Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ten Statements About....DOCTOR WHO SEASON SIX, EPISODE SEVEN: A Good Man Goes To War(2011)

The baddest man in the TARDIS...and he's a nurse!  Hell,
so is the Sontaran!
"What you are going to be, Melody, is very, very brave."
"Two minutes."
"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."

1) Somehow, I just knew that the speech Amy gives to open the show was about Rory...and it sets up Rory's return to his 'Last Centurion' mode exceptionally. And Arthur Darvill proves beyond a shadow of a doubt why he's the best companion on the TARDIS this season....

2) I like how Madame Vastra is played by Neve McIntosh, who played Ayala in the Silurian two-parter (and I like even more how there's a story that I'm sure is going to be told about how a Silurian warrior ended up as a Sherlock Holmes manque in love with her wicked hot Watson analogue.). And that David Starkey, Skorr in the Sontaran two-parter, plays the Sontaran nurse Strax. It's a way of introducing new character while giving us connections to the older episodes.

3) I don't care what the context is...spaceborn Spitfires having a dogfight are just wicked cool.

4) So we're, like, what? Not even two seasons into Moffat's run and we've got two seasons built primarily around 'let's lead the Doctor into a big ol' Trap.' This may be one of the few things about the Reign of Moffat that I really dislike.

For those of you wondering who River Song was...well, The
Doctor just found out.
5) That being said, I rather like how Moffat is carrying on some of the themes of Davies' run--i.e. the Doctor's way of 'weaponizing' his companions--and is turning those themes on their head. Thus we have the enemies of the Doctor waging a war against him by trying to turn his companions--and their issue--into weapons against him.

6) Okay, Henry Avery? Him I did not expect to see again. Which just goes to show that during the Reign of Moffat, there is never, ever anything remotely close to a throwaway episode.

7) Back to Rory for a know why I love this character so much? He is a total and thorough bad-ass without using violence. In a way, he's the ultimate proof of the adage 'A true warrior is judged not by when he draws his sword, but when he doesn't.' And Arthur Darvill gives us this bad ass without once losing sight of the things that made Rory unique waaaay back in 'The Eleventh Hour.' I always knew Rory would be interesting, but if you told me he'd grow to be one of my favorite companions ever...I'd prolly have laughed.

8) Oh, it seems you were right after all, Jason.

(I realize this statement makes no sense to anyone but Jason Cleaver.  Cheers, Jason!)

A hot brunette in Victorian wear weilding
a samurai sword?  I'm in love...
9) I have to say that I'm still not thrilled with the villain set. Frances Barber's Madame Kovarian continues to have too much scenery in her teeth for me to take seriously (although admittedly the moment when she reveals what she pulled is pretty good) and the Headless A creepy visual, some neat flashy-sparky swordy things, but when all is said and done they pretty much don't do much.

10) This really puts Matt Smith through the wringer--he goes through a lot of emotions as he hits each of the plot points and it's wonderful that his anguish is as palatable as his joy when River Song's big reveal hits him.  And it looks like, at least for a bit, we'll be getting The Doctor soloing around the universe....

In it as great as 'The Pandorica' Opens'? Not quite--but there are loads of surprises, one big reveal, and some great moments that elaborate and confront some of the themes of the RTD era. And how can you resist the promise that the second leg of the season supposedly begins with an episode called 'Let's Kill Hitler'

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