A Good Man Goes to War (*spoilers*)

Administrator - Posted on 04 June 2011

If you have seen Doctor Who: A Good Man Goes to War, this is the place to discuss it. Warning, there will be spoilers here. What did you think the mid-series finale? Also be sure to give your "TARDIS groan" rating here.

Remember, we will be reviewing this episode live on the net on Doctor Who: Podshock on Sunday, the 5th of June at 4pm EDT. Join in on our live show. See details here.

I must admit, I hadn't been very impressed with this series. The opening two-parter was fun enough, I enjoyed the pirate episode simply because, well, I like pirate-y stuff.

The final 5 minutes of The Almost People almost made up for what I thought was a average 2 hours of Who.

But this? This was insane.

This time, my wife got the moment of Aha! before I did about who River Song truly is based on the name Melody Pond. But - as is certainly Moffat's intention - there are still plenty of questions to be answered... and we've got all summer to think about them.

And that next episode title? That may be the single most un-Doctor Who-like title in the history of the series.

odessasteps's picture

Loved the cliff hanger, even if it was most people had predicted.


Liked the tease that it could have maybe been the Doctor and Amy's child. SOAP OPERA drama.


Liked the Lesbian Silurian Sherlock Holmes. Give her a Big Finish series.


also really got a kick out of big blue Sydney Greenstreet.


Speaking of, "let's kill hitler?" Might we get a return of Churchill?

I really liked the episode and I don't usually nitpick DW cause I find I enjoy it more if I don't. LOL but there's one thing that is nagging me about this story.... Amy's pregnancy seems to have been over a year or didn't that year spent gathering intel on the Silent not really happen? And if you enjoyed this episode , you should never complain again (I never did) about RTD bringing everybody back for Stolen Earth/Journey's End. Oh and did anybody else think of Monty Python a couple of times during the ep?
Reno_Joe's picture

I dont hold too much on anymore on Riversong this series/season. Moffat is like a parent that only gives us a piece of candy here and there and only one chocolate piece per year (if he stays true to what he has done in the past hinting to her life over the last 4 years.) Now we got this big chocolate nugget, we will get the wrap up to the cliffhanger but I m sure  we will have to wait until next year to be sure about the other big questions like is she his wife or when she will kill the "doctor" (moffat has been too smart and sly to let everything fit into a perfect puzzle - yes this was the biggest piece. But I dont think he is going to explain the opening moments of this series/season so easy being it was all on Riversong.)
And yes I agree on having an audio/books spin-off with Vastra.
Big finish might need to fill in the void that the SJA will leave since we lost Elizabeth.
Her and Jenny battling evil in the 1800/1900s will make for exciting adventures. And Since RTD gave us gay themes in his run. I'm glad that Steven is doing it in his own way. 2 strong will females ready to take on the evil of the unverse.

Troy Baker's picture

We won't have to wait too long. The rest of this season will begin airing sometime in the fall.

The season has been broken up into two parts, like many shows in the US are done and the season will pick up then. This is the first time they've done this and I'm not too thrilled about it, but that's the way it goes.

Troy Baker's picture

If that was River (the infant) we still have many lingering questions about the child we saw in The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon - was that a young River too.

Reno_Joe's picture

But the other big questions about River (and yes i could be wrong) will have to wait until next year. Moffat isnt going to spill most (and everything this year.)  And this series' "death" of the Doctor will get erase somehow by a timey whimey explaination meaning that we will have how she kills the doctor (or maybe Rory) later  as the story goes year to year. And even if she kills the Doctor, we all know that the show will go on with the Doctor still being alive. The show will go on for 10 or more years with 2 more actors before they get to reboot the 13th life rule. No one can kill the Doctor (well, except for the head of the BBC.)  

You're right, Troy: as soon as this episode ended, one of my first thoughts was "what about the little girl?"

I don't think I'd be going out on a limb to say that the little girl is likely NOT River Song. With Moffat, that would be too easy. Not to mention, if the girl was River, then River should be able to tell them that that was her in the spacesuit from the start.

We get a few answers, but we also get more questions on top of the ones we already had.


One of the things mentioned by Louis in the live review was the "everything but the kitchen sink" aspect of this story, and how reminiscent it was of what RTD did.

The one thing I think that sets it apart is that I really think this one was flat out well done. It didn't feel nearly as gratuitous to me because the Doctor had a real reason to bring everybody in by calling in debts.

Not to mention, while the same actors were used, we got new Silurian and Sontaran characters with which to leave theories about their adventures with the Doctor, adventures unseen. The rest were just recurring aliens, like the Cybermen and Judoon. This is imo a far cry from bringing in *everybody* who ever guested with the Doctor in Matt Smith's run, as it was with all the companions in the Control Room of the TARDIS in Tennant's.


I gave this poorly written, poorly concevied mess a 1/10 but I wanted to give it a zero out of ten. It was retarded. It made no sense. It was strangley un-moving, silly, and dumb. Okay, the pirate and his boy had a hold on the lady patch's spaceship...then she's later contacting the Doctor from it having gotten away? Did they let her go? What happened to her crew? Let's see, the Doctor conceives a plan he knew about but didn't and then he's fooled...twice into not knowing what he thought he knew in the first place? HOW?

The human (?) soldiers led by the black man had a long time to plan for this and they allied with the headless things (uhm, what are they? We've crossed into fairy land now and not sci fi...what kind of beings are they?) but when the Doc appears in their midst (uhm, how'd he do that? Magic? Is he Samantha from BEWITCHED? okay I can almost take it that he walked among them as the First Doc did in DALEK MASTER PLAN and as Obi Wan did in STAR WARS), what do they do? Let him start talking rather than oh, shoot him dead there and then after giving a whole speech about how they are going to do that.

What do the humans have to give the headless? What is their sacrifice? Their heads I guess?

Dialog: Awful. No one talks to each other the way the two gay soldiers (two MORE bad gay guys?, really!) talked to each other and to the Asian lady...upon first meeting. Really poor dialog.

The Doc as a god, as a warrior. Enough already! It's so over the top and silly. And he can't even manage a proper take over. And he doesn't know the baby is a ganger? What a dope and a loser he is. Seriously, would you want to travel with this Doctor?

This whole so called story reminds me of a much better done Colin Baker Sixth Doctor comic where the Doc assembled warriors including Jamie (who has a sword), and another French warrior and a Sontaran like warrior to stop Cybermen! At the same time, there are some sacrifices just like in this mess. Oh and Jamie died. Oh and what was that deal with the CM at the start? What did all that mean?

Why can't Moffat tell an adventure story?

Ahh, so being conceived in the time vortex can give you time lord DNA type stuff, can it? How? Why? Did it inbibe Rory's sperm? If Barbara and Ian did the same thing, do they have Time Lord children? Again, two companions in another spin off, Ian and Barbara had a child in the New Adventures.

To be fair, there were some vaguely interesting bits. A Sontaran nurse is a brilliant idea, worthy of the great Douglas Adams. Having companions that are married traveling with the Doctor is another but having them conceive in the TARDIS and having it have an effect on the baby is an interesting idea but the DNA stuff of a Time Lord? That's taking it a bit too far I think. In any case, we'll probably find out that's not the case later on somehow. A weapon being made out of someone the Doctor knows as a baby is a good idea, too. So there are a number of good concepts here but they are all so badly managed it's beyond belief. A Silurian ally is another good idea. IF the Doctor did make the Sontaran nurse be the nurse out of punishment, why would he help the Doctor? Why would any of these people (bar the Silurian lady and the pirate--hey weren't the pirates in another universe? flying spaceships?) help him--they all owe him a debt? The big fat blue man? The Sontaran? The Doc admitting he loves people.

The battle? The headless ones seem to be...what? Gone? No one thought to keep watch on them? Or keep guard anyway? They won! They lost. They got needlessly killed.

When will the Doc go back to being just a traveler who renounced the Time Lords. When Sutek asked him if he were a Time Lord, he said, "I was once. Now I'm just a traveler." Now he's a exactly what the others were saying he wasn't: a god, a devil, etc etc. Truth is he can't even tie his own shoes in this story correctly.

And as Nathan in MISFITS might say, casually, "the big reveal"....River is the baby. Oh please. Big deal. Like that wasn't sign posted far ahead of time by everyone and everything. And it's strangely uneffecting. It's not emotional at all. It's silly and boring.

Someone compared it to the reveal that Yana was the Master. Are you kidding? it has none of the punch and chilling suspense that that had. Plus Derek Jacobi did it all in his eyes and in his acting. The actress that plays River was not terrible but she's no Jacobi and the lines are written are just there.

And we have another person who met the Doctor...just once...and has to meet him again. Sigh.

Oh AND the TARDIS can be bugged now. I'm guessing they were using the Amy ganger to do that. BTW who were the human doing this?

I guess DW fans and their families will watch anything, myself included but I can't see them liking this junk at all. I guess there will be those who will. There will be those who say they will like it just not to say anything against the show in the hopes it will not be taken off the air. Frankly, it seems to me that it would be better off the air at this point. it's narrative is strained, the emotions forced and non existant almost at the same time (there's a trick of MoffatTimeLordisms), has to be explained in the confidentials, and is just plain obsolete and pointless already. A show about traveling in time and space and I felt like i was watching a show like BATTLESTAR which stays put on one space ship/space station and maybe occasionally goes to another planet while everyone is fighting with each other.

Okay there might have been a few funny lines from the Sontaran.

This remains a poor "story" and a poor low point for the quality of DW scripts. It borders close to being as bad as TIME AND THE RANI, TRIAL OF A TIME LORD, and PARADISE TOWERS. if the show continues like this, I DO hope it gets cancelled. That might wake up some fans' taste buds to the truth that this is just a bad show now.

What happened to the earnest, wandering travels of an explorer alien and his friends, enjoying each others' company, coming upon new things and new adventures whle stumbling into some old enemies once in awhile and finding out about new things and in space and time? And defending others against nightmares. Someone who is just an explorer and wanderer? They cancelled that premise a long time ago. It was replace by someone who knows everything but doesn't, by someone so involved in his own and others who know him (everyone in the known universeS it seems now) that he cant have adventures of his known again. Truly sad.

And as for the future: killing Hitler? Really? Isn't that going back to the very start of the NEW ADVENTURES' plots? And aren't Hitler and Nazis overdone already? Maybe the Nazis will be nice ones and reform and fly a spaceship.

And doesn't anyone feel a bit grossed out by the fact that the Doc knew a baby and she and he probably...it doesn't bear thinking about!

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