‘My friend, you have never risen higher’—Doctor Who: A Good Man Goes to War.

Previously on Doctor Who: The Almost People (2).

Right, this bit is (almost) all you’re gonna get, because I’ll go off quoting the entire episode. Because, oh, this script. These lines:

I wish I could tell you that you’ll be loved, that you’ll be safe and cared for and protected. But this isn’t a time for lies. What you are gonna be, Melody, is very, very brave.

But not as brave as they’ll have to be. Because there’s someone coming. I don’t know where he is or what he’s doing, but trust me, he’s on his way. There’s the man who’s never gonna let us down and not even an army can get in the way. He’s the last of his kind. He looks young but he’s lived for hundreds and hundreds of years. And wherever they take you, Melody, however scared you are, I promise you, you will never be alone because this man is your father. He has a name but the people of our world know him better as the Last Centurion.

I have a message and a question. A message from the Doctor, and a question from me. Where. is. my. wife?

I want you to tell your men to run away. Those words. Run away. I want you to be famous for those exact words. I want people to call you Colonel Run-Away. I want children laughing outside your door, cause they’ve found the house of Colonel Run-Away. And, when people come to you, and ask if trying to get to me through the people I love! … is in any way a good idea, I want you to tell them your name. Oh, look! I’m angry. That’s new. I’m really not sure what’s going to happen now.

But, first off: alright, I was wrong. I had thought the TARDIS would prevent anything from happening to a child conceived onboard, but if the Time Lords were once humans who had been exposed to the Time Vortex, the Untempered Schism for so long, then, well, I suppose it makes sense. Pure, sheer luck, and a lot of Moffat madness make it possible—hello, Time Head baby!

The thing is: the Doctor is sure that the girl in the space suit is Amy’s baby, and if River is Amy’s baby… then it’s River, in that suit, on that beach; unless someone traded places with her. So, I’ve always said that I don’t think it’s River in there because her reactions in The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon were off—she should have remembered stuff, but it never seemed that she did. The problem is: time can only be rewritten after the Doctor was put on her scent by the older Doctor—and since we see time happening mostly from the current Doctor’s point of view, it hadn’t happened yet. That’s what the Doctor means when he says that it’s already too late—Amy told him in The Almost People that she saw him die.

This also means that the older Doctor has to die on that beach. Has to die so that these events will take place, just as River has to die in Forest of the Dead to ensure that she was even born. If the Doctor saves her now, what is going to happen to the timeline? If he changes too much, he won’t be able to find her in the first place, and then she’s in the hands of the Alliance again. Besides, the Battle of Demon’s Run is in her diary, and what happens the diary stays in the diary. So. How much can the Doctor change—River says she knows that the Doctor saved her, but when? It only makes sense if it’s all a giant plan.

If the Doctor and River planned to put a Ganger into his place, for her to stay in the suit just until after she killed “him,” and then to flee and regenerate. To have their weapon kill a Ganger—nice payback for the trap, that would be. That’s the only way I can imagine the Doctor leaving River in that suit so that the timeline of him finding Melody can stay intact; because it has to.

Just make sure that you’re on the right side when he gets here. Not for my sake—for yours.

And that’s exactly it, Amy. You scoff at Lorna calling the Doctor dark, but that’s what he is. He may open a tawdry quirk shop any intergalactic minute, but he is—a warrior. That’s the one thing Colonel Manton left out in his motivational speech to the soldiers. The Doctor may not be the Devil, not a god, not a goblin and not a trickster: but he is a soldier. Remember poor Clive in the first episode in 2005?

He has one constant companion—death.

Why would so many alliances across the universe try to fashion weapons that can bring the Doctor down? Of course, there is a great Big Bad in the background of all this, whoever controlled the TARDIS in The Pandorica Opens is behind this, and we haven’t seen them yet. The Big Bad that is using entire people’s fears of the Doctor, the terror that he spreads, to use them to build weapons. The Big Bad might just be another The Doctor is Our Enemy Let’s Kill Him So We Can Take Over the Universe villain—but the way they operate isn’t what we usually see. Davros made a start, with accusing Ten of using his Children of Time, making them into weapons to kill his enemies so he wouldn’t have to get his hands dirty. And now someone else is doing the one thing that can take the Doctor down: himself. His own fear of the darkness inside him, the way the Dream Lord tormented him is a good indicator of how frightened the Doctor is of himself—in the end, it’s the Doctor who hates the Doctor the most in the whole wide universe. This isn’t over yet, far from it. The Alliance that built the Pandorica was only one of many plans to destroy the Doctor. But why?

Doctor: Why would a Time Lord be a weapon?

Vastra: Well, they’ve seen you.

Doctor: Me…?

The Doctor is a walking weapon—and so is the child. Both represent hope to the people who are on their sides, respectively. Now, who’s right? It isn’t how we choose to see the Doctor, because we know him. It isn’t how Amy chooses to see him, but Lorna is struggling. She wants to meet him again, because he’s an adventurer and he was nice to her and he saved her, but she’s also afraid of him.

Afraid of his name. Now, why would killing that man mean hope in an endless war? He does it to save the universe, but that’s still blood on his hands. So much blood. He is called the Oncoming Storm, and not for nothing. That’s what he’s been running from. Because a part of him feared that this would happen ever since he started making enemies, so he ran. And Eleven is running the fastest, because Nine was born in battle, of blood and anger and revenge, and he threw his name into the Dalek’s face, unable to deal with his fury any other way; and Ten was suffering so openly from what happened in the Time War, from what he did to his own people, and he got so angry, too. And when Eleven came along, when regeneration was so violent, when there was nothing else on his mind than CHANGE, GODDAMMIT—he did just that. Ten was probably the most human Doctor there’s ever been, but Eleven, oh no, he’s very alien. He still understands humanity, and aspires to it, but he’s different. The anger we saw in this episode was the first anger of this kind in his lifetime. That anger that Nine lived with every second, that anger that Ten spewed at Harriet Jones on his first day. Sure, Eleven has threatened enemies before, for example in his There’s one thing you should never, ever put in a trap speech, and he’s gotten angry before, in The Beast Below and in Victory of the Daleks. But that wasn’t this cold-hearted anger with which he ridicules his opponents. He tried to become another man, which is why he is so damn quirky and perky and behaving like a toddler in space. He will never forget, and he will probably never be forgiven, let alone forgive himself entirely. But he deals with it differently, he has to, because he is forced to acknowledge what caused all this 700 years ago. Not just this, but his role in the Time War itself. And maybe, just maybe, if he can make things right, then he can find peace. But he needs help.

They’re always brave.

Yes, they are. And they love him, and they never blame him—but Amy has been struggling with that, just a bit. When he left her alone for 14 years, when he couldn’t save Rory in Amy’s Choice, and now, when her child is gone and he walked into the same trap twice. When she backs away from him at the end of this episode, won’t let him touch her—that breaks him. That, right there. He has lost their trust, and that’s the worst thing that can happen to him. Because if he loses his companions’ trust, then who is right? The Doctor, or the ones that want to kill him? The Doctor’s image and, more importantly, self-perception are changing. He chose his name, chose to be the Doctor, but what has he done, and what will he do if no-one can stop him? Of course he didn’t want it to ever come to this, but it did.

All that hatred, all that fear—when all he wants to do is make love to the stars and the universe. As I said when I took a look at the series trailer and saw the Doctor dressed up as a clown, looking miserable—there are so many people with clown phobias out there. What’s loved be some, is feared by others. What’s some people’s dream—can be someone else’s nightmare.

And the Doctor is shattered by this, he despairs as he’s never despaired before; and he takes it all out on River, because he’s always come when she called, and he’s going to take her out for her birthday, but this time, when he needs all the help he can get, calling in debts throughout space and time—she’s not there to fight at his side. He’s confused, and hurt and he feels so betrayed because who the hell is she to tell him that he’ll trust her more than anyone else in the universe one day when she can’t come to call now, when he has to save his best friends’ child?

Demon’s run, but count the cost.

The battle’s won, but the child is lost.

There is nothing more beautiful than that moment when he realizes who she is. Why she couldn’t be at the battle of Demon’s Run—because she was already there. When he finds out who she is, the pain doesn’t matter anymore. Because he has found the person he was yearning for. Someone to trust, someone who wouldn’t wither and die before his eyes—and, unlike his TARDIS, someone he can talk to, someone he can bloody well kiss if he wants to, when he wants to. The daughter of his best friends, now in-laws, the girl who was stolen to destroy him and who fell in love with him.

That is the bitter-sweet thing about River: she’s not just a love story, she’s a warning. She’s the only one who can make the Doctor see.

And all the little things that suddenly make sense—why she knows how to fly the TARDIS, why she uses the blue stabilizers (baby Melody doesn’t like the noise, remember?), why the TARDIS reroutes phone calls to her and trusts her, why she says, ‘I hope my old man didn’t see that, he gets ever so cross,’ in Day of the Moon, after killing just about a dozen Silents. Rory. Her dad, her old man.

It’s the classic story—the assassin that falls in love with the target. And it’s one of the most amazing stories I’ve ever been told.

Oh, and can I just say: it’s not just the acting, the script, the everything—it’s the music that makes this so amazing. The fact itself that River is Melody has been guessed by many, it was pretty much obvious when people learned that the baby’s name is Melody, but this doesn’t take away from the emotional impact, the importance, and the beauty of this episode at all. It’s not about River herself, in the end it’s always about the Doctor, about who he is, about what he learns about himself in this story. But I digress, what I meant to say was this: the music. That simple, haunting melody (well, sorry, what word am I supposed to use? ;)) in the background as River confronts the Doctor about how high exactly he has risen, and in how much danger he is of falling; as the writing on the prayer leaf changes, as Amy realizes that her daughter will survive—so soft but tragic, and so beautiful. Murray Gold, you are a god.

There is so much more to be said about this episode: the characters. All the characters, so many of them, and they were nicely fleshed out, at least mostly, which isn’t always a given when there are so many people to be introduced.

There is a gallery on the BBC’s website with all of them, but I’m going to mention a few of my personal favourites:

Strax. The Sontaran nurse. Who still dreams of the glory of battle and dying in a war, but who later finds that being a nurse has changed his perspective on things. But still, the charming things he lets fly at the beginning of the episode are too good to be ignored:

I hope someday to meet you in the glory of battle, where I shall crush the life of your worthless human form. Go and get some rest.

Madame Vastra and Jenny. An interspecies lesbian couple posing as a mysterious detective and her maid in Victorian England—did I mention that Vastra just ate Jack the Ripper? These two are amazing, and I’d gladly vote for a spin-off, thank you, Moffat. Oh, and I’d almost forgotten: the way she questions the Doctor about Melody’s… heritage is hilarious. Melody Pond, conceived on the TARDIS, during her parent’s wedding night, in a bunk bed.

The Doctor speaks Baby. Of course he does—he’d make the perfect babysitter. Also, River has been insulting him since her day of birth.

There is hardly anything more adorable than the Doctor making himself presentable for his in-laws. 🙂

Next: Let’s Kill Hitler.

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23 thoughts on “‘My friend, you have never risen higher’—Doctor Who: A Good Man Goes to War.

  1. Am I the first one to comment? Oh well…

    First off, very well done. Had me gasping a couple of times. Really like your style. But then again, I have a couple of questions about you:
    1. Have you ever before heard anything about the way Time Lords evolved? Because I spent most of last night trying to find a reference to what we were told in this episode. Don’t you get the feeling that Moffat went a bit too far there?
    2. About the whole The-Astronaut-kills-the-Doctor thing: do we really expect now that River will kill the real Doctor at the age of 8 and then end up in prison for this murder? I mean, who will imprison a child for killing the most dangerous man in the Universe. I really wonder. How do YOU see her timeline exactly?

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    1. Thank you 🙂

      1. No, I’ve never heard of it before, either. And, yes, he is taking incredible liberties with the canon, and I don’t know how I feel about this prolonged exposure to the Vortex thing, to be honest, yeah. I’m not sure in how far it makes sense, that it was humans on Gallifrey, and that they just evolved because the constellation Kasterburous happens to be a timey-whimey place.
      2. I’ve stated in earlier reviews that I don’t think that River will be imprisoned for killing the Doctor as a girl, even if it is her in the suit. I think it’s a later killing that will land her in Stormcage, and all I’m hoping is that it isn’t Rory.

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      1. 2. You read my mind!
        Earlier tonight I read a tweet RTed by Steven Moffat: RT if your River Song theory did turn out to be correct.
        Well, mine didn’t. Because, you see, I remember quite clearly a conversation she and Eleven had a while back that went something like that:
        – I killed someone.
        – Was it a good man?
        – Yes. The best man I’ve ever known.

        So I immediately thought it was Him. But last night I was like: OK, so the episode’s called “A Good Man Goes To War” and it’s definitely just as much about Rory as it is about the Doctor. So I was pretty scared she might actually kill Rory. Because, really, how many people you can say “best man I’ve ever known” about? So it’s obviously someone important, someone oh so very important. And now it seems to be a choice between the love of her life and… her father. Poetic, isn’t it? :/
        But then again, all that time travel… she might be talking about someone we haven’t even met yet. Poor man. And, oh, almost forgot, how do we define “man” in the first place?

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      2. Oh, I like you, you are very good! 🙂

        And, yes, very poetic choice. Oh, good God, I hope it’s someone we haven’t met yet. I suppose all we know is that it’s going to be a mammal, to quote Vastra 😀

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      3. A male mammal even, I would venture 😉

        Btw, how do you find this: “He will rise higher than ever before, then fall so much further.” I mean, how much further do we expect him to fall? Because, if you ask me, those Headless Monks didn’t fool me. The army was tiny compared to what the Doctor has fought against in previous times. It wasn’t all that scary – at the end, 3 girls and a couple of warriors defeated the returning Monks. I just believe the Doctor isn’t done rising yet. Otherwise it would be a bit stupid, wouldn’t it?
        How do you think?

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      4. Whoops, you’re right 😀

        Well, the “you have never risen higher” comment was directed at the army leaving Demon’s Run–and I guess that the metaphorical fall alludes to the fact that he had to realize that it was just an illusion, that he hadn’t really defeated anyone; and that, although all he ever wanted was help, he has inspired fear and loathing everywhere, that he’s brought this on himself, that it is his fault. I think that’s the worst that could ever happen to him, being at fault for all this.
        So I think that was he’s going to do now is, put simply: dig himself out of this pile of crap by rescuing River (calling her Melody is just weird, I don’t know whether I’ll ever get used to it xD) and trying to defeat the Big Bad that’s behind all this. But I’m curious in how far he is going to change his ways, if he can. I mean, he won’t ever just stop saving the universe, and doing it his way means making enemies… I don’t know how he wants to get through all this.

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      1. I’m not sure about that. I mean, evolution of a species – anyone who was around at the time could have observed them and figured it out. It’s no mystery where Gallifrey was, and that the planet lay near the Untempered Schism, so I suppose it’s not that big of a secret. Now that the Time Lords are gone and the planet is in a Time Lock, it’s not like anyone could recreate events haphazardly.

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  2. Haha, seems that I can’t reply on the previous comment any more.
    Anyway. Several things:
    1. Is he really saving the universe all the time? I mean, he thinks he is, all of his friends agree with him, but remember what happened with the Earth after his first visit to Satellite 5? Does it ever occur to you that the Universe is not in such a huge danger even left on its own. It’s like the human kind “saving the planet” from an ecological catastrophe. Well, I am pretty sure the planet will survive anything but, you see, we might not be here to see it happen. Not trying to be cynical but it’s a point I just had to make, right?
    2. The Doctor has already fallen really deep during his last conversation with Davros. I believe he made him realise very well how his hidden anger reflects on those closest to him and since then he has been trying to change himself, forbidding people to travel with him in fear they might end like the rest (e.g. Lady Christina). But I really like your idea about his “rising” being simply imagined, momentary, while the adrenalin was still up and we were all swaying to the glorious battle music.
    3. You say “the Big Bad” quite a lot. Kind of reminds me of Sherlock Holmes, where there’s a baddy somewhere behind all of it, but you can never quite put your finger on him/her. Looking forward to series 2 then? How do you imagine the 3 of them will get out of the cliffhanger situation alive?

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    1. Ah, that’s probably because I restricted the comment-reply levels to 5, otherwise the columns get so thin and long 😉

      1. I’m not saying that he’s never wrong, and I’m aware of the catastrophes he’s caused, Satellite 5 being one of them. And that is, after all, the point the episode has raised. But I do think that the universe is in danger without him–remember Turn Left? That was an episode designed to show what might go to pot if the Doctor’s not there anymore, and I think it has a point, because just one evil Dalek plan, and the universe goes bust. It’s very, very difficult to draw the line.
      2. And I think that was the card that was well-played by Davros: by forbidding himself to travel with companions, the Doctor unhinged himself. Because he needs someone to stop him, which is evident in River’s person. She’s his warning. If Ten had met River earlier, a lot of heartache might have been prevented. (Or not.)
      3. Yes, I’ve taken to calling it that last series, when that mysterious voice rang through the TARDIS as River tried to park her somewhere safe. Oh, I am certainly looking forward to Sherlock this autumn! Ah, I’ve had some fun with speculating on that, actually, here. To sum it up: First I thought that John and Sherlock jump in the pool, get wet, survive. But considering Moriarty’s so close, I was thinking that maybe that particular pack of semtex wasn’t actually semtex. Oh, and the snipers on the roof either aren’t real snipers, or Mycroft and Lestrade have paid attention and replaced them with their own friends in the meantime.

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  3. Great thoughts, as ever. Great point harking back to the Dream Lord. Combine that with The Waters of Mars and the “Time Lord Victorious”, and it is clear why the Doctor has so many rules – it is to protect himself from himself, not to protect others.

    It’s hard to believe this was just 50 minutes of TV, with so much happening. In addition to Rory’s question at the beginning of the episode, I did also love his “Would you like me to repeat the question?” as the Cyber fleet explodes behind him.

    I loved the way both Strax and Vastra became fully fledged characters in their own right despite only really having a few lines of dialogue each. And both would have made for great spin-offs. I was genuinely sad when Strax – the warrior turned medic in contrast to both Rory and the Doctor himself – died.

    I’ve also done a quick review of both the finale and the half-season as a whole here. Would love to share your thoughts!
    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2011/06/05/doctor-who-mid-season-6-review/

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    1. Thank you 🙂
      Yes, exactly, he knows he’s dangerous, but he’s been running from looking at the consequences for quite some time.

      Rory–let me just say, Rory is amazing. He’s so compassionate and wise, in a way that rivals, if not surpasses, the Doctor. As you pointed out, the Doctor and Rory are healers turned warriors; and Rory fights with determination, skill, and an instinctiveness with which the Doctor calls back the Atraxi “for a scolding” and blows up a Cybermen fleet to protect his family. Not surprisingly, those 2,000 have changed him greatly, and anyone who underestimated him last series got a lesson in BAMF-ness this weekend. I also liked the moment when River said she couldn’t come to Demon’s Run, and Rory goes, “I’m sorry?!” He’s so angry for a minute there, because he knows what loyalty to the Doctor (and to Amy) means. They have a great bond, the Time Lord and the Last Centurion, and I’m hoping they’ll get more chances to show it in the future.

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      1. I must admit, I was one of those to underestimate Rory. Because he was so insecure of himself and so scared to be even jealous of Amy’s flirting with anybody who took her fancy. I rather liked the ‘Mr Pond’ part of the Series 5 Finale, I considered it well-deserved. But that was only because we weren’t shown how greatly Rory had grown during these 2000 years. He really is quite dangerous now in that quiet, in-no-way-obvious way that only people who have faced madness a couple of times and survived possess. I like him. I finally think he deserves Amy and believe now for the first time she loves him completely, without any doubt. Because, what we saw in The eleventh hour… Really? How did she end up with him in the first place?!

        Anyway, just wanted to mention I now see the bond between him and the Doctor you’re talking about. Not only is Rory older than the Doctor now (hard to believe, isn’t it?) but he seems ready to admit that Amy loves both of them and still not feel threatened by the Doctor. And that allows him to … be himself basically, to develop his potential. I love that about this series.

        A question: do you read fanfiction?

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      2. Well, you are right, it was a bit of an inbalanced relationship in the beginning; on the other hand: Rory was the one who noticed that something was wrong with the coma patient and took pictures when everyone else was looking at the sun going wibbly; so I suppose they ended up together because he put up with her and his cleverness somehow reminded him of another very smart man she missed. It was just that he didn’t get much credit in Series 5. But I do think he developed potential early on, for example when he explained to the Doctor why he’s so dangerous to the people around him in Vampires of Venice. He’s grown much, much further, obviously, and Amy really wasn’t sensitive enough to his needs, but she’s got it now, which is good.
        EDIT: Not to mention when Rory dies to save the Doctor in Cold Blood. Barely knows him, pushes him out of the way as he sees that Restac wants to shoot him.

        Yes, the Doctor and Rory–especially considering that they’re in-laws now :D–is a great relationship. Rory’s the older one, and basically the wise dad in that bond. It’s freaky 😀

        Answer: I LIVE on fanfiction. When there’s nothing else, there’s fanfiction. Do you?

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  4. Too narrow and long, you say. Let’s make a new thread then.

    I have totally forgotten about Cold Blood. You know, I have the feeling the more I watch the series the more I forget what I have seen. When I started watching DW (which was only about 2 years ago) I saw it all so quickly I probably didn’t notice half of the important stuff. Yet, I was so sure I remembered everything. Now, I am sure what happened in the last episode, let alone all the previous ones.

    Fanfiction saved me from dying of boredom last summer during a particularly pointless internship. I must admit, I started with the hard core, slash, PWP and the rest (mostly Jack Harkness-connected stuff, of course. Still can’t see the Doctor in a PWP :D). But now I’ve grown quite fond of the idea of writing some myself. Can’t even hope of writing about the Doctor, though – he’s too “complicated a space-time event” and I am not remotely sure I could think like him. But I’ve recently started writing fanfic about Misfits (in case you’ve watched it).

    You heard that Cameleon Circuit’s new album’s out?

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    1. 😉

      Yeah, I know how you feel, I watched it all in pretty quick succession, too, so it’s really good I got the box set this winter. I notice so much stuff now, it’s embarrassing, almost 😀

      Oh, actually, the Doctor in a PWP is quite adventurous. I haven’t read so much Jack Harkness fanfiction yet, but I got into Doctor/Master stories lately, catching up on that is fun, considering the glaring not-so-subtext in both the classic and the revival series. I’m not sure I could write the Doctor, either… I wrote (and published, on my tumblr and on ff.net) my first fanfiction, a Life on Mars story, last weekend, 2’o clock, so at least I got some John Simm to write for, that’s close enough 🙂
      I’m not too familiar with Misftis, though, I just know what I see on tumblr occasionally.

      No, I haven’t! I should look into that post-haste.

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  5. Oh. My. God.

    Okay, I knew there were theories flying around the forums, but I wasn’t sure of anything until seeing this and now……..HOLY CRAP THAT WAS AMAZING. Okay.

    I have some theories regarding River: You know how you said it was strange that she couldn’t remember everything as she was uncovering the Astronaut suit? Not everything, but some things–bits and pieces (Hence the “of course” after she tried shooting it down, but why she didn’t figure out completely what was going on). There are three different time-streams we’re dealing with here. One, where the Doctor managed to rescue Melody/River–that’s the adult River we have now. One, where the Doctor failed, and Melody/River grew up as a weapon under the SIlence’s care–that’s the little girl who was in the suit, who we saw regenerate, and who we saw kill the future Doctor that failed to get her back. And the one now, with baby Melody/River–that’s the one we’re following in the show, the one our Doctor is currently in. He is trying to save her right now. The adult River with them knows he’ll save her, because he already did in her time-stream. But the little girl sure as hell doesn’t. Three Melody/Rivers–three time-streams. It all fits.

    At least I think it does. I could be completely wrong. But it makes sense at the moment, so that’s what I’m going to stick to until September xP

    But in the meantime I’ll have to sustain myself with your marvelous posts :3

    Now then! To the Time Lord evolution thing! Lots of people seem to be having a problem with this. I don’t. I mean, nobody knew how exactly Time Lords came into being, and they don’t seem to be able to reproduce on their own. They don’t exactly have a sex drive. So what the hell happened? It only makes sense that exposure to a time-rift would create a time-traveling race, and a one-in-a-million chance of it occurring in the TARDIS is still a chance. But it’s a VERY slim chance–and after all, even then, River’s not a full Time Lord. Only partly. You can’t just have an orgy in the TARDIS and recreate the race. It’s not that easy. (It’s around now that I wish certain people would use their brains. :P) But that’s why everyone’s making such a big deal over this baby. What are the chances of such an occurrence? Next to nil.

    And yay, I saw the Time Head thing coming. I feel so clever now. XD

    I also thought it was brilliant how they fooled the Doctor with the flesh thing. Again. Hell, I didn’t see it coming either! I felt exactly the way the Doctor must have, like I wanted to kick myself! Of course they wouldn’t just hand the baby over. That would have been much, much too easy.

    Man, though, I wish people would get a grip. I’ve heard a lot of “Psh, saw that River-Melody thing coming a mile away, guessed it weeks ago! Moffat hasn’t given us even remotely original!” Yeah, you know what, just because you had hundreds of different theories doesn’t mean anyone actually knew for sure what the hell was going on. You can guess all you like, it still wasn’t obvious or non-original. Moffat’s been building up to this since Silence of the Library. And just like you said, the music. I can’t describe it the way you did, but I can at least say I know exactly what you mean. It perfectly matches the emotional impact of the episode.

    Can I also say, after reading your interpretations on the Doctor, that you have a way with words that I don’t think I’ll ever have. And observation powers! I thought I noticed everything here, but I didn’t pick up River’s “old man” comment, and I didn’t connect Melody’s dislike of the TARDIS noise to River’s use of the stabilizers. That’s genius right there, and props to you for noticing! I sure didn’t! xD

    But you did a fantastic job with outlining the Doctor’s emotions. I didn’t quite grasp everything you did, so I’m really glad I’m following your blog, because the Doctor’s obvious pain just hit me all over again in a stronger wave. The little, seemingly insignificant things that tell you SO MUCH of what’s going on, like when Amy flinches away from the Doctor when he tries to touch her. I can’t even say anything much, because as usual you already covered it perfectly, but seriously–amazing, amazing job. I’m going to show this to my parents too, because this analysis is too perfectly written not to read.

    And I can’t go a single episode without commenting on the acting, so here it is: HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. MATT SMITH ASDFGHJKL. You know, there aren’t many actors who can pull off crazy, fury, misery, desperate, humor, delight, and every other damn thing in between, AND different combinations of them, that actually look realistic. A lot of actors try to do it, and they just can’t. They come off looking ridiculous. HE can do it. They couldn’t have picked a better person to play the Doctor.

    And Rory has NEVER looked so badass as he did this week: “Where. Is. My. Wife?” *series of explosions* “Would you like me to repeat the question?” God. Chills. My respect for Rory as a character has soared since his first appearance in The Eleventh Hour and his reappearance in Vampires of Venice. I have to say I wasn’t particularly crazy about him before, just someone to bring comedic relief when Amy was in a bad mood. But now…I don’t even know how to describe it. He’s just awesome.

    And now I’m not giving Amy enough love, and that’s sinful, because she’s amazing too. And River! God, I love all four of them. I’ve said it before so many times, and here I am, saying it again. I will worship them until the day I die. :3

    (Oh, and that baby was adorable. I had to say it.)

    Well, I apologize for all that nonsense. I had a lot to say, apparently. xD And I also apologize for my lateness; I’ve been a week behind since The Almost People cuz BBC ran it later than they were supposed to. xP

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    1. Yes, I was also thinking about how we’re following the Doctor’s timeline POV, and therefore River’s memories were changing, like Kazran’s in A Christmas Carol, but I’m just not sure about the implications and the effects it would have on her…

      I’m not sure about the sex drive–I mean, I’m fine with the Time Head baby and everything, if the TARDIS decided not to prevent it from happening, and River was conceived in the Vortex, then, well it might happen, and it’s a miracle, not a bad thing. It’s clear that River and the Doctor can’t restart the Time Lord race–and I don’t think they’d want to, actually xD–but what’s the alternative to procreation? Looming, as they’ve once called it somewhere? I don’t know. I do think the Doctor can have a sex drive, he’s just not as influenced by it as ordinary humans are.

      During the scenes with handing over the baby and then discovering that it was, in fact, fake jelly baby, I felt reminded of the opening scene of GoldenEye: 007 and 006 go in, and it’s all running smoothly, and James actually says, “This is too easy.” Classic scenario, really.

      YOU JUST HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS, THAT’S ALRIGHT. 😀

      I say–OH MY GOD THANK YOU. I don’t even know what to say to all this praise, other than THANK YOU and, yeah, well, I’m doing my best 😀 I’m just trying to get my feelings across, and I’m glad that I’m doing it in a way that benefits/delights others, because writing is the only thing I’m remotely good at, so I’m happy that it’s evocative enough and working :3

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      1. Well, I fail at responding. /shot ;u;

        Yeah, the theory definitely has holes XD And I’m probably wrong anyway, so I’ll just wait and see what Moffat comes up with ;3 LOL

        Hm…I see what you’re saying, but I’m not sure if I agree…I didn’t see much of the other Doctors, so I guess I’ve been influenced by Eleven’s alien-ness too much. I keep forgetting that Nine and Ten (mostly Ten) were much more familiar with…that aspect of things, with the kissing and such. But then again, I’m not sure the Doctor is supposed to be that way. That may have been RTD messing things up. BUT on the other hand, I haven’t seen enough of any other Doctor to judge, so maybe I’ll just keep my mouth shut. :3 But I still stand by what I said about the Time Head baby. It’s a perfectly legitimate explanation to me xD

        Yes, VERY classic–part of the genius of it, in my opinion. Of course it was classic. That’s what made me all the more frustrated, because I should have seen it coming a mile away. Just like Eleven–you could see it on his face. xD

        YAY I’M GLAD YOU UNDERSTAND 😀 LOL

        Oh, you are so welcome! XD You’re completely deserving of all that praise and more! So many more people should be reading this blog. Your level of detail is outstanding. I like to think I’m good at writing too, but I know I couldn’t have come up with the kind of stuff you post ;D Part of it too is how observant you are–don’t sell yourself short, you’ve noticed stuff I probably never would have seen, especially not the first time around. So fantastic job, once again, and definitely continue what you’ve been doing~! XD

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      2. Well, it is a good theory, and it’s probably the one I’m going with as well, so at least our plot holes can be friends 😀

        Weeeeell… that’s a long story, really. The first one who openly snogged someone was Eight, in The Movie–it’s honestly a bit horrible, but I LOVE EIGHT, he’s just adorable and strong and, oh, just listen to some of Paul McGann’s audio adventures! Eight suddenly decided it was a good idea to snog his companion, Grace, against a tree while the world was going to end in twenty minutes, but you know how he gets. Perfect shoes and all that… HOWEVER, while the show runners of Classic Who said that he shouldn’t think of his companions that way, there are many, many fans–experts on Classic Who, really–who can rattle off lists and lists of moments with romance in the air. I mean, hey, Four and Romana II went to Paris 😉 No, really, I do think it’s always been there, and I like that RTD made a point to bring it to the fore. Gallifreyans are rather stuck-up, old farts when it comes to feelings, but the Doctor’s changed; he always was different.

        The more I think about it, the more I’m beginning to suspect that the TARDIS had a hand in that Time Head baby business. I mean, she’s so powerful, she can contain the Time Vortex. The Untempered Schism is an opening that’s deliberately uncontained, so I’m sure she could have prevented it from happening onboard; and considering that the Doctor thought it would take billions of years for human DNA to evolve/mutate like that, I do wonder whether the old girl didn’t let something… slip on purpose. Either to nudge-nudge-wink-wink the Doctor in someone special’s direction, or because she already knew Melody could do with some extra power. Wouldn’t put it past her, really 😀

        *bows* I vow to try my best! 🙂

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  6. I found your blog earlier this evening (while searching for something about “Sherlock”, actually) and promptly followed you on twitter. I love this review of “A Good Man Goes To War” because it sets right my initial, slightly negative opinion of the episode. I’m looking forward to going back through and reading your archives.

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  7. I’ve always wanted to discuss Doctor Who speculations, given the long wait until part 2 of season 6 resumes.

    The way you connected little details to the big reveals is astonishing. When it was confirmed that River Song is Amy’s daughter, I just gasped at their names and spoilers were screaming at us from the beginning.

    Since most theories have been discussed let me relay the ones that are a bit far and ludicrous.

    1. The season 6 events will lead up to the episodes, Pandorica Opens and the Big Bang. That is why the “present day” timeline of The Doctor is unaware of the fear and growing cooperation between his enemies.
    2. Amy was kidnapped by people from the future. Then hid Melody in the past. This might be the hint as to why the Doctor knows where to find Melody.
    3. Three suspects in the Astronaut Suit:
    a. The Doctor himself, either his ganger or a future/past version. Since he now knows he must die one day, he needs to fulfill his fate. Just as strict as he was on the Waters of Mars.
    b. River Song, either her future or her alternate timeline or she’s a double agent.
    c. Rory, I know it’s highly impossible for Rory’s personality to kill someone given that he is a nurse. But his insecurities might get the best of him if ever the doctor cause him to lose his wife and daughter. He has been the only character who hasn’t exhibited violent anger, as we’ve already seen the Doctor and Amy’s side.
    4. Who is River Song? We know that she is Amy and Rory’s daughter but given a 40(?) year gap between the baby melody and River Song, what could’ve happened that led her to be a time traveler and prisoner? She is still shady because if you look back there is no sense of connection towards Amy or Rory when they travel together. She’s either good at hiding it or not feeling any at all. Where is Rory and Amy in the doctor and river’s future timeline? I’m sure they wouldn’t let their daughter wander off with the doctor, nor will they retire as companions knowing their baby Melody is lost in time.

    What do you think?

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