Posts Tagged ‘River Song’

Doctor Who: Nobody Told ME About “A Good Man Goes to War”! (SPOILERS)

I have no idea how I missed the fact that there was a 7th episode of Doctor Who in the first half of the sixth series.  I honestly thought that this half  ended with that drastic Amy’s-not-here-she’s-giving-birth-somewhere-cliffhanger.  As such, I wasn’t that impressed with the idea of sticking the juicy bits I’d been panting for on the end of a mostly unrelated two-parter.  Yet here I am, months later, mad late, finding out that the series that started with the biggest bang I’ve yet to see ended with the same kind of fireworks.

Seriously…how did I miss this?

The point is, for no reason at all other than extremely painful boredom, I checked which episodes were in my BBC on demand and the count did not match the one in my memory.  Curiously I clicked on the one that didn’t belong and there it was—a storyline I knew nothing about.  Why am I bothering you with this?  I just want those of you who have seen the ep to understand that my mind was already going “WTF” on repeat before I even pressed play, and then I was treated to that chaotic beginning.  I was shouting questions at my TV like:  “What’s going on?!”   “What’s she doing here?!  Didn’t she die?”  “Hey, I know that guy!  Why do I know that guy?!”  Stuff like that.  Mad fidgety and whatnot.

Fans of the Rory-and-Amy ‘ship (one of which I now emphatically am) get a sweet gut-wrenching  moment right away.  If you’re as faithless as I am, you got tricked AGAIN into thinking Amy was talking about the Doctor when she is telling the baby about the one who has lived hundreds of years and is coming for them.  “They call him The Centurion,” she tells her baby, and my heart swelled as they showed this fierce new Rory fighting his way to them.  He was right; she always knows he’s coming for her.  And at last, he’s revealed as the father, all uncertainty left behind. I’m sure there had to be plenty of smarter viewers than I am who knew the Doctor would never have done that without the confirmation.  Like I said, I’m faithless!

For the rest of the episode, I loved the tension and speed, and of course it’s always fun to see the Doctor at the top of his game.  Yet Matt Smith gives plenty of  moments that reminded me strongly of Ten in Journey’s End, when Davros shamed him for supposedly turning his friends into weapons.  Smith has come so far in such a short amount of time…while I don’t agree with Moffat’s tweet (yeah, following him now…what can I say, the series is getting good!) that he’s the best at being “old”, I do think he’s getting much better at it.  Maybe I have a harder time because he looks so young or this is just another result of my initial disconnect with Series 5, but I never for a second questioned that either Eccleston or Tennant was over 900 years old.

(BIG SPOILERS NEXT, can’t help myself, not gonna try, run away, run awaaaay!)

Moving on to the serious stuff.  I was wondering how Amy’s kid could be part TimeLord if the Doctor wasn’t the Baby Daddy, and it was neatly explained by conception en route through the Time Vortex.  Works for me!  Except we found out that aforementioned TimeLord baby is in fact our own River Song, and that is just craziness.  The best kind of pretzel-shaped little twist, this finally explains why he would trust her as he has no other companion, if you look at it from the point of view that he finally has another TimeLord (if only part) and (unlike Jenny the generated anomaly)  she comes from his two best friends.  It makes sense.

The Doctor seems to think so, too.  His attitude shift was immediate from the wary distrust we’ve been seeing for 1.5 series’ to anticipatory excitement for the relationship that’s still his future.  The last few minutes between the Doctor and River are absolute sweetness. (The part where he says, “and you and me…?” and then makes kiss noises at her….could he be cuter?)

Questions for the next half: 

Is Rory’s life up for grabs again?  I couldn’t help but notice the scene where the Sontaran dies and Rory tells him he’ll survive because he’s a warrior, but the Sontaran corrects Rory…because he’s just a nurse.

Yeah?  Well, so is our Rory, and he better not be going anywhere.  You hear me, Moffat?!  *shakes fist*

Also, while I am clearly on board for River’s identity, I will need to know what kind of half-TimeLord she is.  We’ve seen the TimeLord mind in a human brain, which doesn’t work (poor Donna Noble); we’ve seen the TimeLord brain in a human body, which works except for the regeneration process; but this is something new and I’d appreciate some explanations.  River can regenerate, as demonstrated at the end of the second episode, but she made no such attempt when she died for Ten.  When the Doctor starts to die outside the Tardis, he still begins the process there, so why didn’t she?  Can she look into the Time Vortex?  In other words, which parts are TimeLord and which human, and why does it work, and why does it let her down in the end?

The question I know for sure will be answered is the most haunting one:  why would she ever kill her love?  Plus, if he dies with that face, doesn’t that mean he never regenerates into the next Doctor?  By rights he’s got 2 more to go, and that’s if he doesn’t find a way around the rules.

This is a fantastic episode to be slapped upside the head with (as I was).  I’m also glad that I only have to wait until the end of the Summer to see the rest.  On time.  As intended.

Doctor Who Series Six: Strong Start Shifts to Anticlimactic Episodes

Anyone who has read my last Doctor post knows that after the two-part series beginning, I was left on the edge of my seat.  These last two episodes have helped me to settle back…possibly step away for a snack, or play on facebook with the show on in the background.

I might be exaggerating.

Last week I didn’t write anything about the episode The Black Spot.  While it was a decently entertaining episode, it didn’t contain much to satisfy my leftover burning curiosity.  The Siren was a nice, new monster; a good example of the way DW can take an ancient story and turn it Sci-fi.  Amy and Rory were endearing as always—unless you count the part where Amy gave up trying to save Rory, right after he said he chose her because she’d never quit.  It seemed more like he came back on his own due to his stubborn refusal to leave her side.  Plus, the doctor really doesn’t know CPR?  Honestly??  After all this time saving humans, it never came up??  I mean, he’s not required, right, he’s not “the Doctor” because he has a medical degree.  Still, 900-years-old, all that brilliance…never come across the directions in a restaurant bathroom somewhere?

Anyway, I was already impatiently looking past The Black Spot, because I knew the episode coming next was called The Doctor’s Wife.   I hadn’t watched any previews, so you can imagine what I was thinking:  time to find out about River Song and the Doctor, once and for all!  Obviously, I was pretty far off.

Looking at it that way, it’s probably my own fault that I felt let down.  And to be fair,  no season of Doctor Who can consist entirely of nail-biters.  One could even point out that many of the eps on my top ten list are either silly or sappy, and not scary at all.  Still, perhaps a by-product of having the Most Exciting Series Premiere is an abnormally high set of expectations for the following weeks.  Hence my increasingly pronounced feeling of disappointment since then.

Now that I’ve recognized my own accountability, I’ll see what I can draw from The Doctor’s Wife.

I suppose it is a unique concept, that the Doctor should finally be able to speak to his beloved machine and get a response.  (Makes me wonder if this is some kind of male fantasy:  if his boat or car could suddenly assume a female body, she’d be his perfect mate.)  Matt Smith’s grief and anger when he realizes he’s once again missed a chance at reconciling with fellow Time Lords was palpable and it was nice to see a little of the dark, out-of-control Doctor in him that was common for Tennant.   Then there’s the appreciated return of the Ood, although interesting that this time an Ood can be possessed by evil intent and his eyes will be green instead of traditional red.  Red eyes on an Ood always meant  it was hitting the fan until now.

My problem is that both eps offered very little in the way of the big hints I need.   The creepy woman that opens a hatch in places where hatches do not exist shows up for Amy again, and the Doctor is still getting negative and positive results on her pregnancy.  The monster called “The House” who eats Time Lords and Tardises shows an unhealthy interest in Amy, which disturbs the Doctor and shows us that she is still really weird.  But there’s nothing about Amy’s child with the regenerating abilities.  Previews of future episodes show Sontarans, which just means more time with no answers, but then there seems to be a woman explaining the living matter inside the space suits.  That is important.

I do feel impatient, and I worry more that the season is chopped in half.  Call me crazy, but I feel a cliffhanger coming on.

Series Six: Most Exciting Doctor Who Premiere Yet! (SPOILERS through Day of the Moon)

I should’ve choked on the words in that title, but I absolutely stand by them.  RTD fan or not, I am on the edge of my seat here.  Let me clarify—I love RTD’s premiere eps, but never has one scared the pee out of me and left me with a billion questions this way.  I can’t help but be impressed.

First?  I was not expecting body bags.

I wanted the episode to start where The Impossible Astronaut ended, with Amy shooting the little girl in the spacesuit.  Should’ve known that just isn’t how Moffat rolls.  Instead, Amy is run down in the desert by Canton Delaware, who was a friend last time I checked!  The image of his men throwing that body bag in front of Amy was powerfully evocative–shocking, with an extra touch of horror.

But the orphanage was just ridiculous.

Amy and Canton (friends again, his defection just another twisty trick from the Doctor) are looking for the little girl in an orphanage, and find a dimly lit building with a haunted caretaker.  You just know the aliens are inside, and it’s all downhill from there.  There’s graffiti on the walls in  blood red:  the words “Get out”.  The caretaker doesn’t know how it got there but Amy sees the same words on his wrist.  So not good.

Then Amy’s in a dark room with rows of empty beds (had a quick, pleasant flashback to Nine in Series One, the hospital scene in The Empty Child…aww, I loved Nine).  The door shuts and she can’t get out…that’s when she sees that her hand is blinking red like an answering machine in the 80’s.

Did I mention that the Doctor implanted a recording device in their hands to keep track of alien sightings?

Last week in The Impossible Astronaut, we learned that looking away from the aliens causes a person to forget having seen them.  The device is supposed to solve the problem.  But here’s what makes it interesting, what, actually, makes it positively ingenious.  When Amy met the alien last week the audience might have been omniscient, but this week?  Oh, we’re stuck in Amy’s head.  That means if Amy sees an alien, we won’t know until that light is blinking—and if Amy misses time, so do we.

Fear builds in quick flashes—Amy runs to the window and sees her arm covered in ‘crap, I saw an alien’ tally marks, but just a second glance shows the marks all over her face; scores of sleeping aliens are hanging from the ceiling (funny when the Krillitane did it in School Reunion, not so much this time); some weird lady talking through a hatch in a door that suddenly has no hatch—by the time Amy went into the little girl’s room, I’ll admit, I was scared.  Deliciously so.

Other highlights?


There’s another Badass-Extreme moment for River Song.  Amy’s rescued in a room full of aliens (reminding me of Nine and Captain Jack saving Rose from the middle of the Dalek fleet in The Parting of the Ways), which have been revealed as the Silence.  River guards the Doctor while he stalks around being brilliant, and their banter sizzles.  Great stuff, but she’s best when she starts taking the aliens out one by one, spinning gracefully as she rains destruction on their enemies.  Much like the Doctor, I’m getting kind of attached to her.  They had their first kiss and it was both awkward (the Doctor flails his arms and acts as if he’s never been kissed before by anyone, never mind River) and sad (River realizes that his first kiss with her must be her last with him).

The romance of Amy and Rory took a few harrowing twists and turns this time as well.  Rory and the Doctor arrive at the orphanage too late to find Amy; all they find is her little red recorder, which is somehow still recording her although no longer physically attached.  Rory tells her he’s coming for her and the Doctor explains that she can’t hear him.  Rory, looking less than friendly, responds with, “She can always hear me, Doctor. Always. Wherever she is and she always knows that I am coming for her, do you understand me? Always.”

Sweet, but Amy takes some of the wind out of his sails by  pleading for the Doctor to come rescue her.  Later, a desolate Rory is holding her device when she starts talking about someone with a stupid face that she loves…you can see his spirits lift until she says, “My life was so boring until you dropped out of the sky.”  Even I thought she was talking about the Doctor.

Luckily Amy is rescued and she refers to Rory’s stupid face.  All is well again, until she starts talking about last week’s mystery pregnancy.  She told the Doctor she was, now she tells him she isn’t.  The audience knows that Amy saw a picture of herself holding a baby in the creepy little girl’s room, but she can’t quite grasp the memory.  When the Doctor asks why she told him instead of Rory, she admits she had worried that the pregnancy would have been affected by her time traveling, whether or not her child would come out with a ‘Time Head’.  Funny, but now there is doubt again for Rory (who is naturally eavesdropping), because why would the kid have a ‘Time Head’ unless the mom messed around with a Time Lord?  Only it turns out Amy knows he’s listening, so then she must’ve been just messing with him.  Right?

Except for this mind-blowing ending:

Questions, questions, questions.  The aliens here were the Silence and now they’re defeated.  Can that really be the end of it after they spent the entire fifth series hinting about  ‘The Silence Will Fall’?  That would seem anticlimactic and so seems unlikely.  Amy is and isn’t pregnant; that girl is always weird.  There’s a little kid out there who regenerates and the suggestion is that Amy is her mother.  So Rory still has something to worry about after all?

I’m excited.  I’m intrigued.  And I’ve already said I’m impressed.  This series is going new places, and this time I’m going with it.

Bring it on, Moffat.

Doctor Who: This RTD Fan is Finally on Board (SPOILERS)

Well, I just watched the opener to Doctor Who’s Sixth Season, thanks to BBC America On Demand and an unplanned day off from work.  I was very impressed, and for an RTD-Rose fan, that’s really saying something.

Granted, I watched almost the entire Fifth Season while still mourning for Russell T. Davies and crew.   I’d become so attached to the likes of Rose, Donna, Jackie, Captain Jack, and Mickey; it felt like the Tenth Doctor was grieving for them with me the last time I saw him.  Yet this new Doctor starts off as if he popped into existence in Amelia Pond’s yard.  Where did my Doctor go, and by that I don’t mean Christopher Eccleston or David Tennant, I mean the character I’ve been growing attached to for years?  It seemed as if an entire new TimeLord had taken off with the Tardis.  Add Steven Moffat’s public near-disdain for the romance of Rose Tyler and blatant disregard for previous canon—I was left pretty resentful.

Luckily, that’s almost the entire Fifth Season.  The episode The Lodger was so fun and Matt Smith so completely charming, I found myself believing in the Eleventh Doctor at last.  That episode actually made my top ten!

It helped this angst-lover that the relationship between Amy and Rory intensified enough to draw me in emotionally.  I cared when he was sucked into the light and forgotten.  By the time Rory reappears in The Pandorica Opens, the scene where he (unsuccessfully) fights his auton instructions to kill the woman he loves was an absolute tearjerker.  It wasn’t Doomsday, but it was something.

River Song, whom I hated on sight in Season 4 just because she showed up out of nowhere and was automatically the Doctor’s closest companion ever, had become the character to watch in Season 5 (if only because she was the one connection to past seasons).  Still, she won me over all on her own with her confidence and flirtation, culminating in the scene where she faces down the dalek that she believes has killed her Doctor.  I can’t resist that kind of badass.

So…new season, new possibilities, and old grudges almost completely vanquished (with the help of the Christmas Carol episode…yes, I believe that Eleven was thinking about Rose when Kazran asked, “One last day with your beloved…which day would you choose?”  How could it be River when he doesn’t even trust her yet?  He may suspect that he will love her, but it makes more sense for his mind to run on his last love’s tragic end.)  Eleven got my attention right away by announcing he was 1100-&-some-years-old, which annoyed me until I realized it was a plot point.  Amy, River, and Rory have been summoned, apparently just to watch the Doctor die at the hands of an unidentified being in a spacesuit…except it turned out they weren’t the only ones.  The more familiar 900-&-change-year-old Doctor has also been tapped, and his friends can’t tell him what they know.  Ooh, intrigue.  Plus, I loved when River slapped the Doctor—it reminded me of all the times he got slapped in the past (Jackie, Martha’s Mom, Donna), which made me smile.

The monsters here are nicely scary;  Ood-like, suit-wearing aliens that electrocute people, yet as soon as you look away from them you forget they exist.  I’m not in love with Moffat, but he’s very good at creepy.  I’m less impressed with the spacesuit figure, though that’s the big threat to the Doctor.  Honestly, Vashta Nerada anybody?  Same outfit, presumably different insides.  Moffat is so good with his cinematic experience, his storytelling ability, yet he consistently forgets that these “stories” are part of a series, and yes, we do remember what we’ve already seen in the last 5 seasons.  Come on, buddy, acknowledge your venue.

The episode ends with a one-two punch:  Amy announces she’s pregnant (WTF?!) and before I can even comprehend the implications of that, she jumps up and shoots in the direction of a figure in a spacesuit with the face of a desperate little girl.

The End.

Okay, so first, is this pregnancy for real?  Amy isn’t a normal person, what with her Universe-altering abilities, so nothing about her can be accepted as fact.  I can’t really figure out how a pregnancy would work with an official companion, unless Karen Gillian plans to leave after two seasons.  Actually, if she lasts more than two seasons, she’ll be the longest lasting companion since the reboot.  So, who knows?

As for the shooting, I can’t blame Amy for trying to save the Doctor at her first opportunity.  Yet no one expected to see a terrified child possibly in the path of her bullet, and the show ends with both the Doctor and Amy looking horrified.  Suddenly I couldn’t believe I’d have to wait an entire week until I can find out what happened.  Wow.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the season, though I wonder how I’ll feel about that break between now and the second half, which airs in the fall.  I have heard that my favorite 5th season character, Craig (played by James Cordon in The Lodger), will make a return appearance.

Eleven lost a lot in his previous incarnations, but he wouldn’t have gotten where he is without the ability to move on.  I guess I’m finally ready to let him.