Episode 7 – A GOOD MAN GOES TO WAR
Steven Moffat reached an enormous peak as head writer with this script, it was epic. The beginning where we saw Rory threaten the Cybermen and their spaceships blowing up behind him was a stunning start. I loved the dark tone of the episode and the Doctor raising an army to help him defeat Demon’s Run was great. Having Madam Kovarian and Colonel Manson prepare for war against the Doctor as he looked to rescue Amy and her newly born baby was a tremendous concept and it led to such a satisfying and entertaining episode. When the Headless Monks’ hoods were lowered and the Doctor emerged at the end of the line, it was one of those moments that just sums up why the Doctor is such a heroic and magnificent character. His timing is always perfect and his voice ringing around the room when the lights were turned down was spine-tingling. Watching the Doctor look on triumphantly as Demon Run was emptied was excellent and I love how Moffat tried to make the Doctor look like a God. And then there was a ten minute period of panic and mystery as not everything was as it seemed and a twist was imminent. The Headless Monks moving in to battle with the Doctor’s recruits, as the began to work out what Madam Kovarian was up to was produced absolutely perfectly. Once the Doctor got back to Amy and Rory and their baby was gone, I didn’t really understand why Amy and Rory were being so cold to the Doctor. Yes, he’d made a mistake, but the idea the Doctor would “Never rise higher” and “”Fall so much further” was exaggerated. It wasn’t the Doctor’s intention for Amy to lose her child and I didn’t really see how the Doctor was being so harshly blamed for everything after he’d done everything he could to rescue Amy and her child. But then River Song’s identity was revealed. There was that brief, tantalising moment where it looked as though only the Doctor would know and the viewers would still be left wondering who she was. However River urged Amy to look at her daughter’s name. “The only water in the forest is the river” is such a beautiful and poetic line and it was the perfect way to introduce us to River’s true identity. I don’t think anyone could’ve possibly guessed that she was Amy and Rory’s child but Moffat was clever, and again used time travel well to engineer this plot. Overall, I love watching this episode. It rounds off part one to series six spectacularly and the reveal of River Song’s identity is a magnificent twist. 9/10
Episode 8 – LET’S KILL HITLER
If the previous episode was Moffat at his peak, then this is Moffat at his worst. I’m not going to try and gloss over my feelings, I hate this episode. I’ve already written a piece where I explain why this episode is so poor (http://wp.me/p7ehy1-22). Just for variety (and to avoid a never ending rant), here are all of the things I noted when watching the episode this time around.
- Why does the Doctor read the Leadworth Chronicle? (This is where he sees Amy and Rory’s attempts to get his attention)
- Why is the episode called “Let’s Kill Hitler”? Other than to attract more viewers, there’s no reason for this title. The title has nothing to do with the plot. The story could’ve been set anywhere.
- If you are going to include someone as evil as Adolf Hitler in what is a family show, the story must involve him. Throwing him in a cupboard for laughs could be interpreted as disrespectful (not to Hitler himself).
- How did the Teselcta not know it was only 1938 until they were halfway through “giving Hitler hell”? Don’t they check?
- Mels is a character invented so Moffat looks clever, there’s no actual benefit to the plot from her existence.
- Why did we need to see the Teselecta say River (Melody) killed the Doctor halfway through the episode and series? It partly ruined the mystery of the story arc.
- If River Song’s lipstick kills the Doctor just by touching him, how is she not dead as she’s wearing it?
- Why is River so unbearably flirtatious when she’s trying to kill the Doctor and straight after regeneration?
- River absorbed the bullets and claimed she could do this as she was still regenerating. This made no sense as she should’ve been shot dead, you can be killed while regenerating.
- When the Doctor interacts with the TARDIS interface, he suggests regeneration as a viable option to avoid dying. Why would he do this if he knew he’d ran out of regenerations?
- Why do the words “Fish fingers and custard” make the Doctor go from sleeping/unconscious to motivated? He should be motivated all the time.
- How does the Doctor know where River is and land the TARDIS there?
- River went from psychopathic killer to trying to save the Doctor just because she saw that he cared. Why?
- How can River fly the TARDIS? Saying she’s “A child of the TARIDS” isn’t a valid reason.
- Why does saving the Doctor use up all of her regenerations? It should only use up one. River’s eventual death in the Library wouldn’t have allowed her to regenerate anyway.
- Why doesn’t the Doctor change form as hes essentially regenerated?
- How can the Teselcta still work with nobody inside? As it clearly does, why do they need hundreds of workers inside?
If you have any responses to any of those questions/annoyances please comment below. This is by far my least favourite episode so far of the modern era. It was such an anticlimax after A Good Man Goes To War and Steven Moffat completely lost himself in his own plot. I struggle to find any positives in this story. 1/10