Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Doctor Who - Farewell Matt: A Good Man Goes To War

Doctor Who: 
A Good Man Goes To War 
By Steven Moffat

"This was exactly you. All this. All of it. You make them so afraid. When you began, all those years ago, sailing off to see the universe, did you ever think you'd become this? The man who can turn an army around at the mention of his name. Doctor. The word for healer and wise man throughout the universe. We get that word from you, you know. But if you carry on the way you are, what might that word come to mean? To the people of the Gamma Forests, the word Doctor means mighty warrior. How far you've come. And now they've taken a child, the child of your best friends, and they're going to turn her into a weapon just to bring you down. And all this, my love, in fear of you."

The series six mid-way point was A Good Man Goes To War and the big revelation was revealed  here and judging by the response on the Internet in 2011 this story will go down as one of the big ones.  But should it?  Was A Good Man Goes To War a great episode or will it be mainly viewed in the eyes of the fans as one of the greatest stories ever due to the fact that we find out who River Song really is.  The clues are all there in this episode as River Song is in fact Amy and Rory's baby.  You got that.  Good.  So does this story live up to the hype?  I believe so as I was mainly watching to see who River Song is.  After getting the answer I realized this story was more filler than substance and was just a publicity to get fans talking about the show.

Was this the greatest story ever?  Well no, not really.  But it wasn't that bad either.  I mean there was a lot of stuff going on in it and we had the reappearance of fighter planes from Victory of the Daleks and the pirates from The Curse of the Black Spot. Did we really need to have all these characters in it?  I don't think so as it just seemed to be a cluster fracker.  I think this story would have survived without bringing back all those characters.  That is one of Steven Moffats downfalls as he likes to bring back characters that would not make sense in the overall story like Danny Boy. So yes I wasn't that crazy to see the pirates and fighter planes.  I didn't mind seeing the Cybermen but wouldn't they just gun down Rory when he appeared on the control deck?   I like the Cybermen and was disappointed that they appeared wimpy and didn't play a bigger part in this story. I mean they just stood there and were bullied by Rory. They listened to his questioned and stood there like toy soldiers.  That was pretty pathetic.

I did like the Sontaran nurse Strax.  It was pretty funny to see what happens when a Sontaran falls out of favor.  The look on Amy's face was priceless when he said that he was augmented in the different ways of nursing.  I thought the Silurian samurai was pretty cool also and it was good to see Jenny and Vastra’s first appearance again after seeing them as semi regulars in Series 7.  This gathering of friends kind of reminded me of a 6th Doctor comic strip from the 80's.  I don't remember the title of the strip but the premise was sort of familiar.

I didn't think the story was all that strong.  I mean if you have to rely on so many characters to get the fans in a frenzy then you lose some of the storytelling.  But anyway I thought they set things up for the second half of the series pretty well with the Doctor determined get baby Melody/River Song back to Amy and Rory and find out who wants the baby as a weapon against him.  

I liked the headless monks and thought they were a decent character.  You know that we haven't seen the last of them as I believe that Steven Moffat will use them again as he likes to recycle things but then again maybe we won’t.  Hell he used the Pirates and fighter planes again.  I did enjoy this story as there were some good points about the Doctor and where they want to go with his character going forth.  In fact it does in the future have a bearing on what River is to The Doctor and what she is to Amy and Rory and makes future stories with River more interesting. Or again maybe it won’t as we did not really see much of what went down in Series 6 in Series 7 but there is the Christmas Special and Capaldi’s era to go yet.

I didn't think this was a good story as it tried to accomplish so much by shoving so much at us but it did have some good moments in it despite being complicated and full of plot holes of unexplained sequences.  Besides the fact that we find out about River Song and who she is in relation to Amy and Rory we are left with the mystery of when does the Doctor meet back up with Amy and Rory. I did like how Madame Kovarian eventually tricked The Doctor and actually defeated him again.  So in all an average episode that is helped by the last 5 minutes or so to get the fans in a wild tizzy thinking this mediocre story is the greatest thing ever.
Grade C

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