Wonderbot is back (so soon?) with her review of “A Good Man Goes to War”
**Bigtime Spoilers. You Have Been Warned.**
Allow me to begin by saying that I have not been a life long “Who” fan. I have, however, been a huge fan of the show since it was suggested to me last Summer. I was sick for six weeks with mono, so I figured starting the new series would be a good jumping on point since I wasn’t alive for the 1960’s “classic Who”.
I began with Christopher Eccleston, watched all of David Tennant, and fell in love with Matt Smith. It might have to do with the hi-def of seasons 5 and 6, or simply my my absolute love for a certain Scottish redhead, but whatever it is, I have liked the past two seasons better than the previous. This has caused major arguments within my group of friends.
I really, really try not to think too hard when I’m watching “Who”. I thought about “Lost” waaaaay too much when that was on, and that just ended in disappointment. I’ve finally accepted the story at face value, and try remember that it’s just a TV show, so everything won’t always make sense.
The new season of Dr. Who had yet to really blow me away until the final moments of episode 6 titled “The Almost People”, when you find out that Amy has been pregnant since before the season started, and has basically been going on adventures with The Doctor and Rory in her mind since.
We start the episode “A Good Man Goes to War” with Amy in the “nursery” on Demon’s Run. The baby has been born and her name is Melody Pond. Amy is telling baby Melody that she wants to protect her and keep her safe, but that she has to be brave because Madame Kovarian (ol’ one eye) and the other bad guys are going to take Melody away. However, Amy has been promised by The Doctor that he and Rory, will do whatever they can to find Amy.
Flash to 20,000 light years away where Rory is on a Cyberman ship trying to find out information on Amy’s whereabouts. the Cybermen are not cooperating, so The Doctor blows up a bunch of the Cybermen’s ships without so much as a flinch out of Rory. Rory is The Last Centurion. This is our hero shot.
While on Demon’s Run we learn that it is occupied by the military, as well as a seemingly new enemy, The Headless Monks. You do not look at The Headless Monks. Not ever. That is a killing offense.
Blah, blah, blah, Lorena is sewing, blah, blah, blah, “We’re the thin/fat gay married couple”, blah, blah, Lorena met The Doctor when she was little, blah, blah….
Next we find out that The Doctor has been busy recruiting his own army. Madame Vastra the Silurian, Dorium Maldovar, Commander Strax, and the Judoon to name a few.
River and Rory share a moment, as River is checking back into her cell. Rory tells River that Amy has been taken and that The Doctor needs her help. River appears to know exactly what is going on, and expresses that she can’t help at the Battle of Demon’s run, because after the battle The Doctor will fall, and because of that, she can’t be with him until the very end because this is the day The Doctor finds out who River song is.
Back on Demon’s Run Colonel Manton is rallying the troops in case The Doctor shows up. Lorena sneaks off to the nursery to give Amy a gift. Lorena has been sewing a prayer leaf for Amy that has Melody’s name embroidered on it. Lorena’s people believe that if you keep the prayer leaf with you, your child will always come back to you. Lorena tells Amy about her experience with The Doctor as a child, and how special Amy must be that The Doctor would come back for her. Amy gives Lorena a warning that The Doctor is coming, and that for Lorena’s sake she needs to be on the right side when he gets there.
At this point we return to Colonel Manton, and discover that The Headless Monks are indeed, headless. Their necks tied up like little baggies at the top. Gross.
BOOM! The Doctor and his troops have managed to ambush Demon’s Run. The lights go out, and chaos ensues by turning The Headless Monks and the military against each other. Colonel Manton takes control of the situation by having the military disarm. The rest of The Doctors army appears and attempts to overtake Demon’s Run. As all of this is happening, ol’ one eye is planning to take baby Melody and escape. Rory shuts down that plan, and ol’ one eye tells Colonel Manton to give the order for the military to stand down.
Rory and Amy finally have their dramatic reunion. Rory shows up in the nursery with the baby Melody in his arms, and this is when I begin crying like an infant. In this scene, Arthur Darvill, Karen Gillian and Matt Smith remind me why I love them so much. The love going on in this room is amazing.
After Commander Strax announces his ability to produce “Magnificent quantities of lactic fluid”, The Doctor brings out a bassinet for the baby to sleep in. A very old bassinet which will make sense by the end of the episode. We find out that Melody was conceived on the TARDIS, and is carrying Time Lord DNA because of that. Is it making sense to you yet?
The military back up plan is in effect, and although scans are showing that there are no other life forms on Demon’s Run except for The Doctor and the other “good guys”, Lorena insists that there is, because The Headless Monks are not alive. The ship goes into lock down as Madame Vastra and The Doctor are discussing why ol’ one eye would want a Time Lord. The conclusion is that Madame Kovarian needs a Time Lord to defeat The Doctor because seemingly, the only thing that can defeat a Time Lord is another Time Lord. We learn here that The Doctor is the most feared man in the universe.
Killing ensues and Rory ushers Amy and baby Melody to safety as The Headless Monks begin their attack prayer and Dorian Maldovar is killed. Baby Melody melts in Amy’s arms as it’s discovered that Madame Vastra has escaped from Demon’s Run with the real baby, and what Amy thought was the baby was really The Flesh. As we find out the baby has been taken and as Lorena and Commander Strax lie dying, I once again, find myself bawling my stupid eyes out. This will continue until the end of the episode.
In the last five minutes River shows up. The Doctor is super pissed because he doesn’t understand why she didn’t show up. River explains to The Doctor that he is the person who can turn an army around with the mention of his name, and strikes fear into the hearts of others. She explains that the word “Doctor” has become synonymous for “Mighty Warrior”, and that he is so feared that his enemy’s have kidnapped a child to take him down. The Doctor finally asks River who she is.
This is when the most mind bending thing happens. We find out that River is Rory and Amy’s daughter Melody. River explains that the prayer leaf was misinterpreted, and that “Melody Pond” became “River Song” because it was read backwards, and the only water source on Lorena’s planet was the river.
This whole episode was great to me. By far the best in the season yet. I’m always blown away at Steven Moffatt’s ability to tell a fantastic story. Some people have taken issue with the fact that Amy has seemingly become a “victim”. I don’t really see it that way at all. Amy was pregnant, kidnapped, and held against her will. There was not a whole lot she could do to get herself out of the situation without getting herself killed. The Doctor promised her he’d find her, and he did. If Rory needed rescuing, Amy would save him. Amy is strong and assertive, and “victim” is one of the last words I would use to describe her. One of the best lines in this episode is when Rory says “Melody Williams” and Amy’s response is “Ugh. Melody Williams is a geography teacher, Melody Pond is a super hero”.
Any episode that has River in it is going to be a great episode in my mind. She is one of the most brilliant characters out there. Whenever I watch her and The Doctor interact, I can’t help but think about the book “The Time Travelers Wife”. Sure, the time line is crazy, and you don’t always know what is going on, or when it’s going on, but it’s an awesome love story nonetheless.
I also appreciated the fact that we got to see a lot of characters that we haven’t seen in a while, and some new faces as well (like Henry and Toby Avery). The “Who” staff always does a fantastic job bringing everyone back together.
The supporting cast of the fifth and sixth season are what makes the show amazing to me. I feel like in “The Tennant years”, David Tennant was the thing that made the show, while the supporting cast was a bit underwhelming. However, the supporting cast of the past two seasons are where it’s at. Their ability to convey emotion, anger, and love, and do it seamlessly is the reason I keep coming back for more “Who”.
I’m super excited for the rest of the season. What a better way to start the second half of the season that with an episode titled “Let’s Kill Hitler”?