Television: Doctor Who and A Good Man Goes to War

"A Good Man Goes to War"Amy Pond has been kidnapped and the Doctor is raising an army to rescue her as the drama continues. But as he and Rory race across galaxies, calling in long-held debts and solemnly given promises, his enemies are laying a carefully concealed trap. In her cell in Stormcage, River Song sadly acknowledges that the time has come at last – today will mark the Battle of Demons Run and the Doctor’s darkest hour. Both sides will make their sacrifices and River Song must finally reveal her most closely guarded secret to the Doctor.

When you listen to River Song, whenever she’d be asked who she really was, you’d think that she was harboring a secret that’s as big as the universe. But now that we finally know who she is, I have to say, it feels a little anticlimactic.

I was very excited for A Good Man Goes to War. It was the episode everyone was waiting for. A massive cliffhanger isn’t something to look forward to, but when it’s supposed to showcase the Doctor as you’ve never seen him before—well, who wouldn’t be excited?

But that’s just the thing with expectations, isn’t it? You set yourself up, because you never really know if what you’re looking forward to will live up to your expectations. And most of the time it won’t. And this was no exception.

Demons run when a good man goes to war,” they say. But we never actually see the war. We see the beginnings of it, we see a recruitment—and then it just sort of fizzles out. Looking at the set-up of the whole thing, the only thing that kept running in my mind was this: the Doctor can take all of them without help!

Sure, it was awesome to see the Cybermen, the Sontaran, the Silurian and the really kick-ass Victorian Maided/Swordswoman. And we get a few seconds of the Judoon too! But as they surrounded the clerics, I couldn’t help but think: what a waste of a good debt! I wouldn’t call on these many friends just so I could save one baby. I’d rather be stealthy and stuff.

I mean, I do get that the Doctor wants to make a point: no one messes with him and his friends. But really? Did you really need all those “friends” there?

And then we go to the revelation of River Song’s identity.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, I really thought River Song was this bloody big person whose identity might harm the doctor. And that’s my main beef about the whole thing. I didn’t actually mind that they chose to make River—that. It’s just that, after all these build up, I thought she’d be more—well, dangerous, and scary.

And after finding out, the Doctor reacted how?

I felt as if the episodes leading up to this episode somehow misled me to thinking that we were going to have a very dramatic episode.

Instead we get a war that never came to be, a promise that fell a bit flat (in my opinion), and a cliffhanger that doesn’t actually make me look forward to watching the next episode.

This is just me. I’m sure plenty of people found the episode brilliant.

I was just expecting more from the guy who gave us Blink, and The Empty Child, and The Girl in the Fireplace, and The Pandorica Opens, and Silence in the Library

I did like River’s speech to the Doctor in the end though. About how other alien races really perceive the Doctor–as someone who isn’t always a good guy.

Well, those are my thoughts. What did you think about the mid-series finale of Doctor Who?

One thought on “Television: Doctor Who and A Good Man Goes to War

  1. Pingback: Television: Doctor Who and the Name of the Doctor | taking a break

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