Doctor Who 6.7 – A Good Man Goes to War

First things first: I genuinely don’t like Madame Vastra and Jenny one bit, but they’re really not at all obnoxious and obvious in their first appearance. I really do like the idea that the Doctor’s had lots of offscreen adventures and lots of old friends and allies we have never met. So how could we have made this business of pulling in several new-to-TV characters to save the day work better? Simple. You know who the Doctor should’ve picked up to save the day? He should have picked up Fey Truscott-Sade, Frobisher, Majenta Pryce, and Kroton the Cyberman.

So yes, this is a great big mess that’s entertaining in places and disappointing in others. There’s a lot less of Dan Starkey being silly and entertaining as Strax than I remembered, but the main problem, and it’s a huge one, is the villains. We never really get a real understanding of what these villains want, how they’ve gone about it, how they figured out that conceiving a kid in the Time Vortex somehow gives the kid bonus DNA, how they figured when and where anybody was conceiving kids in the Time Vortex anyway, why they hate the Doctor so much, and so on. Steven Moffat fills in a couple of these gaps later on, but this hour by itself is just head-scratchingly weird. The villain’s name is Madame Kovarian, and I’m not going to tell our son that he’s going to have to wait several more months to learn what her beef actually is. It’s not actually really resolved until Smith’s final episode, where it succeeds in feeling like a rushed afterthought.

The kid enjoyed the spectacle and the reappearance of old monsters, but the change in tone succeeded in depressing his enthusiasm, and the great big reveal at the end – River Song is Amy and Rory’s child! – had him even more disillusioned and annoyed than he was last time. He grumbled that “Day of the Daleks” made a lot more sense than this, and hoped that the show would get back to “single episode stories” soon. I’m not sure why he landed on “Day” out of the blue, but I told him that the next one would be more of the same, but the next four would be mostly stand-alone. He said “Whew,” with animation.

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