would have died anyway, only with the deaths of everyone in the universe on his conscious. Nope, who care's, as long as River gets what River wants. That's why when he said he was ashamed of her I truly think he meant it. We know the Doctor, we know his views on life and everything in it, why does anyone think he would find this "romantic" in the least. I can see him being absolutely terrified by how obsessed River is with him, not entranced. Look at the facts, according to the timeline we've been presented she's only ever really met him twice. Once as a baby and in LKH. You can assume that they might have had contact while she was in school, but that's never said and therefore never happened. Until it is said everything else is fan conjecture not fact. So that means she was willing to sacrifice all of reality for a man she barely knew and people called Rose obsessed. Now I'm no Rose lover, but at least she had years of history and another reason, the stars going out, for doing what she did. Even then it could be argued that she never did any damage at all because of what Davros was doing.

    River on the other hand, with a handful of conversations and childhood stories was ready to murder everyone in the Universe. You catch that, EVERYONE, men, women, and children; they didn’t matter. She was so much more important than an infinite amount of people. Because she loves him more than anyone else in his entire life has, never mind the fact that he’s 1100 and she knows next to nothing about him or the people he’s traveled with in the past. The whole situation can be boiled down to this; “O Sweetie I love you more than anything in the Universe, so to prove it to you I’m going to destroy everything YOU love! Hehe aren’t I just the BEST!” What was she planning on boiling his favorite pet rabbit next? Now we know why she’s never jealous, outside of the fact that the only woman she’s seen him with was her mom. It’s not because she’s secure in their relationship, it’s because she’s convinced that never, in all of space and time, has anyone loved him or been more suited to him than her. So why be jealous? That's just so, so wrong! That’s like Bella in Twilight levels of obsession and just…YUCK!

    Then there’s that romantic wedding, can anyone else say appeasing the crazy person. Again, manipulation. The Doctor realizes how obsessed she is and he knows that the only way to control her, to get her to listen at all, is to give her what she wants. This way he can watch over her after all this is over so that she doesn’t do something like this again. Now you might say, "The Doctor would never do that!" I say to you, given his long and devious history, why outside of wanting them to be the perfect couple do you think that? I, personally, can’t think of one reason. His number on rule is the Doctor lies for Christ sake. Hell the “You do as your told” comment on top of the “I don’t want to marry you” and the “I’m ashamed of you” gives credence to the idea that he’s manipulating her…AGAIN! Don’t even get me started on that last comment about her nights. Given her mental state in this episode the idea that he would take advantage of her like that is all sorts of DO.NOT.WANT. In the end it all comes down to this, and I’m quoting from a friend because I couldn’t have summed it up better myself.

    “The problem with the origin they gave her is that her entire life, from beginning to end, revolves around the Doctor. The writers didn't just ruin the character, they did so retroactively. She's no longer a "cool character who happens to know the Doctor," she's now a character "who is cool BECAUSE of the Doctor." Who she is, everything she knows and does is because of the Doctor. She's not an archaeologist, for example, because she has similar interests to the Doctor, she's an archaeologist just so she can STALK the Doctor. She started out as another rock-star, an equal to the Doctor, but got turned into nothing but a life-long groupie.”

    …again, sorry about the ranty parts…I’m just so upset with what he’s done to River. πŸ™

  26. Noybusiness says:

    1. "If the Doctor told River Song to look into his eye, so she could see his actual self inside the Teselecta, then what on earth did River whisper to him in “Silence in the Library”? Did the Doctor double lie and really tell her his name?"

    She whispered his name. Isn't it obvious that she'll find it out later and we were just teased that she had found it out now? We thought the wedding was the one time he could say it, but it was something else.

    2. "Why marry River Song? Okay, I do actually believe that he loves her (and holdfasting HHHNNNNGGGGG), but was that all just to get her to kiss him? Which is both an amazing and romantic thing and one of the silliest plot resolutions ever. At the same time. I mean…isn’t marriage a bit of a stretch just to get someone to touch you? Right?"

    Because he wants to marry her, of course.

    3. "Okay, if the Silence needed the Doctor’s death to repair time, and the Teselecta took his place, how exactly does that “trick” work? The touch seemed instantaneous, but how exact must it be? Wouldn’t it be easy to figure out that it wasn’t physically the Doctor?"

    I don't understand all of this question. The Teselecta's "death" was the event that needed to happen. Who is supposed to figure out that it's not the Doctor? River? Surely the Teselecta can feel just like flesh, or it couldn't do its work.

    4. "What was the point of the weird lines to the Ganger Doctor at the end of that two-parter? Just a feint on Moffat’s part so that we might think the Ganger Doctor was the one to actually die?"

    Yes, exactly.

    5. "Okay, doesn’t this whole episode sort of invalidate the Doctor’s journey towards finding out whether he is truly a good moral force?"

    How? Didn't it show to him that he was one, with all the people willing to help him in the sky?

    6. "I think the Doctor really is going to go into hiding and we’ll probably see more of that in the Christmas special and maybe in the Easter special next year."

    What Easter special next year? What have you heard about an Easter special? I've heard nothing. If you're just speculating there will be one, you should really make that clear, Mark!

    • NB2000 says:

      What Easter special next year? What have you heard about an Easter special? I've heard nothing. If you're just speculating there will be one, you should really make that clear, Mark!

      There was a "schedule" on Tumblr, and I believe someone posted it here in the Closing Time liveblog (EDIT: No it wasn't, it was on the spoiler blog, silly me), that claimed there was an Easter special with the first half of the next full series being around this time next year with the second half following in early 2013 and a full series later in the year for the 50th. The BBC haven't said anything about this so it's just rumours atm.

    • icingflarewhite says:

      I don't think we can really tell if Ganger!Doctor was a feint or not. He might be important to the plot of season/series seven but if it was a feint, it was a pointless one.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      On the topic of the Ganger…I think it was partly a feint on Moffat's part, but I'm still expecting him to return next series. Maybe just because I love watching Matt Smith interact with himself.

    • arctic_hare says:

      "4. "What was the point of the weird lines to the Ganger Doctor at the end of that two-parter? Just a feint on Moffat’s part so that we might think the Ganger Doctor was the one to actually die?"

      Yes, exactly."

      Communism is just a red herring.

    • curt says:

      "2. "Why marry River Song? Okay, I do actually believe that he loves her (and holdfasting HHHNNNNGGGGG), but was that all just to get her to kiss him? Which is both an amazing and romantic thing and one of the silliest plot resolutions ever. At the same time. I mean…isn’t marriage a bit of a stretch just to get someone to touch you? Right?"

      Because he wants to marry her, of course."

      Except, inside the pyramid:
      "I dont want to marry you."

      • nonny says:

        Rule 1: the doctor lies.

        • arctic_hare says:

          Yep. I don't believe for a second that he actually meant it: that whole scene was him lying his ass off and trying to get shit done by himself according to a secret plan. When things went not as planned, he chose to let her in on the secret and dropped the act.

          • Laurelai MacBain says:

            I believe he meant it. There's no reason he'd lie about not wanting to marry her. Lying about that wouldn't have made it happen faster. Quite the opposite, in fact. Instead of just getting to it, they had to spend time discussing the matter.

        • Laurelai MacBain says:

          I don't buy that line for a second. Lets not let that be an excuse to explain away everything that doesn't make sense. It's cheap and way too convenient. On top of that, it makes the Doctor's word worthless and I actually like the feeling that I could trust the Doctor…as far as you can trust a fictional character.

  27. kartikeya200 says:

    Okay I'm just going to write off the top of my head here without bothering to organize much at all, so let's just be safe and say THEORIES ABOUND throughout, because I'm gonna be asking a whole lot of questions.

    "I tried running, running only brought me here."

    If 'Silence will fall' (or as Doriam puts it, Silence MUST fall) refers solely to the Doctor's death and NOT what we saw happen in the series 5 finale, it makes me wonder just what the Doctor's name being known would do. Is it still a universe ending catastrophe? Or is it something else that scares people enough that they founded a religious order that essentially means 'Murderface the Doctor so he keeps his mouth shut'? Was the TARDIS blowing up someone's last ditch effort to keep that secret untold even at the expense of the entire universe never having existed? Because that's a wee bit of an extreme reaction, I'm just saying.

    And I wonder if this whole 'Fall of the Eleventh, Cliffs of Trendalore' thing is also a fixed point in time. Because it seems to me that the Silence may have only helped to guarantee the Doctor will survive to get there with everything they've done. After all, if they hadn't decided to put on a whole production, involve his companions, twist Melody Pond's entire life around killing him, force her into killing him anyway after she'd broken their conditioning, blown up his TARDIS, and just had one of the Silence dudes ZAP HIM first chance they got, then the Doctor would have never learned about them, their purpose, the Question, never would have kicked them off of Earth, Demon's Run would never have happened, etc. If they'd never involved Melody Pond, the Doctor may have never run into the Tessalector. To put it shortly, if they hadn't done so very very much to specifically piss him off, they'd have likely managed to kill him with little fuss.

    To borrow Kovarian's perfectly delivered line: Whoooops.

    Speaking of Kovarian, I'm pretty sure we haven't seen the last of her. She died in an aborted timeline, so wouldn't that mean she's still alive? Or did everyone who died in the 5:02 universe blink out of existence in that second in which the Doctor was shot, because it technically wasn't another universe or another timeline (time wasn't actually uh, lining at all) but one second stretched out for all infinity in all directions? In which case, that line the Silence had for Rory 'dying again one last time' is pretty chilling. What WERE they going to do there anyway? What would have happened if they'd killed the Doctor there, rather than the Doctor 'dying' at Lake Silencio? Would time still have repaired itself, or would it have just kept going until it died completely? If just dying would have fixed things, it seems like the Doctor could have found a way to do that pretty easily, and it seems the fixed point wasn't about the Doctor dying anyway…it was about him getting shot at the lake and everyone THINKING he was dead. Which suggests they might've been just fine with the 5:02 universe going until it disintegrated, so long as it meant the Doctor's name would never be known.

    Anyway, back to Kovarian. I think if she IS dead, we might see a younger version of her. If she isn't, then she's totally showing up again (but I would be perfectly fine with Amy killing her again, I mean really guys, that was so dark and yet THE BEST. It's warring with 'NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH' for my favorite mama bear moment, and I never thought anything would come close to Molly Weasley).

    I'm still not entirely sure we've seen the last of the flesh!Doctor either. Likely that was just a fun hook for people to go 'and somewhere out there is another Doctor running around having adventures with Kleeves', but you know. If he survives, then there are technically two people that know this terrible secret that must never be spoken. And if he survives, then even if the Doctor HAD died at Lake Silencio, there was still someone out there that might one day show up at the cliffs of Trendalore…

    • kartikeya200 says:

      So when the Doctor looks over at Amy, Rory, and River in The Impossible Astronaut and says 'I'm sorry', he's actually apologizing for putting them through the heartache of thinking he's dead, and not only just for making them watch him 'die', or for all the chaos his younger self is about to inadvertently put them through, right?

      Except HAHA, Doctor, you don't get rid of the Ponds that easily. I kind've laughed when River was all 'oh well, ALL RIGHT, I'll tell you this secret I probably shouldn't' because it just seemed like she was just waiting, just bursting to tell Amy and she only needed the flimsiest excuse to do so (and she kind've directed the conversation that way on top of it).

      Also guys, there were hugs and Amy 'killed' Kovarian, so really, I'm happy. I don't ask for much!

      Oh wait, then the entire universe told the Doctor that he's really kind've awesome for all his faults. *sniffle*

      Oh, and there was the bit with the Brig. Guys, guys. I've only known about the Brig for like, a month. I've devoured the entirety of the Third Doctor's run and a fair chunk of the Fourth, and that may've been the moment I misted up the most at in this episode.

      To be honest, I've seen this episode three times already (once on my own, twice with my mother, and I've got at least once more on the way), and I think it gets better on repeated viewings. Much like Let's Kill Hitler, there's SO much going on SO fast that if you blink you'll miss SOMETHING. But it also means that I'm rather incapable at the moment of formulating coherent thoughts about it, because it just seems like a big awesome chunk of ridiculous. And really, a big awesome chunk of ridiculous is everything I want from Doctor Who.

      P.S. Fall of the Eleventh, NO. >( I'm going to be in mourning when the Doctor regenerates, y'all. An unexpected viewing of The Eleventh Hour got me into Doctor Who where I don't think anything else would have, so while I love them all I'm going to be SO sad when Eleven is gone.

      • arctic_hare says:

        P.S. Fall of the Eleventh, NO. >( I'm going to be in mourning when the Doctor regenerates, y'all. An unexpected viewing of The Eleventh Hour got me into Doctor Who where I don't think anything else would have, so while I love them all I'm going to be SO sad when Eleven is gone.

        Me too. πŸ™ I love Eleven, I don't want him to go any time soon.

      • Elexus Calcearius says:

        Agreed. I don't want to see Eleven go, either. I know, he'll have to go eventually, and I'll welcome the next Doctor with open arms…but can we have at least two more series with him?

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          Add me to #TeamElevenPleaseStayForever.

          • @lula34 says:

            Annnnnnnnnd…someone start this Tumblr. Or Twitter. Or blog. WHICHEVER. #TeamElevenPleaseStayForever

            Because while Ten is my Doctor, because that's how I started the series, I say with all sincerity that Eleven is THE Doctor.

            You know…for those of us in the States who didn't grow up knowing Doctor Who (and Doctors 1-8) their whole lives, having just entered this world sometime between 2005 and now.

      • FlameRaven says:

        Yes. Can we have Eleven be like the Fourth Doctor and just stay on air for 10 or 15 years or whatever it was? Because I'd be okay with that.

      • …but what if the Eleventh isn't the Doctor? What if… it's an Eleventh legion orrrrr something. Augh. Moffat.

  28. Karen says:

    [youtube T9Q5baJ223M http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9Q5baJ223M youtube]

    Aaaalso,, y'all should watch this. An amusing 12:30 summation of why this series plot makes no sense and is ridiculous.

    • Anzel89 says:

      HAHAHAHAHA!!! XD

    • Jenny_M says:

      This is amazing. It's like all my annoyances summed up in one 12 minute nugget. I think what frustrates me is that I enjoy the cast so very much, but I just can't deal with the plotlines.

    • notemily says:

      This is funny, but I keep having rebuttals to it. Like, the Silence CREATED the Doctor's death as a fixed point in time, presumably AFTER (from their perspective) their earlier efforts had failed. If they hadn't done that, there would be no fixed point… but whatever, timey wimey. And it's true we don't know why River had to be the one in the suit. Or why they blew up the TARDIS. Or how much they knew about… things.

      Also, that dude's accent was pretty ridiculous in the actual episode. What sort of accent WAS that?

      • t09yavorsaur says:

        I feel the same way watching it, most of the confusion the skit mentions involves things that the characters themselves could really not have known about and with some creativity I am sure the rest could somehow be explained.

    • t09yavorsaur says:

      This video made me realize:

      River in a robotic suit kills the Doctor in a robotic suit.

  29. trash_addict says:

    Yup, I'm feeling pretty conflicted too. My *inital* reaction was generally happiness and satisfaction – I came out of it feeling good and like it hadn't been too rushed and my head, it was wrapped. Um, and then I started thinking about it. And I read this last night: http://io9.com/5844553/why-this-years-doctor-who-
    (I hope it's okay to post links to other reviews – that's a particularly good one) and yours and now I'm just shaking my head and MOOFFAAATTT-ing. There are SO many questions that haven't been satisfactorily answered. I guess it's cool if he wants to have multi-seasonal arcs but season 5 felt way more *contained*, y'know. This is like the middle part of a trilogy and it's not super-satisfying.

  30. knut_knut says:

    Overall, I thought this was a solid, fun episode- how could I not like something that had pterodactyls and skulls that eat people? SKULLS THAT EAT PEOPLE!! My main issue with it is that I felt it carried very little weight. I wish I could combine RTD and Moffat to make Russell T Moffat who would be THE PERFECT Who writer. Moffat is very good at writing plots, but sometimes forgets to give those plots the emotional weight they need, while RTD is kind of the opposite. I thought we were building up to a Doctor racked with guilt who was going to step away from the limelight by “dying”, which is pretty much what we got, minus the important part where he’s racked with guilt. Eleven definitely feels guilty and Matt does an AMAZING job of portraying centuries of guilt, but I wanted MORE, especially since we know Eleven isn’t actually going to die and Moffat already introduced 2 ways to save the Doctor, so rather than trying to surprise us with a twist we’re already expecting, Moffat should have focused on the emotional side. I like that Moffat tied up loose ends, but was disappointed that it was driven by plot rather than by emotions.
    con't

    • knut_knut says:

      BUT! For all the complaining I did this season, I still enjoyed myself and am excited for Season 7. I like that Moffat has this epic arc going on- it keeps us on our toes! I was initially frustrated that we didn’t get all the answers to everything, but I think this is all building up to something incredible at which point I will look back at this comment and try to build my own TARDIS so that I can go back in time and strangle myself for saying I want MORE. I just hope he reigns things in a bit because I think Moffat got a bit carried away this season.

      There is only ONE question I’m left with (ETA: obviously, I have A MILLION OTHER QUESTIONS, but this is the only one I thought could be answered), which is pretty impressive because I normally understand nothing, but it’s incredibly inane so minus a million points for me. Do the Silence move REALLY slowly or is that some Matrix-y effect because how hard is it to kill one when they’re like hairless sloths in suits? It takes them FOREVER to “charge”, but I always forget to look at what’s around them to see if it’s some dramatic effect or if they’re just really slow.

      • Do the Silence move REALLY slowly or is that some Matrix-y effect because how hard is it to kill one when they’re like hairless sloths in suits?

        They are the secret lovechild of the Weeping Angels and Keanu Reeves.

    • Openattheclose says:

      I wish I could combine RTD and Moffat to make Russell T Moffat who would be THE PERFECT Who writer. Moffat is very good at writing plots, but sometimes forgets to give those plots the emotional weight they need, while RTD is kind of the opposite.
      THIS.

  31. inseriousity. says:

    This episode was ruined for me as soon as the 'Previously' came on and showed the Tesselecta. I thought oh there's the answer.

    I am not much of a fan of this finale. While, as someone said before me, all the episodes are good TV with the worst of the bunch merely 'good' or 'average' rather than terrible, I was left feeling rather disappointed at it overall. Watching 'The Big Bang', I had a huge smile on my face watching the story reach its conclusion and by the time "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" line came, I was like OMG WHY DIDN'T I REALISE?!!!!!

    This episode felt like it was going "I'M SO CLEVER, I KNOW THE ANSWERS, YOU DON'T, NER NER NER. I WONDER HOW MANY EPISODES I CAN GET AWAY WITH IT!" That's not me saying that I want all the answers straight away, I do like how it's been spread out but you can still tell a funny, uplifting, sad, suspenseful story (like Big Bang) stand on its own merits without the ~~~BIG MYSTERY~~~ being the key part of the suspense.

    • inseriousity. says:

      Despite that, I'm a glass half full guy so I'll end on a positive:

      – Madame Kovarian is a very good villain. Yes we haven't had much character development but she's technically not dead so I'll assume it'll come. First time we've seen her frightened as her normally perfect plan went a way she didn't expect.

      – LOL amy, you are a badass

      – rory you are a badass too

      – DICKENS. CHURCHILL. DINOSAURS EATING CHILDREN. LOL

    • sporkaganza93 says:

      Lol, not ruined, but me too on the matter of "Oh, the Doctor must have been in one of those robot guys." as soon as the Tesselecta showed up in the recap. Disappointing. They should have left that out.

  32. <img src=http://images.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/10387476.jpg>

  33. Elexus Calcearius says:

    My review of Season Six:
    Season Six was a confusing, strange and very different one from the previous, but not necessarily a bad one.

    It’s changed a lot of the status quo, both in terms of the story and the presentation. The season’s layout is very different to the ones set up in the previous five. It started off with a two-parter, something which had never happened before and had a ‘mid-season’ finale. The episodes were much more arc based and serialized. Both these changes have their pros and cons. The changed set up through viewers on a loop and made things less easy to predict, but also gave a chaotic feel. More casual viewers, or those who like more separate stories probably disliked the myth based episodes (which arguably composed of 50% of the season), but those who like longer story arcs probably preferred it.

    The main story was definitely one of the most confusing ones I’ve encountered in a long time, due to the large amount of time travel, memory loss, and duplicates woven throughout the narrative. On the bright side, this made for an engaging story that made viewers desperate to know more, but because of the twisting nature, made it confusing and seem full of plot holes until you had finished. Also, the story arc was much less subtle than the ones we sometimes say in RTD era; some might have preferred the nuance of things such as ‘Bad Wolf’, while others might feel this seemed less tacked on than just adding references of “Harold Saxon” to every other episode. Your Mileage May Vary.

    The plot was driven by two things; how did the Doctor die (or more accurately, how does he get out of it?) and ‘Who is River Song?’. Personally, I thought it was a good story, although this will of course be subjective. It turns out that River’s past is more convoluted and sad than ever, and I know many people won’t like that- but then, it was never stated to be a good thing within the story itself. River had to live through a traumatic childhood, and the Ponds never got to see their child grow up; that’s a sad thing, but never said to be otherwise. We don’t always want our characters to have lived perfect lives, and it made way for wonderful comeuppance for Madame Kovarian by Amy’s hand.

    On the plot of the Doctor’s death, I found it very interesting. For the first part, I enjoyed very much Matt’s portrayal of it- as someone who was upset, and would go out fighting, but also far more accepting and composed than the way the Tenth Doctor went out. The story lines that were driven around it were suitably exciting and confusing to hold interest, but I also felt it wrapped up nicely. Some may accuse the reveal that the Doctor who was killed as really just being the Tesselecta in disguise as being out-of-nowhere, but I disagree; it was set-up in a previous episode, and reinstated in the ‘Wedding of River Song’ itself, and all in all was much more set up than things such as ‘Tinker Bell Jesus’ or even Amy restoring the Doctor in ‘The Big Bang’, as much as I loved it.

    There were other, more minor plot threads and themes running throughout the season. The most obvious is that of Amy; her becoming less dependent of the Doctor, and living her own life, and coming to respect Rory more. For me, this was a real joy to watch. Seeing her having truly accepted Rory in ‘The Impossible Astronaut’ was great, and we get to see her love grow over the season. Some might prefer that she not have any dependence on any guy, but I completely disagree. Who’s to say that to be a good ‘female role model’ you’re not allowed to be in love? Finally she was able to come over here blind idealism of the Doctor, and stop waiting.

    Rory also got growth here, although admittedly much of it probably came from his stint as the Last Centurion. But we see Mr. Pond’s confidence grow even more. He becomes less jelous of the Doctor, and more self-assured. At the same time, he is willing to fight with both enemies and the Doctor himself, and it was really great to see someone tell the Doctor out for the more questionable things he did.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      That’s not to say I don’t think the season was perfect. My major criticisms would be the following:

      One; there was hardly enough focus on Rory and Amy’s revelation that River was their daughter, and also their best friend. A little more desperation and mentions on their part would have been greatly appreciated.

      Two; their best friend, Mels. Just having mentioned or shown her in past episodes would have made ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ more satisfying.

      Three: Hints of sexism here and there. This is highly controversial, and also very much subjective, so I won’t point out individual instances, because you all probably know what I’m talking about. Needless to say, I’d like to see less of it.

      Four: The Doctor saving himself due to his knowledge of the future/stable time loop. I personally like this trope, and that Moffat has made this show more about time travel. However, I hope he doesn’t continue to rely on it, and comes with more novel ways for the next season.

      Five: I wish that the evil!River Song story had lasted for more than an episode. There was a lot of potential there in terms of poot, and Kingston’s acting was such a delight to watch in “Let’s Kill Hitler”. On a similar note, I wonder how much we missed in the Doctor’s 200 years.

      Six: Minor detail; time lines don’t make much sense in terms of the Ponds, suggesting there were two of them on earth at the same time. But unless that becomes a plot point, I’ll just forget about it. Sound good?

      All and all, I thoroughly enjoyed the season. I do think that it took a lot of risks, and in doing so, made it one of those “love it or hate it” series (so hopefully people will realize this, and not fight too much about it). As someone who likes more of a central story I loved being able to follow the plot, and I really enjoy the more convoluted plots and the wild speculating. Matt Smith, Karen Gillian, Arthur Darvil and Alex Kingston really shined as actor and actresses. Although I love all Doctor’s dearly, Smith’s portrayal is making me love him more and more with every episode, and Rory Williams is now one of my favourite companions. In addition, River Song, a character whom I was previously neutral, has really risen in my enjoyment of her. Furthermore, the episode brought wonderful new villains in the way of the Silence, a whole world of future plots in the form of gangers, and a whole bunch of humour packed into each and every episode. It was great fun, and I eagerly await the next season.

      Round Up (even more of my opinion than last part)

      Worst Episode:
      “The Curse of the Black Spot”
      Most Controversial Episode
      “Let’s Kill Hitler!
      Funniest Episode
      “Closing Time”
      Best Episodes
      “The Doctor’s Wife” and “The Girl Who Waited”

      • arctic_hare says:

        Great review, I agree with… I think pretty much everything, but especially that round up. πŸ˜€

      • psycicflower says:

        I agree with your review, particularly the evil!Melody/River. I'd've loved it if they'd had it spread out a bit longer. Aside from how much fun Alex Kingston seemed to have, it would be great to have River turn up and for us not to know if she's from the good or bad part of her timeline.

      • Six: Minor detail; time lines don’t make much sense in terms of the Ponds, suggesting there were two of them on earth at the same time. But unless that becomes a plot point, I’ll just forget about it. Sound good?

        But didn't Amy and Rory and also just Amy, wave to themselves/herself across that valley that one time? Or did that get crack!retconned?

        • Elexus Calcearius says:

          No, I think that still happened. I mean, I think there are two copies of Amy and Rory- the ones pre "Impossible Astronaut' and post "God Delusion" living on Earth. They apparently don't know about each other, except that Amy's apparently a famous super-model, so I'm not sure how that works.

  34. pocketmouse says:

    In A Good Man Goes to War, we saw the Doctor's crib, which obviously had HIS name on it, in Gallifreyan. River is a child of the TARDIS — if she can fly it, and knows how to make things like it, it stands to follow that she knows Gallifreyan. Therefore, she's seen his name on his crib, and that's how she knows it. Easy.

    My main complaint is that since Moffat wanted to stretch out the 'will they save Melody' angle, there was never any onscreen Amy or Rory dealing with losing her. We got one moment from Amy at the end — which is better than nothing, but still not enough, in the face of a second half of a season full of stories about parents and kids.

    • pandalilies says:

      …that's the simplest most obvious (and so obviously hidden) explanation about the doctor's name.

    • nanceoir says:

      In A Good Man Goes to War, we saw the Doctor's crib, which obviously had HIS name on it, in Gallifreyan. River is a child of the TARDIS — if she can fly it, and knows how to make things like it, it stands to follow that she knows Gallifreyan. Therefore, she's seen his name on his crib, and that's how she knows it. Easy.

      <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/nanceoir/macros/sitrclap02.gif"&gt;

      Talk about hidden in plain sight!

    • Dent D says:

      I like this explanation on the Doctor's name, but that means she misled Ten on why he should trust her. D:

      The more and more we get told "the Doctor and River lie" the less I like their characters. There are so many things I wish they'd just be honest about. And from a writing perspective it seems like a lazy way to tidy up questions about past plots.

  35. I basically agree with everything you've said about being torn.
    I still have a whole bunch of questions, I felt like a lot of the episodes in the series should have been longer, I was confused and the more I think about it the more confused I get. There was a lot wrong with this episode and the entire series arc as a whole.

    But, DESPITE EVERYTHING I STILL DRASTICALLY LOVED IT.

    I was still hugging my pillow with anticipation the entire episode. I still screamed with joy at certain things (the balloons carrying the cars, Charles Dickens, THE CHESS GAME TO THE DEATH OH MAN HOW GREAT WAS THAT) and in terror at the creepy stuff (the Silence on the ceiling, those eye patches that I will never be able to not find menacing, the Doctor's beard CAN HE PLEASE NEVER HAVE ONE AGAIN OKAY I HATED IT BEFORE AND I AM NOT GOING TO LIKE IT EVER). I still laughed a lot during the dialogue. I still sighed at every Amy/Rory moment. And I still nearly broke my brain trying to figure out how everything was going to wrap up.
    All these things are the reason I watch Doctor Who. It's an emotional roller coaster and has been for me since the day I saw a mannequin come to life and attack Rose Tyler. So while this finale was lacking in several areas and had many flaws, I still enjoyed it while it was happening and can't really complain.
    Unless we don't get more River in series 7. If we don't I will do nothing but complain because there is no way her story can be finished. I'm still not convinced the Doctor has told her his name yet.

    Also, I literally busted out laughing at the Doctor Who? question at the end. It's so Moffat.

  36. masakochan says:

    THIS EPISODE. I love so many things about this episode. I love the timey-wimey. I most definitely love the Ponds. Just- POOOOOONDS. AMY RORY RIVER. <3 And Amy needing a drink afterwards. xD

    Also- it's really kind of funny almost how I've been seeing people go on about the complicated-ness of the episode and this series when I've also seen people saying that their own young kids are thinking it's quite simple.

    Oh, and then there's the comment a person made that Moffat pretty much gave away how this episode was going to go allllll the way back in TIA and DotM: Ummm- Amy and Rory acting like they were actually dying so that they go 'underground' and get stuff done, anyone? FHSAKFJA, MOFFAT- YOUR BRAIN.

    One massive thing that I enjoy- the Doctor calling out River when she was willing to let time disintegrate because she loved him too much. One brilliant person on LJ noted that it's like River had a Timelord Victorious moment, and Doctor has already seen what fucking around with a fixed point can do.

    Excellent essays that explain things waaaay better than I can: http://bystander-3.livejournal.com/1329.html <– Why would the Doctor marry River. http://caladria.livejournal.com/70113.html <– Amy Pond does not cry. She gets angry.

    And to add to that last link I gave- Amy being angry is something I'd want to stay very far away from. I mean seriously- the look on her face:

    <img src="http://i52.tinypic.com/206yo0n.jpg"&gt;

    Take note- parts of fandom who are complaining about Amy not emoting enough. Some of us just show our emotions in different ways. And I want to be selfish and claim that I love seeing a character that I can relate to based on how they react to things so differently from everything else.

    • masakochan says:

      And… BEST ENDING MONTAGE FROM CONFIDENTIAL, Y/Y?

      [youtube hl-VK9D3j9g http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl-VK9D3j9g youtube]

    • arctic_hare says:

      ALL OF THIS. Also, thanks for linking those essays, they are fantastic!

      Also, I love your comment about the kids thinking it's simple. I FEEL SO VALIDATED because the bawwwwwing I've seen about "it's too complicated for the kids!" frustrates me to no end.

      and holy shit @ the thing in DotM with the faked deaths. WOW. YEAH. Just bolsters my belief that this has been subtly foreshadowed all along. I really really need to rewatch from the beginning…

    • pandalilies says:

      I loved the "amy doesn't cry, she get's angry" essay! <3

    • notemily says:

      I agree with your assessment of Amy. We saw in season five that she had major abandonment issues, and she learned how to push her emotions away because she was scared of those she loves leaving her. That was sort of fixed with the universe exploding, but it still makes sense for her character to push her emotions about her daughter away and then have them come out later as anger.

    • sporkaganza93 says:

      …Is it wrong that I find that picture of angry Amy very attractive?

      Then again, Karen Gillan tends to lend pretty much anything Amy does sexuality. *Remembers the bit with her worshiping the Minotaur in The God Complex*

  37. @lula34 says:

    I have so many thoughts & feelings but I have to say that Amy's drawing of Rory ("Apparently," says the Doctor) kinda looked like Channing Tatum. And that's all I have to say about that, bless her. Their love is beautiful and The Pond Family Forevermore.

    The second this episode ended I knew that "Deus Ex Machina!" would be shouted all over the Twitters and Tumblrs in the coming weeks. I experienced six years of Lost finales so I'm good at battening down the hatches. But really, y'all…I'm just gonna re-watch The Wedding of River Song and enjoy these nuggets of gold:
    *Brief mentions of Rose Tyler & the stag parties of Jack Harkness. (!)
    *Dorium's boxed blue head & my desire to re-watch all of Pee-Wee's Playhouse. Hello, 80's youth!
    *There was a pyramid with Area 52 in it. (52! Not 51!) With a train running through it. I love this show.
    *Amy's got a gun. (Sorry for the Aerosmith earworm.)
    *"River Song didn't get it all from you…SWEETIE!" Damn straight.
    *Meredith Vieira had a Doctor Who cameo. Represent, America. And let us be thankful it wasn't Kathie Lee Gifford.

    Again, I still have many thoughts and feelings and, unfortunately, quite a long time to sort them out till series 7 properly returns. Also–is it horrible of me to say that while I do believe Matt Smith's hair is made of unicorn tails, it was inching precariously close to a mullet in this episode and NAY. That just won't do. Let's have our Doctor's locks trimmed up, shall we?

    • arctic_hare says:

      I don't actually want to revisit Rose's storyline and think it's best off being closed up and finished because everything that needed to be said has been said, but at the same time, the image of Eleven helping itty bitty Rose with her homework is both hilarious and adorable. I think it's cause Eleven + children always = awwwww.

      The idea of him going to Jack's stags is also magnificent.

    • I'm glad I wasn't the only one distracted by his hair. I kept thinking it was long because he'd been in that tower for who knows how long and it was there to kind of represent that he's still aging even though time is at a stand still. And then I wondered why he just didn't cut it when he shaved? And then I had to hit myself on the head and try to pay attention to you know, time being at a stand stand still and the universe collapsing and not the length of the Doctor's hair.

      Also, helping Rose Tyler with her homework and Jack's stag parties: Yes!

    • kartikeya200 says:

      His hair was too long for me in this episode too, but I laugh because most of this season I've had this tiny little complaint that it was TOO SHORT. Because I'm in love with how hilariously out of control it was in series 5, and it could never quite get that worked up in series 6, alas (it made a good try of it during a few scenes in The Doctor's Wife, if I remember correctly, but alas).

      • arctic_hare says:

        I kind of liked it in a weird way, but otherwise YES I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH THIS COMMENT.

      • NB2000 says:

        THIS THIS THIS! His hair has been far too organised this series. It doesn't help that I rewatched Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone a.k.a. Matt's hair at its most unruly (well outside of his first Confidential interview I mean). It was so BIG and floppy. It's been too tidy and serious this year…the year when he's been dealing with his impending death and a lot of important questions about himself…

        Wait did I really just start on a theory about the Doctor's hair?

    • nanceoir says:

      The second this episode ended I knew that "Deus Ex Machina!" would be shouted all over the Twitters and Tumblrs in the coming weeks.

      As Steven Moffat himself pointed out on Twitter, it's not actually deus ex machina — it's the exact opposite of it! Look at him, getting all clever in Latin.

  38. Lady X says:

    Series 6!!! Gah, so much to say! I really don’t think I have ever felt so conflicted about a season ever. Also COMPLETELY agree with every one of your questions Mark! I actually am not able I think in any way whatsoever to review the season this as a season because it was so…differant?? Differant in a good way but just differant. With series 5 the entire thing was basicly just one offs with hints that the cracks in time would play out at some grandiose season finale or some such. But now it’s become extremely plot-arch heavy followed up episodes that nothing or little to do with the over-all-scheme of things to the point where it’s like mood whiplash much? Don’t get me wrong I like what Moffat’s done to the show(to an extent) but sometimes I just wish he would let the show BREATHE some and not have every waking minute be about the endgame so that by the end of everything once you know the reveals it’s still just as rewatchable the second time around.

  39. Albion19 says:

    I loved it! I think the arc was a strange one because it was never a question of whether the Doctor would die but how he would survive. He had to have a trick up his sleeve and he did.

    My Crack Theory Abound that's has a spoiler for a story over 20 years old, Trial of a Time Lord:

    Znlor Znqnz X jnagrq gur Qbpgbe gb qvr abg orpnhfr bs jung ur qvq ohg jung ur jvyy qb. Vs ur qvrf va uvf ryriragu vapneangvba gura ur'yy arire orpbzr gur Inyrlneq. V ernyyl guvax gung'f jung nyy guvf vf ohvyqvat hc gb, jvgu gur Gvzr Ybeq Ivpgbevbhf naq gur Qernz Ybeq. V'yy or qvfnccbvag vs gur Inyrlneq qbrfa'g ghea hc va gur shgher (50gu naavirefnel cyrnfr.)

    Told you it was cracky.

    • doesntsparkle says:

      I thought the same thing, so either it's not too cracky or I am.

    • FlameRaven says:

      if it's 20 years old, is it really a spoiler? Anyway…

      Maybe Madam K wanted the Doctor to die not because of what he did but what he will do.

      This is correct and was explained in the episode. They had to kill the Doctor because if they don't, then he will go on to do all that stuff in the future that they are afraid of. I don't remember the specifics but the head of the blue guy mentioned most of them, including "The Fall of the Eleventh," which kinda sounds like they've already got an idea of how Eleven is going to regenerate.

      • Albion19 says:

        Because I don't think Mark has watched it and I don't want to spoil it for him.

        Yeah I know, I was just specifically thinking about Gur Inyrlneq in regards to the future.

  40. t09yavorsaur says:

    Why marry River Song? Okay, I do actually believe that he loves her (and holdfasting HHHNNNNGGGGG), but was that all just to get her to kiss him? Which is both an amazing and romantic thing and one of the silliest plot resolutions ever. At the same time. I mean…isn’t marriage a bit of a stretch just to get someone to touch you? Right?
    ——-Maybe it was a way for him to justify telling her that he was faking his death. I think he was planning to just disappear and let them all think he was dead for good. But then he couldnt go through with that part and decided that he could cheat by marrying River. You cant go faking your death without letting your spouse know.

    What was the point of the weird lines to the Ganger Doctor at the end of that two-parter? Just a feint on Moffat’s part so that we might think the Ganger Doctor was the one to actually die?
    ——-Leaving an opening for future Ganger shenanigins

    So why did the TARDIS explode? That makes two questions you’re not answering, Moffat.
    ——-Maybe River was still brainwashed after all? No way to know what all those wires she messed with did.

    I dont have anything really profound to add. Rory should wear beret's always and Craig's stetson didnt get shot!

    And now we wait, so as a breaktime distraction here is John Barrowman in shiny pants:

    [youtube FEr0BPOfVw4&list=FLBRqIY7r7vqUoXcnFeVUHRQ&index=6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEr0BPOfVw4&list=FLBRqIY7r7vqUoXcnFeVUHRQ&index=6 youtube]

  41. Openattheclose says:

    I am also conflicted, Mark. I found it very entertaining, but the plot is so convoluted and this series seemed so messy, I don't think I can really love it.

    "Did the Doctor double lie and really tell her his name?"
    I think he hasn't told her his name yet, but he still will. If the Doctor is asked the question in the place where no one can lie, and River is there, I'm betting he'll tell her then. He might even be avoiding telling her his name until then, because if she knows and she is asked the question, then she'll have to answer it too.

    "Why marry River Song? Okay, I do actually believe that he loves her (and holdfasting HHHNNNNGGGGG), but was that all just to get her to kiss him? Which is both an amazing and romantic thing and one of the silliest plot resolutions ever. At the same time. I mean…isn’t marriage a bit of a stretch just to get someone to touch you? Right?"

    I agree. I just don't get the Doctor's motivation here, unless it's just that he knows he'll marry her at some point, so it might as well be now. I like River/Doctor, but the cynical part of me thinks the Doctor might have been acting out of pity for River because she had just told him how much she loved him, and that kind of ruins any warm feelings I might have had about the wedding.

    Is that really the question? Part of me thought ARE YOU SERIOUS and then part of me finds it genius and I don’t know which side to get into, so, my dear community, please CHOOSE FOR ME. Or something! God, is that going to be the next series’ story arc? It is, isn’t it? WHAT IS THE DOCTOR’S NAME? How can that be a pleasing answer?

    I think it's genius πŸ™‚ I don't think we'll ever really find out his name, but it's been hinted at for awhile now that there's a reason he can't or won't tell people his true name. I want to know the reason.

    "Suppose there was a man who knew a secret. A terrible, dangerous secret that must never be told."
    WHY IS IT SO TERRIBLE?!? I NEED TO KNOW!

    • psycicflower says:

      I don't think we'll ever really find out his name, but it's been hinted at for awhile now that there's a reason he can't or won't tell people his true name. I want to know the reason.

      Agreed. I don't really want to know his name but the whole mystery surrounding it is intriguing.

    • notemily says:

      I agree. I just don't get the Doctor's motivation here, unless it's just that he knows he'll marry her at some point, so it might as well be now. I like River/Doctor, but the cynical part of me thinks the Doctor might have been acting out of pity for River because she had just told him how much she loved him, and that kind of ruins any warm feelings I might have had about the wedding.

      See, I thought it was a deliberate misdirection to confound any Silents that were watching or monitoring the scene. He needed to be able to tell her that he wouldn't really die when she shot him, so he had to have a reason to whisper a secret to her, so he did the Time Lord wedding ceremony because part of it is the whispering-name thing. It's kind of a silly reason to marry someone (especially in this episode, after all the derisive comments he makes to River about not wanting to marry her and being ashamed of her–do not want), but it's A reason at least.

      • Openattheclose says:

        But isn't that actually making things worse? If the Silence believe that River knows his name, which is something they very much want to remain secret, isn't he just placing a target on her head? Or is "Doctor Who" being answered only bad for the Silence if it's the Doctor that's answering the question?

        I guess no one really needs a *reason* to marry someone, but I would have liked it if he had shown some desire to marry her. Like you said, his comments seem to indicate the opposite πŸ™ Unless those comments are the Doctor lying again. Or maybe it really is just another attempt to foil the Silence, and I guess I just wanted it to be about more than just that.

        • arctic_hare says:

          I personally thought he was lying his ass off during that scene, it didn't jive with the Doctor I saw in LKH.

        • notemily says:

          I'm not convinced that the big secret is the Doctor's true name. I mean, even if it's something silly (Ezekiel Wigglesworth), what sort of consequence could that possibly have? I think it's something else about his identity that they don't want revealed.

          (Unless, as someone else says (I forget if it was here or on tumblr), his real name is "I Destroy The World Later" in Gallifreyan.)

          I do like the livejournal post that someone linked here, which says that basically the Doctor was lying throughout that alternate timeline, pretending he didn't love River to try and get her closer to killing him. I am hoping we will see future concrete evidence that he actually loves her, but I like that interpretation of events for now.

  42. @Kaza999 says:

    I didn't really like the finale. It felt cluttered (not the setting–the collapsed-time thing was AMAZING) and the way the Doctor avoids death felt like a copout to me. It didn't answer any of the questions I wanted answered (why do the Silence hate the Doctor so much? Why does Kovarian hate him so much? Why do the Silence know how often Rory has died? RRRGH) and felt really rushed.

    I don't know, it just didn't feel very satisfying. It carried a lot of emotional weight up until the very end, I thought. It simply didn't feel up to last season's finale or even other episodes in this season (the Doctor's Wife and the Girl Who Waited come to mind).

    On the other hand, the setting was indeed very cool. I kind of liked seeing how selfish River Song could be, and I *loved* Amy and Rory, who are awesome forever and ever after this.

    Okay, here's something I really, really hope they address in the next season: The Question (Doctor who?). It was pretty neat–it was indeed hidden in plain sight, and it is the oldest question in the DW universe because it's the *title*. I really want S7 to be more meta, in a serious way, not a silly way.

    • kartikeya200 says:

      Why do the Silence know how often Rory has died? RRRGH

      Clearly, it's because there was secretly a Silent there every time Rory died or near died.

      And now I've creeped myself out.

  43. __Jen__ says:

    How much do I love that the Doctor has a family now to support him as he goes underground? I don't have the words for it.

  44. doesntsparkle says:

    Why marry River Song?

    Interesting question. Maybe because he knew River would be going to prison, he wanted visitation rights? Is a Gallifreian hand fasting that occurred in an aborted timeline legally binding?

    I've had my issues with this season/series, but I've been pleasantly surprised with everything that has happened since "The Girl Who Waited." The last part of the series has been excellent. Personally, I like the multi-season arcs, speculation is fun.

  45. FlameRaven says:

    Moffat is the biggest troll ever and I kind of love him for it. I can absolutely see why this episode would be frustrating, because we were all expecting new answers and then THE ANSWERS WERE ALL THERE THE WHOLE TIME. Except not, because we still don’t know a lot of things.

    I do think we’ll see some more answers in Season 7, but really, I was pretty satisfied with how things worked out. The Doctor’s comment that he had “become too big” in particular seemed like a huge “fuck you” to RTD and his overblown epic space battles, and I can’t help but agree. I like when momentous things are happening, but happening quietly, like we saw with the Pandorica last season and where time was all smushed together in this episode.

    I think the Doctor did tell River his name, just not at that moment, or possibly he didn’t ONLY tell her his name. Who the hell knows? Both of them lie all the time so we may never know what’s actually going on.

    I loved River meeting up with her parents and checking in.

    I still think “In another reality we got married and had a kid. That’s her.” “…Oh.” is the best bit of dialogue from the whole episode. Amy and Rory, your life is ridiculous. Just roll with it.

    All in all, I am satisfied. Sure, a lot of things may not make sense if you squint at them too hard… but that’s how Doctor Who rolls. Wibbly-wobbly, timey wimey, don’t think about it too hard. I’m looking forward to rewatching the whole arc at once and maybe picking up on some clues. And I will be well entertained even if, like I have heard rumored, Doctor Who doesn’t come back after the Christmas Special until next fall.

    • arctic_hare says:

      *ridiculous, not insane. (Edited.)

      I agree about big things happening more like this and last year's finale, it's more my style too.

      • FlameRaven says:

        Please don't edit my comments without good reason. Spoilers, yes. Censoring one word, no.

        • notemily says:

          The word "insane" is not acceptable here and neither are spoilers, so those are both considered good reasons to edit or delete a comment. Would you rather your comment be deleted when it contains an ableist slur? (I'm not asking sarcastically–I honestly want to know, as a mod, if that's what people here prefer.)

          • FlameRaven says:

            In the past all mods have simply replied to these posts with a "please don't use that word here" instead of actively editing the post. I respect the rules of the site, but editing a post for one word seems to me to go too far.

            If I'm being completely honest, no argument is going to convince me that "crazy" is a slur. The people I know who do have mental illnesses use it freely to describe themselves, so they're obviously not offended by it. No other person I have run into offline believes that when you say "that was crazy awesome!" you are insulting or demeaning people with mental illnesses. The word is also clearly considered innocuous enough to be included all over the place in children's media and advertising. I respect the rules of the site here and do my best not to use it, although occasionally I slip.

            I don't believe it's the mod's place to censor people for using a common colloquialism, and I'm kind of disturbed that that seems to be the new policy. Most people are not going to be aware that that is a word to avoid, so they should be left a note linking to the policies of the site and move on.

            • xpanasonicyouthx says:

              No, it's not too far because it's an accepted rule around her. You just said that.

              And it's strange to me that you are even defending use of this when you just explained how people affected by mental illnesses use it to describe themselves, a form of reclamation, which is great! But you did not do that, soooooo….what are you trying to say?

              I am fully aware (and so are the mods) that very few people know that this word is problematic. You have been warned before, so that is why it was edited out. You deserve to have your commentary in the community, but not at the expense of people who have publicly and privately stated that the word "crazy" makes them feel unwanted, unwelcome, and uncomfortable in this place.

              So, to be blunt, I do not care that every person you have run into online does not feel this way about that word. I do care that people who post here have repeatedly expressed an extreme discomfort towards reading it, so that's why there is a rule against it.

              • FlameRaven says:

                Honestly, I think this instance got me particularly irritated because I have seen the mods say before that they would only edit a post if absolutely necessary, because while it's within their rights it can feel a bit invasive. But now I see posts being edited pretty commonly just for one word, and that seeming shift in policy looked strange to me.

                I've pretty much already resolved to draw back and just lurk anyway. However, if the new policy is to simply prevent the unaccepted words from ever appearing, perhaps a word filter would be a possibility? I don't know how intensedebate works or if that's an option, but just preventing the word would feel a little less invasive than having the posts edited, and it would be less police work for the mods.

  46. goldensnidget says:

    THANK YOU MARK!! I, too, cannot decide whether I like this episode or not. Wait, I do like it, I just don't know how excited I am by it. I think 'A Good Man Goes To War' was a better finale.

  47. trash_addict says:

    On a less plot-focused note: I feel like I've never given credit before for the fantastic chemistry between Alex and Matt. Not a particularly *romantic* wedding scene (do what you're told!) but it reminded me of how they are, despite the iffy writing and timey-wimeyness of the relationship, selling the Doctor and River for me.

  48. Openattheclose says:

    I really wish we had seen just who was among the millions of souls in space wanting to help the Doctor. Was Jenny up there?

    Oh, and the Doctor apparently left Liz One waiting in the woods for an elopement! I so want to see the Doctor visit all of Jack' stag parties.

    What a lovely moment of remembrance for the Brigadier, and such a heartbreaking implication that the Doctor hadn't visited in a long while.

  49. Minish says:

    It should be noted that River's imprisonment is kind of a joke.

    She breaks out basically at will. Not to mention the Doctor knocks around pretty often and they go on adventures. And sometimes the Army breaks her out to go on adventures. Then she'll break out for wine with mummy. The prison basically serves as a free room and board. So it's not exactly a great sacrifice River made to protect the Doctor's secret.

    • @LizatLAX says:

      Yes! Which I think also laid the groundwork for the "killed a man" reveal. If she'd TRULY killed the Doctor forever, the best man she ever knew, (Or, heaven forfend, Rory, her own father, as was also speculated) ,would she go gallivanting off from prison, barely repentant? No, I don't think so, not and be a good person and ally of the Doctor's.

  50. enigmaticagentscully says:

    I have to throw in my two cents here…but don't worry, it won't take too long. πŸ˜‰

    I basically had the same reaction as Mark to this episode, and indeed this season, but it didn't really bother me because that's what I've come to expect from Who now, and I've made my peace with that. I'm not saying you should all just roll over and go with the flow if the show takes a direction you don't like – but just that I personally have a very different way of watching different shows, if that makes sense to anyone. Some I look into deeply and won't take any nonsense from. Some I can overlook the cheesiest of special effects if the story is good. With Doctor Who? I've completely lost any illusions of the plot making sense or anything being resolved.
    I watch Doctor Who for the spectacle, for the silly special effects and the pure whimsy of having things like 'all of time happening at once!' I watch it for the characters I love, and their adorkable interactions. I watch it for the dialogue, which is always fast-paced, witty and incredibly quotable. The actual plots…have somewhat become of secondary importance to me.
    I guess it's a shame really, because in a way it means I've had to compromise in order to still enjoy the show. But in the end, it means I do still enjoy the show, and that's what's important to me. I still look forward to it each week and sit there shrieking, laughing and crying like an idiot in front of the screen.
    To be honest, I feel the same way about Doctor Who as I do about the Harry Potter movies. They completely butcher the plots and messages of the books, but the actors are great, and it's just so fantastic to see my favourite scenes from the books come to life that I can still enjoy them moment by moment, whilst still grinding my teeth at the worst omissions and changes.

    The plots of Who have gotten a little out of hand and over complicated IMO. This episode had a lot of plot holes and loose threads. But you know what? This episode also had Amy machine-gunning a load of Silence, Winston Churchill as a Roman Emperor, Rory being a BAMF, and River and the Doctor getting married. On top of a pyramid.

    So in the end, I don't even care.

    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/35id66c.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    • arctic_hare says:

      Everything is more awesome with pyramids. /says the ancient Egypt freak

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Ancient Egypt is awesome! I finally got to go a couple of years back…ummm…to regular Egypt, not ancient Egypt, obviously. Though the pyramids are still there at least! The bent pyramid is my favourite. πŸ˜›
        Getting married on top of a pyramid in 5 minutes is pretty much perfect for Doctor/River. Their whole relationship is just bizarre.

        • arctic_hare says:

          I'm so torn, I don't think I could handle the heat, but but but PYRAMIDS. πŸ™ A QUANDARY. I nevertheless envy you having seen them, though! Also, they really need to do an ancient Egypt episode of this show.

          It is! πŸ˜€ That's part of why I love it.

          • enigmaticagentscully says:

            It's not actually that hot if you go in early spring or something? But YES to an ancient Egypt episode! I haven't seen any old Who, have they done one before at all?

    • @lula34 says:

      WORD.
      (I don't do Tumblr–I'm in my mid-30's and I think I'm too old for that or something–but there needs to be an entire Tumblr devoted to your comment. 'Cause yeah…)

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Thanks!
        Well I do HAVE a Tumblr, as it happens, but I tend not to post possibly inflammatory comments there (which, these days, anything about Doctor Who seems to be) because whereas here we get ~reasoned and interesting discussion~, on other, less awesome-sauce sites, the haters just come out in force.

        You're never too old for Tumblr though. πŸ˜‰

      • elusivebreath says:

        I'm also in my mid-30's and I <3 Tumblr! Join usssss

    • Openattheclose says:

      Yes! I love Doctor Who because it's FUN. When it stops being fun is when I get unhappy.

  51. doesntsparkle says:

    Here's a link for anyone who hasn't seen Death is the Only Answer. It's a Dr. Who short that was written by a bunch of children. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjZnyxGiqJY&fe

    • notemily says:

      "you went a bit ood… er, a bit odd…"

      I kinda like how those kids nearly wrote a parody of Doctor Who. Fez? Check. Historical figure? Check. Ood saying mysterious and ominous Arc Words? Check.

    • I want more of these. If this was one of a bunch of really good ones they had to pick from, then I WANT TO SEE THE OTHER REALLY GOOD ONES DAMNIT >.<

  52. kartikeya200 says:

    This was going to be a reply to Notemily, but then I realized it probably works best on its own, because it was getting rambly.

    Random thoughts RE: "I don't want to marry you" and "You embarrass me".

    I don't think the "I don't want to marry you" should be taken nearly as seriously as people are doing. It struck me as them trying their usual banter and then realizing the situation is so dire that it's just not working. IE. "I don't want to marry you." "I don't want to kill you." "Well this is just no fun at all." "No it isn't."

    As for the 'You embarrass me' line, it's harsh and cruel and I don't believe for a moment that he meant it. He's in emotional turmoil right there, he can't believe River did something as grand and as ridiculous as sending out a distress call about his death to everywhere and everywhen in the universe, because as far as the Doctor is concerned, no one cares. Which of course is silly and irrational, but he's convinced himself that he's a terrible person, he hates himself, and this series has done nothing but beat him down about it.

    The lines before it are telling. He goes off about how it's stupid, and 'that wouldn't mean anything to anyone'. The Doctor can't conceive that it would matter to anyone, and he's frustrated and angry that River has broken time and drawn this all out solely to do something as, in his mind, pointless as trying to save him. He's in pain and he's lashing out at her.

    And then oops, guess what, Doctor? You're wrong again, really, delightfully wrong this time, and it turns out there are so many responses, so many people offering their help, that it's actually interfering with radio signals and suchlike.

    "You've convinced yourself that the universe would be better off without you, but the universe doesn't agree."

    The Doctor doesn't want to die, even when he's gone and decided it would be better for everyone. This is why, I think, he seizes the opportunity of the Tessalector (how do you SPELL that anyway?), because it's an out for him, but at the same time, his faith in himself is still broken, he's still aching from The God Complex and everything that came before it, and he is fully intending to disappear and then 'everyone can forget me'.

    I think at that moment at the top of the pyramid, he's reached the absolute bottom of the 'fall' River was talking about in AGMGTW. And then reality, thanks to River's efforts, punches him in the face again and goes 'look dude, you're fallible and make a lot of big mistakes, but look at all these people you've helped, whose lives have been saved or improved or otherwise changed for the better, and get it through your head that you're not a monster'. I think, if only a little, some of the Doctor's faith in himself was restored. River didn't want him to die, but she especially didn't want him to die not knowing how much good he'd done and how many people–especially her–cared about him, and that this wasn't just some product of his own manipulation. It's an echo of what Sarah Jane told him at the end of Series 4: "You act like you're alone, but really, you've got the biggest family in the universe."

    • arctic_hare says:

      I've been spelling it Tesselecta, but I have no idea if I've actually got it right or not.

      More importantly, thank you for writing all this. You put all my feelings about it into beautiful words better than I could and made me tear up again.

    • notemily says:

      agh, I didn't even see this until just now. I'm going to have to watch that scene again with all these great interpretations in mind, and especially Matt's face. he's such a great actor but I think I miss half the things he does because I'm too excited about what's happening.

      I have no idea how to spell Tesselecta or Trenzalore or whatever.

  53. Katie says:

    Just went back to watch "Silence in the Library" and I defy anyone to watch that after the series 6 finale and not get weepy. The episode has so much more weight now that we know what's happened/going to happen.

    That's probably the reason why the Doctor/River relationship is so difficult to like. We humans, so linear.

  54. notemily says:

    Mark, I agree with you about the conflicting emotions. That's pretty much how I feel about a lot of Doctor Who, especially the Moffat seasons: it doesn't make any sense, there are huge plot holes, there is sexism, things don't get resolved–but it's a lot of fun and I love it! I think a lot of that has to do with the characters. I could spend all day watching Eleven and Amy and Rory and River, even if their plot made absolutely no sense. I just love them so much.

    And let’s not ignore that series six gave us AMY AND RORY, one of the best couples on television,

    RIGHT. I love Amy and Rory so much and I wish I could be so lucky as to find a love like that. Their relationship stays fresh and interesting even though it's practically a TV rule that happy couples can never be interesting and there must be ~drama~ all the times. I mean, it helps that the plot of this show lets them keep getting into terrible danger and dying or almost dying, so that gives a stronger emotional resonance to their relationship, but I love the little moments between them as much as the big ones.

    Wouldn’t it be easy to figure out that it wasn’t physically the Doctor?

    I think that was the point of having them burn his body. Remember, there's a Silent watching the whole thing–Amy sees him and then forgets him at the beginning of Impossible Astronaut. So if they see him die, and his body gets burned and he doesn't regenerate, they "know" he's dead. Their work is done.

    I actually think next season could be really interesting, with the Doctor having to go into hiding, basically, and let the world think he's gone. The Doctor's attitude is usually "yeah I'll just show up and show off and be awesome and everyone will know that the Doctor saves the day," but he can't do that anymore, and I think that could lead to a lot of interesting plots and character moments. [Spoiler for future MW project: Xvaq bs yvxr va Ohssl jura gur Fpbbovrf unir gb hfr gur Ohsslobg gb cergraq Ohssl'f fgvyy nyvir naq xvpxvat qrzba ohgg. Bayl va erirefr.]

    Okay, doesn’t this whole episode sort of invalidate the Doctor’s journey towards finding out whether he is truly a good moral force?

    The Doctor, in this episode, finds out that he is loved, not only by the people he's helped, but by his own "family" of River, Amy, and Rory. His self-loathing can't continue in the same form after this. I think that's important, even if he still hasn't quite found out whether he is a Good Man or a Great Warrior. Maybe that's part of the truth behind the question of "Doctor Who?": who does the Doctor want to be? Who is he, really?

    Wow, haven't had to split my comments up in a while. Continued:

    • notemily says:

      Here are the jumbled thoughts I wrote down after the episode:

      – Nobody knows the Doctor's name still. And apparently it's a question worth killing for. (V urne gurer'f guvf guvat pnyyrq gur Inyrlneq…)

      – We still don't know what the Doctor whispered to Melody/River that made her want to save him.

      – So who put River in jail? Seriously

      – Now he and River can keep having adventures and sexytiems YAY!

      – Some kind of emotional closure from Amy never getting to see her daughter again. I kind of like that actually. She bottled it all up and it came out when she faced Madame K. It makes sense to me, with Amy's character.

      – I kind of wish we had seen him talking to Canton and explaining what he had to say. ARE WE GOING TO SEE CANTON AGAIN NEXT SEASON? PLEASE SAY YES

      – So there are still Silents around, yes? They just think the Doctor's dead now. (So does everyone else in the universe.) Is he going to have to be in hiding for a while? He can hide in River's jail cell… *cough*

      – I'm kind of glad it WAS a duplicate Doctor, but NOT a Flesh Doctor. I feel like that was a huge red herring and it worked.

      – I love that River loves the Doctor so much she breaks time for him. <3.

      – (Can I just talk about this for a second. I read this tumblr essay on Rose and how selfish she was, and how she didn't understand that some things were more important than her love for the Doctor, like the fate of the Universe. But that's totally a theme in Doctor Who! First we have Rory punching out Eleven and saying Amy is more important than the universe TO HIM. And now we have River basically doing the same thing. It's not just Rose. Okay, had to get that out.)

      – The wedding was fantastic. Bow ties are cool! I see a lot of geeky weddings in the future using elements of that.

      – WE STILL DON'T KNOW WHY THE DOCTOR WAS DRESSED IN A TUXEDO IN LET'S KILL HITLER. This HAS to be important. I'm hoping the third season is all going to tie back around to the first somehow, and we'll find that out. And also some backstory on Kovarian and the Silence. And why the TARDIS exploded.

      – Rory can stop dying now, right? …right??

      – Apple, Rubik's cube, the figure by the shed… no significance? Red herrings? Production error? Sure okay

      – Okay I guess since Doctor Who is all over I should catch up on Battlestar and return to Mark Watches. I've been super depressed this week because of reasons, and also I'm waiting for my SECOND copy of American Gods to arrive in the mail (hopefully it will actually be the 10th anniversary edition this time dammit), so I've been neglecting both sites except for Who stuff.

      – I'm not as devastated as everyone else at the long wait for new Who. Just rewatch everything, that's my plan.

      – The only thing wrong with this wedding was the lack of dancing. According to River, he always dances at wedddings…

      – Ganger!Doctor can still come back! Also, shoes!

      – So. The Doctor married River because the wedding is the only time he can tell someone his name, yeah? This fits with what he said in Forest of the Dead. But he didn't actually tell her his name. I'm hoping there will be an actualfax wedding with actualfax name-telling and actualfax dancing. (Moffat acknowledges in the Confidential for this episode that River still has to learn his name, so I think another wedding is possible.)

      – Jim the Fish…?

      – More things we still don't know: Why River had to be the one to kill him, and why, say, Madame Kovarian couldn't just wear the suit. (ETA: Someone on tumblr theorized that River being part Time Lord or TARDIS or whatever is important to why she had to be the one to kill him, but I'm not sure how.)

      – I would watch a whole show of River showing up at the Pond residence and chatting with her parents over wine.

      • arctic_hare says:

        – Some kind of emotional closure from Amy never getting to see her daughter again. I kind of like that actually. She bottled it all up and it came out when she faced Madame K. It makes sense to me, with Amy's character.

        Agreed. It makes sense to me in light of everything we've seen from Amy up to this point. She learned during those fourteen years how to bottle things up and pretend, put on a brave face, but then the anger comes out, whether it's biting psychiatrists or everything she did to the Doctor when he showed back up. It's all right there in Eleventh Hour.

        – I'm kind of glad it WAS a duplicate Doctor, but NOT a Flesh Doctor. I feel like that was a huge red herring and it worked.

        This. I think there's something to be said for misdirection and I think it was pulled off well here. (Damn, I already used the Clue quote.)

        I love Amy and Rory, and I like that they're happy and stable. They are epic.

        ETA:

        – (Can I just talk about this for a second. I read this tumblr essay on Rose and how selfish she was, and how she didn't understand that some things were more important than her love for the Doctor, like the fate of the Universe. But that's totally a theme in Doctor Who! First we have Rory punching out Eleven and saying Amy is more important than the universe TO HIM. And now we have River basically doing the same thing. It's not just Rose. Okay, had to get that out.)

        YES YES SO MUCH THIS.

        • sporkaganza93 says:

          I totally agree about the Flesh thing. That was a really good job creating a red herring by Moffat. He totally distracted us from the Tesselecta. I'm still not even sure how he did it so that no one realized that the Tesselecta could do it; it seems so obvious in retrospect.

  55. Shadowmarauder78 says:

    I like that River visits Amy and Rory, but they visits will have to stop when she goes to the library. I wonder if The Doctor will tell them why.

    • Sadie says:

      If I were River, I'd scatter my visits throughout their timeline. That way they'll always have days to look forward to, even after she's chronologically gone.

  56. ladedla says:

    Aargh, okay, here's the final one: http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lsext1QrHg1qzjc

    Sorry mark about all the spams!

    • arctic_hare says:

      Oh god, their faces. Can't stop laughing.

      (Also, deleted your first two attempts at posting that marvelous image.)

  57. Sadie says:

    A bit late to the party; so, to sum up my thoughts succinctly: I loved this season, I loved this episode, I adore the entire frakking show. However, I will not be one to deny that the River storyline has been a hot mess. Ironically, for an series about time travel, Doctor Who simply doesn't carry the acting chops to pull off a complex non-linear storyline. When the entire appeal and strength of your show lies in its witty, whimsical dialogue and central figure, don't attempt an epic, secondary character-centric mytharc. Just don't. You gain nothing and lose quite a bit of the show's foundational integrity. I love all three Ponds, but after this season, I can't say I'd be sorry to see any of them gone for good, and a clean, Doctor-centric slate for Series 7.

  58. hassibah says:

    I dunno this is pretty much exactly the kind of finale that I was expecting to get once I'd seen the first episode of the season-something that looked pretty, was all over the place and made no sense. I wasn't expecting much tbqh so anything good that happened was a pleasant surprise, as much as it sucked to see so much wasted potential for 3 of my favourite companions ever's storylines.

    I think DW writers' 2nd seasons are just cursed. I do think that Moffat can do better than this, whether he will is upto him.

    • notemily says:

      Sophomore Slump?

    • Laura says:

      Yes! I don't know why but I can't bear the thought of watching most of RTD's second season at the helm, and I think there are quite a few episodes in this season I probably won't want to watch again(but there are ones I will watch like The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon, The Doctor's Wife, The Girl Who Waited, Craig's episode).

      Of course, if this pattern keeps up that means that next year will be AMAZING.

      • hassibah says:

        Yeah I really had a hard time re-watching the 2nd season. I thought maybe I was being too hard on it because I didn't like some parts of it. But nope. At least we know the show CAN bounce back.

    • BradSmith5 says:

      Oh man, Hassibah, I wasn't expecting much either. I mean, cybermen rats!? Are you kidding me? I put off the finale as long as I could. I mean, I thought watching along with you guys would be fun, but nothing I've seen this entire season has motivated me to comment. Frickin' HITLER showed up and I'm just like: "So he got locked in a closet. Huh."

      I did like the "Time Compression" idea, and the amalgamated world was hilarious. But the end? The Doctor just replaces himself with a doll!? What is this, Chrono Trigger!?

      That "Live Chess" was awesome, though. So many quick, amazing ideas; if only some of these had been fleshed out a bit more––maybe spread throughout the season. But no: "Here's a scary hotel! Here's a spooky closet!"

      So, how have you been? Ha,ha,ha.

      • hassibah says:

        Yeah I mean I like this season and the second one about equally, which says a lot about my opinion of season 2.

        "So many quick, amazing ideas; if only some of these had been fleshed out a bit more––maybe spread throughout the season. But no: "Here's a scary hotel! Here's a spooky closet!" "

        Yes! exactly! I just hope this is a bad season and not jumping the shark. I loved s5 and obviously I loved s3 too so I think the show can bounce back.
        [Actually I thought the scary hotel episode turned out decent but at the start I definitely thought the concept was weak as hell when there's so much other cool shit we could have explored while still having basically the same character stuff happen . Scary closet not so much, it's like it was written in 2 minutes, as I said on the spoilerblog.]
        The cybermen rats are actually from a (pretty good) classic serial called Tomb of the Cybermen, which still looked rediculous back in those days but kind of worked with the black and white kitschyness and bad special effects.

        I'm okay! Unfortunately I'm not having a lot of time to read new things for the next couple of months, which kinda sucks cause American Gods and ASOIAF have been on my list for a while.

        I now totally endorse BSG if you care.

        • BradSmith5 says:

          Well, yeah, I'm not giving up on the Doctor quite yet. I just FOUND him. πŸ˜‰

          As for reading, I haven't had time either. I drove to Kansas for a wedding. Stuff like that. A real shame––that American Gods book had plenty of hilarious material in the first two chapters alone! I can only hope that Loss Thief is in there, picking up my slack.

          So what is your reason for liking Battlestar? I'm out of shows to watch for a while, so you may as well try to "sell it" to me. I saw a little, and I didn't like it. Maybe I just picked the wrong episode to watch? After this season of "Doctor Who" I'm willing admit that mistakes are possible, ha,ha,ha.

          • hassibah says:

            Which episode did you watch? Personally I liked the miniseries lots, thought the 1st season was weakest but still relatively decent, and it gets better and less predictable from there (which now that I think about it, is kind of the same to how I felt about the Hunger Games trilogy.)

            I mean like any show it has its stuff that will make you roll your eyes (the relationship stuff is overdone and the political stuff is clumsy sometimes for sure but that's hardly a unique thing about tv these days) but I'm def enjoying it a lot, just for the storytelling cause tbqh I don't think it has anything truly profound to say.
            I definitely don't think it's a show for everyone though, it's really serious and there's not a lot of lightness like there is in DW and say Whedon shows, but it definitely entertains me.

            haha I suck at selling things.

            • BradSmith5 says:

              The episode I saw was from season four. I'm sure I'm wrong about it––as usual! So don't worry. πŸ˜‰

              Your sell could use more exclamation marks, though. Heck, all you had to do was bring up the robotic girl in the underwear again. Where can I find the miniseries? I suck at finding things. πŸ™

              • hassibah says:

                From what I understand a lot of fans think there was a decline in quality in the final season. I've seen a lot of others totally defend it too though so…
                I'm currently on the third so I can't say yet. I definitely have seen a few crap episodes but overall I'm enjoying the ride!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111!!!1!3 And yes there are def some really pretty people on the show and it totally exploits the shit out of that. Funnily enough though all my favourite characters are over 40

                I guess you don't use netfl1x or t0rrents?
                If you give me an email address I just might be able to help you with that. Or you could just watch Firefly.

  59. arctic_hare says:

    <img src="http://i52.tinypic.com/ux5lf.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  60. Suzannezibar says:

    "Out of everything that series six gave us, and especially this final chapter of the story, I just wish we had more…time."

    That's really the best way to put it, isn't it? Definitely agree with the conflicting emotions. There were parts of this that I loved, and considering how much of a hot mess I *expected* it to be, it actually answered many more questions than I thought it would. But as much as that was true, and as much as I LOVE LOVE LOVED everything the series has given us with Eleven, and Amy/Rory, there's still…something missing. Quite a few somethings, really. Read more on our blog here: http://clonegeek.blogspot.com/2011/10/dazzling-en

  61. @kyaralove says:

    "Okay, so…what’s the point of “creating” River Song? As I understand it, Madame Kovarian stole her from Amy and Rory in order to brainwash her to kill the Doctor. Now, that didn’t work out as planned, as we saw in “Let’s Kill Hitler.” There are problems with that story, too, but let’s just accept the idea that River was able to break that programming and she gave up her remaining regenerations in order to save the Doctor. I can roll with that. But then we see in “The Wedding of River Song” that all her brainwashing has absolutely no effect on anything. Madame Kovarian simply had her kidnapped and drugged, put in a suit that could control itself, and used that to kill the Doctor. Now, let me just put this idea out there and see if it works: COULDN’T YOU HAVE SKIPPED THE BRAINWASHING THING AND JUST KIDNAPPED ANYONE TO KILL THE DOCTOR. I mean IT MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. Am I missing something integral here? I genuinely think I might be. Was this just Madame Kovarian’s back-up plan in case the “Let’s Kill Hitler” River failed?"

    I think they wanted a Timelady so they could have someone that was an equal of the Doctor. And if they had this TimeLady from birth, then they could 'brainwash' her as much as they wanted and make her think that the Doctor needed to die. I know that the whole point of going to Lake Silencio in Utah was because it was a, "still point in time" so it was easier to make it a fixed point. Perhaps in addition to thinking a TimeLord would be powerful enough to kill the Doctor, they also thought it would be easier to create a fixed point if they had manipulated this girl's entire life from the very beginning. Maybe they always needed River to actually love the Doctor AND have to kill him for it to work. "I made you what you are. The woman who kills the Doctor."

    Not sure, just thought I'd put that out there. Thoughts, anyone?

  62. Just a point, on the Tesselector, I always considered it a play on words between Tessellation and Tesseract.

    Tessellation is the filling of 2d or 3d space with regular objects (the 'skin' of the body)

    Tesseract is the 3d projection of a forth dimensional 'cube.' I'm not sure how to do images in comments but I'll try <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/55/Tesseract.gif&quot; />

    Another name for the Tesseract is Hypercube.

  63. sporkaganza93 says:

    I think the actual question "Doctor who?" is really, really stupid, but I think the content of the question is brilliant. Series five and six have been all about, in my opinion, the Doctor trying to figure out his identity. Who is he? Is he warlike? Is he peaceful? Is he a good man? Is he a bad man? Is he very old or very young? The Doctor has been trying to make sense of himself ever since Moffat started running the show, and in that sense, the question "Doctor who?" is extremely apropros.

    I really wish he didn't have to go with the easy gag of "LOL CUZ ITS THE NAME OF THE SHOW GET IT?" though. But since the content of the question opens up huge possibilities for the character and for the show, I'm willing to ignore that.

  64. mreeb says:

    Oh god, my feelings exactly. So many questions. I think I still loved it all, but was still underwhelmed? I don't know! Mass confusion! (my aunt: "That's Catholic confusion!") I'm gonna go with liking the "Doctor who?" question because it breaks the fourth wall. It *is* the question that has been there since the beginning of the series! I like it when the show nods to fans like that.

    • sporkaganza93 says:

      Oh, hey, I didn't think about that whole aspect of "It's been there since the beginning": it really has been there from the beginning of the Whoniverse!

      That makes me like it more.

    • MissC_93 says:

      If you like the nods to the fans, then did you like the line about how people have been gossiping about whether River kills or marries the Doctor? Just thought I'd throw it out there because I haven't noticed anyone else here mention it, and I personally loved it!

  65. sporkaganza93 says:

    Oh, by the way, does anyone else hope that the Stetson becomes a permanent part of Eleven's costume now? Because that would be wonderful and amazing.

  66. Dent D says:

    I have to wonder why a season that has had the highest number of enjoyable episodes for me personally is also one of my most disliked when taken as a whole. Looking back, I am convinced that (with the exception of A Good Man Goes to War, Let's Kill Hitler and The Wedding of River Song) every episode would have better without the Silence/River plot.

    I'll try to rattle off the positives about the finale first.

    – I had to laugh in delight as I watched the absurdity of an Earth where time stood still and all points of history were compressed. I have a huge negative point about this as well, but visually it was a lot of fun.

    – As always, the banter between all the characters was fantastic, due in no small part to the amazing cast. Amy's blunt offer of drinks and marriage to Rory was brilliant.

    – I absolutely LOVED every moment Dorium Maldovar was on screen. I would love love love to see more of him (even as a head in a box!) in the future. Wouldn't it be great to have a sassy blue man tarting off to the Doctor every time he's in the TARDIS?

    – BBC outdid themselves in the special effects, well done.

    – I have absolutely no problem with the Doctor's cop out of death. It works perfectly and it certainly isn't out of left field. The entire season has had recurring themes of duplicates and copies of people. The Ganger!Doctor was certainly a contender but I am happy a sentient being did not actually have to sacrifice itself. Additionally, when the Doctor was finally shot by River, I had to laugh because Matt's reaction seemed pretty "fake". However knowing now that it was actually the Tesselecta robot, I think it's funny! Clearly the Doctor was hamming up his own "death". πŸ™‚

    – The live chess scene was beautiful and I wish we had more time with Gantok. He seemed like a pretty interesting minor villain!

    – The Doctor's "death" has relegated him back to a figure of mystery, which can only be a good thing. The amount of Doctor angst in this season was delicious and I ate every bit of it up. I was hoping for something like this ever since Ten was being oblivious to Martha's feelings.

    And now for all of the negatives…

    – The relationship between the Doctor and River is one that we are constantly being TOLD about, but never SHOWN. The two of them flirt but beyond that I'm not really seeing it. The Doctor and Jack flirted. How is this different? I find myself irritated at the lack of agency being given these two characters in regards to their romantic feelings for each other. From one end, the Doctor feels he should care for River because she knows his name, and he'd only tell her that because he trusts her implicitly. We have yet to be shown what River has done to earn that trust. From the other end, River becomes infatuated with the Doctor because of her warped upbringing by the Silence and a single meeting with the Doctor, wherein she learns she'll eventually become a woman of great importance to the Doctor. How is any of that a romance of two willing participants? Maybe I would feel less upset by this if one of the two stated at some point that there is a reason beyond timey wimey shenanigans for loving the other.

    – This is twice now that Moffat has used alternate universes/timelines "that never were" to drive plots along. I don't mind "what if" settings like these but I find myself extremely irritated by the fact that almost all of the characters "remember" what really should have happened. I guess my imagination has drawn the line here because I just don't buy that if all of history has been rewritten Amy, Rory, River, Kovarian and Churchill would be the same people with memories of what happened before time was messed up. Team TARDIS has gone through at least three history re-writes now, and each time they apparently retain knowledge of everything that happened before, despite the story insisting that the characters have now experienced entirely different pasts. It just doesn't make sense to me and I'm beginning to feel like Moffat thinks humanoid memory powers have magic, universe crossing powers.

    – "Doctor Who?" I groaned so hard at this. I will be dreading the day we come to this point and the question is asked at the penultimate moment. When we first learned about "the oldest question in the universe" I thought it had to be some sort of existential "who are we" or "why are we here" type of question. The Doctor surely is not as old as the oldest question, since sentient beings (beings capable of asking questions) existed well before the Doctor came along. I have to stretch this question into something more base such as "Who are YOU?" in order to like it. That sort of question could be applied to anybody (therefore fitting the criteria of being a very old question), but it still retains significance when asked pointedly to the Doctor in a moment where he can't brush it off and say "just the Doctor".

    • Lambchop919 says:

      "Doctor Who?"

      It's actually very meta. "The universe" is the TV show itself. "The oldest question [in the TV universe] hidden in plain sight" – from the very first episode, the words 'Doctor Who' appeared in the opening titles, and it's 'hidden in plain sight' because people don't really pay attention to it/take it for granted.

      That said, I don't think we're actually going to learn the Doctor's name. From what I've read, it's kind of a sacrosanct thing that it never actually be revealed, because any reveal would be a let-down or totally fanwanky. 2013 is the 50th anniversary of Who so that series is going to be very special, and everyone is anticipating that all previous Doctors and companions (still alive) will appear in some fashion, maybe even a giant special 50th anniversary episode. I think this whole question thing is a lead in to that.

  67. So the fixed point wasn't the Doctor's death, just that the Tesalator (that's its name, right?) got shot. That came as a surprise.

    I'm not a big fan of River's backstory, although I do enjoy her character. I didn't really think much of her involvement in this episode. I don't really understand why she loves the Doctor so much at this stage. It felt like there was an episode missing where her feelings for him properly matured.

    I did really enjoy the episode though. Loved the broken time line. This was one of my favourite season finales, although considering most of the finales in the RTD era (Tinkerbell Jesus, dancing Daleks and "I don't want to go") I'm not sure how much of a compliment that is…

  68. Beth says:

    I want to say something all deep and long and agreeing-y, but all I thought at the end was, "I bet the Doctor has a really embarrassing name like Milhouse or something and that's why he hides it."

    Yes, everyone. Doctor Milhouse.

  69. buyn says:

    This episode made as much sense to me as it did to my grandmother who hadn't seen any episodes since The Fifth Doctor…
    But I enjoyed it. So now… we wait.

  70. expelliarmus says:

    THEORY THAT MAKES SOME THINGS IN THIS EPISODE HAVE SENSE

    -doctors name is Look Into My Eye

    • expelliarmus says:

      also, 42 rhymes with doctor who.
      just putting it out there.

    • expelliarmus says:

      also, 42 rhymes with doctor who.

    • expelliarmus says:

      THE METATHEORY
      if silence will fall when the question is asked, and the question is doctor who, and there is academy of the question
      then
      silence will fall when we find out doctors name, thus no more doctor who, thus no more show doctor who.
      the academy of doctor who is fandom? isnt fandom sometimes kind of like a religious order? ergo silence equals fandom.
      oldest question in the universe – before everything in-doctor-who-universe there was a title of the show. first question show made. and never answered.
      just talking to myself over here.

  71. canyonoflight says:

    I didn't like this episode as much as I hoped I would. I found the whole solution to the Doctor dying thing to be too easy. I don't know, normally with a DW series finale I feel a lot of strong emotions. With this one I just felt let down.

  72. canyonoflight says:

    Okay, so if during the whole beginning of The Impossible Astronaut the Doctor was actually the Teselecta, then why wasn't he so robotic like the Amy Teselecta was? He was sorrowful and old and moved just like himself. Am I over thinking it? Was he like that just so we wouldn't suspect something was off from the very beginning? Or did they really change history?

    • ArrogantSage says:

      This particular Teselecta was being controlled by the Doctor himself, therefore it behaved more naturally than someone controlling him who didn't know him intimately.

  73. LittleCaity says:

    *headdesks repeatedly* I wanted so much more from this episode, I really really did. So. Not. Impressed.

    It's official, from now on I stick to classic Who and the Sarah Jane Adventures. Dammit, Moffat, I had such high hopes for you…

  74. Hotaru_hime says:

    At the end of this series I thought, "Ah, I just want them to fight against inflatable chairs, is that too much to ask?"
    I like that it brought up all the issues of the destruction the Doctor tends to leave in his wake, but he usually shows up when destruction is about to happen so… I don't know. All I know is that it didn't leave me very satisfied and that next season I just want some wacky adventures with no serious series arc.
    But bless Rory. Best human ever.

  75. Melody says:

    Allow me to direct your attention to this lovely bit of meta on LJ: http://elisi.livejournal.com/668496.html#cutid1. It helped me make sense of things.

  76. Toni says:

    The question is : DOCTOR WHO! Who is this myserious man named Doctor Who? Maybe next season it will be about the beginining of Doctor Who. Who is his parents. How and why did he destroy Galifrey. Why he stole the Tardis. Who is really Doctor Who? Why the title of Doctor? ____Did you notice First 8 doctors were OLD and the new ones are Young. It seems to me the Doctor started as a young spirited boy that wished he was Old to do what he wants to do and now that he is over 800 years he is regenerating as young to forget he is old.

  77. Jahizzle says:

    Calling all Doctor Who fans! I don't even know if anyone is going to see this but my boyfriend made an AMAZING shirt that is up for voting (http://www.jinx.com/design_contest_detail.aspx?id=1637). If you'd buy this shirt, vote and maybe you'll be able to!

  78. Rebecca says:

    I love Doctor Who and I love Stephen Moffat, but he just keeps disappointing me. I feel like although there are a lot of great atmospheric things since he's taken over the series, it just isn't that great. I love River Song, but I liked her best before her bizarro, under-explained story came into the picture. I like Amy and Rory and what happens, but all the stories since Moffat took over have been little let downs. The endings aren't surprising, sometimes they don't even make sense. And the beginnings, which are so epic always, are apparently too epic to do justice to and the ending sort of peters out with "I knew that would happen" whimper. I keep on watching, but I feel like it's always the same answer. The answer is "Love someone more" or "they love you". That's nice, but there's more to conflict resolution than realizing that someone loves you. Or that you love someone. Seriously

  79. Kae says:

    I didn't know where to ask this, so I'll try it here: do you prefer Steven Moffat or RTD as headwriters?

Comments are closed.