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The Antiscribe Recap: Doctor Who Season 6, Episode 13: “The Wedding of River Song” (Season Finale)

Developments So Far: 

Last time the Doctor prepared for his “last day,” and a potential final showdown with Silence by spending it with his former roommate Craig, who helped the Doctor confront both his own sense of regret and the fact that he needs a companion to keep him sane.  We also saw the table set for the culmination of the Silence’s final plot on the shores of Lake Silencio, as the Silence and the One Eyed Lady, Madame Kavorian, abducted River Song and placed her in the outfit of the Impossible Astronaut. Our last image of River Song/Melody Pond was her floating underwater in a trance-like state, ready for what we’ve been led to believe is inevitable: the Doctor’s Penultimate Death. 

Introduction:

“Silence will fall…”

For the last 18 months, since the beginning of Season 5 in April 2010, that phrase has been repeated, over and over again, in most of the episodes during Steven Moffat’s tenure as executive producer, often by many of the villains and monsters whom the Doctor came into conflict with (including the shape-shifting Prisoner Zero, the Weeping Angels,   and the Vampires of Venice).   Through the fifth season, the “fall” of the “silence” manifested itself in a strange crack that seemed to follow Amy Pond and the Doctor throughout all of time and space, and whose mysterious energies could erase people entirely from existence – including Amy’s parents, for a time, her then-fiancé Rory. 

The main storyline of the fifth season focused on the Doctor healing the mysterious cracks in the universe which, as it turned out, were caused by the explosion of the TARDIS.  The Doctor managed to heal the damage of the exploding TARDIS, but without determining what caused the explosion.  The meaning of “Silence will fall” was left for this season, and it seems that tonight we may finally get the answer. 

So far, what we know is that the “silence” may have a variety of meanings.  Initially, it was supposed to mean the silence of oblivion, but with the beginning of this season we came to see that it was also the name of a new kind of Whoniverse monster: a gray-skinned pastiche of aliens/men in black who manipulated the human race who would conveniently be forgotten when not being directly looked at.  Though he seemed to defeat them by indoctrinating the world to kill them on sight, it was still clear that the Doctor’s death at their hands was inevitable. 

As the season progressed, we found out more and more about the Impossible Astronaut, Melody Pond, and River Song (and how they were all the same person).  We’ve also been provided with a lot of red herrings for how the Doctor is going to get of his death: the Flesh, the Teselecta, the ability to alter time, and the coexistence of the same individual in two different periods of time. 

The biggest development, however, was the revelation of the cause of “silence’s fall.”  Simply put, it was the asking of a single question, one that “has been around since the beginning, hidden in plain sight.”  The Silence believe that if the Question is asked, then the end of the universe will occur, and that “silence will fall.”  After finding out this information, the Doctor also subsequently found out the date and time of his death: 5:02 PM on April 22, 2011, on the shores of Lake Silencio, Utah. 

Since that time, the Doctor has been on an obvious death drive, which I’ve described at length in the previous two recaps. He sent away the Ponds for their protection and settled most of his last affairs, and is now on his way to face his impending destruction.

And now, we’re left with some major questions that ultimately need answering:  Will the Doctor die?  Will River Song really kill him?  How will he get out of it (since, let’s be honest, he’s not really dying)?  Will the Silence be stopped? Who is the Silence, and who is Madame Kavorian?  Will the Doctor live long enough to actually marry River Song? 

And what is the Question?  And what will happen if it’s asked…?

And so begins the “death” of the Doctor, and “The Wedding of River Song.”

The Episode:

A title informs us that it’s London, 5:02 PM, April 22, 2011.  We fade in on a cityscape that’s a mess of historical anachronisms: old-fashioned coal-fed trains travel on monorails that traverse the sky, cars fly through the air on hot air balloons, children run from wild pterodactyls, the War of the Roses is ongoing, and Charles Dickens plugs his latest Christmas story on a morning talk show.  In the Buckingham Senate, the Holy Roman Emperor Winston Churchill (a returning Ian McNiece) is being examined by his Silurian doctor.  Clearly, things are not as they should be…

(I’m going to guess Steven Moffat, the episode’s writer, has read Crisis On Infinite Earths…)

Caesar Churchill asks his doctor for the time, which is 5:02.  Churchill is stymied by the fact that neither the time nor date is ever any different, and asks to see the “soothsayer.”  A little while later, a disheveled man in chains, his hair long and gangly and covering his face, is drug in by two Centurions.  Churchill begins reciting the “Tick-Tock” song, but again points out that the hands on the clock never actually move, and that time never actually changes.  “Something has happened to time, that’s what you said…what you never stop saying…all of history is happening at once…”  Churchill asks the soothsayer to explain to him what happened to cause this.  The soothsayer raises his head, revealing a bearded Doctor.  His explains the cause of the current scenario with one word: “A woman.”

After the credits, we get a glimpse of “earlier,” and we hear and see the Doctor from a strange point of view, as if from some kind of malfunctioning video camera.  The Doctor asks what is must be like, thinking that things couldn’t possibly get any worse, only to suddenly come face to face with the Devil himself.  We then see that the perspective is that of a Dalek eyestalk, which is appropriately attached to a severely damaged, battle-scarred Dalek.  “Hello Dalek…”  The disabled Dalek panics as the Doctor tears open his shell, searching for everything the Daleks have on the Silence.  The Doctor then goes into a seedy alien bar looking for someone named Gideon Van Delure (and uses the severed Dalek eyestalk while insisting on the audience).  When he comes face to face with Van Delure, who the Doctor describes as a former Silence envoy, he zaps him with the Sonic Screwdriver and reveals that Van Delure is actually the Teselecta, piloted by the same Captain and crew from “Let’s Kill Hitler.”  Determining that they are currently investigating the Silence, the Doctor asks only who the Silence’s “weakest link” is. 

A short while later, the Doctor is playing a game of chess against a Viking-like alien wearing an eye-patch identical to the one of Madame Kovarian – Gantok.   As we join them, the Doctor apparently has Gantok soundly defeated, leaving the alien with only one remaining piece: an electrified Queen, which will kill him if he tries to play it.  The Doctor: “That’s why they call it Live Chess.”  The Doctor agrees to concede the game in exchange for information.  He further explains that while he was going to just roll over and let the Silence kill him, now he wants to know why he has to die.  Gantok explains to him that only Dorium Maldova (kind of a rotund, blue-skinned alien version of Casablanca’s Signor Ferrari – last seen being decapitated by the Headless Monks back in “A Good Man Goes to War”) is the only one who can give the Doctor the information he needs.  “Concede the game, and I’ll take you to him…”  The Doctor concedes…

In a strange catacomb filled with the living skulls of Headless Monk converts, Gantok leads the Doctor to a central chamber, where a number of boxes containing heads are situated.  The Doctor opens one of the boxes, revealing Dorium’s still healthy-looking head.  The Doctor thanks Gantok, but Gantok pulls a weapon on him.  Unfortunately for him, he accidentally steps on a booby trap, and falls into a underground chamber filled with living skulls, which drag him down and begin to eat him. 

The noise snaps the resting Dorium (or at least his head) awake.  “Give it to me straight, Doctor…how bad are my injuries?”  He is, of course, “messing” with the Doctor.  We cut back to the present, as the Doctor has been relating everything to an incredulous Winston Churchill.  Churchill asks why he should believe him, and the Doctor tells him “because in another reality, you and I are friends…and you sense that.”  Churchill asks about the woman, and then asks if she’s attractive.  The Doctor: “Hell…in high heels.”  Caesar Churchill: “Tell me more.”

We cut back earlier with Dorium, who finishes explaining that due to the excellent Wi-fi and the chip he has in his brain, that being a severed head isn’t really so bad.  The Doctor asks him about the Silence, and Dorium reiterates that they are religious order of “great power and discretion, the Sentinels of History.”  The Doctor: “And they want me dead?” Dorium: “No…not really…they just don’t want you to remain alive.”  Dorium goes on to explain that the Silence want to avert the Doctor’s future, feeling that it is too dangerous to come to pass.  In an extremely important bit of exposition, Dorium explains that “on the fields of Trenzalure, at the fall of the Eleventh (Me: Hmmm…), when no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer, a question will be asked…a question that must never, ever be answered.” The Doctor: “Silence will fall when the Question is asked.” Dorium: “Silence MUST fall would be a better translation.” The Silence is thus trying to stop the Doctor before that event ever happens.  The Doctor then asks what the Question has to do with him, and Dorium again describes it as the oldest question in the universe, the one hidden in plain sight.  “Do you want to know what it is?” “Yes…” At that moment, all the skulls in the chamber turn and stare at them.  The Doctor becomes scared, but still says that he wants to know.  Dorium: “Then I shall tell you…and on your own head be it!” 

Without us actually hearing any of the Question, the scene cuts to the Doctor marching into the TARDIS and depositing Dorium (still in his box) on a chair.  As the Doctor begins to warm up the TARDIS, Dorium continues muttering, “We all have to die, Doctor…and you more than most…you do see that, don’t you?”  The Doctor seems to contemplate this. 

Back with Churchill, who is also rather curious to learn the nature of the Question.  The Doctor then lays out the ethical challenge that he (and by proxy, the Silence) was faced with to Churchill:  If someone knew a secret so dangerous that it would threaten everything, what would you do to the person who knew that secret?  Churchill: “If I had to, I would destroy the man.”  The Doctor: “And silence would fall…all the times I heard those words, I never realized it was my silence…my death…the Doctor WILL fall…” 

The Doctor suddenly realizes that he and Churchill have strangely made their way to the main Senate chamber for no real reason, and that Churchill is holding a gun.  He also observes that he’s clearly been running.  The Doctor notices a strange black mark has been made on his arm, but before he can ponder it further, Churchill asks him to continue his story. 

In the TARDIS, the Doctor reopens the box containing Dorium (who’s now upside down), and asks why Lake Silencio.  Dorium explains that it’s a “still point” in time, which makes it easier to make it a fixed point, which is what it is now.  “You can’t run away from this.” The Doctor goes on to state that he’s been running all of his life, and ponders why he should stop.  Dorium tells him that this is different, because he knows now what’s at stake.  The Doctor then picks up the phone and begins placing a call, explaining the ways in which he can keep delaying his death.  When someone picks up on the other line, the Doctor says, “Hello! It’s me! Get him…tell him we’re going out and it’s all on me except for the money and the driving!”  He then continues listing the things he can do with a time machine to keep delaying the inevitable, (including helping young Rose Tyler with her homework). Dorium: “Time catches up to us all, Doctor.”  “Well, it’s never laid a glove on me.”  When he gives his attention back to the phone, a nurse tells him that the person he was calling, Brigadier Lethbridge Stuart, an old ally of the Doctor from the original series, had passed on. This was actually a nice passing bit of tribute and closure to the Brigadier character, who appeared with most every Doctor from the original series, save the Sixth and, technically, the original First (it’s a looong story…).  The actor Nicholas Courtney, who played the Brigadier, passed away earlier this year; he never appeared on the relaunched series.  The nurse informs the Doctor that he passed away peacefully, and he always talked about highly of him. 

Struck by the news, the Doctor pulls the blue envelopes out of his pocket and says, “It’s time.”  Back with the Teselecta, the Doctor hands off the sealed envelopes, which contain the messages that were delivered in “The Impossible Astronaut.”  The Doctor explains that he can’t deliver them, because it would involve making him cross his own time stream.  The Captain tells him that he will make sure that they are delivered, and informs him that it was an honor to help him.  As the Doctor departs, the Captain states that they are both on the same side, and asks “Is there nothing else we can do?”  The Doctor pauses at the door for a long moment…

Back in the “present,” Churchill asks him why he sent the messages.  “I had to die…I didn’t have to die alone.”  Later on, he adds, “If it’s time to go, remember what you’re leaving…remember the best…my friends have always been the best of me.”   The Doctor then notices that there are more markings on his arm, and they are clearly tally marks. 

We then revisit the scene from “The Impossible Astronaut,” where the Doctor goes to the shore of Lake Silencio.  There he meets the Astronaut, who raises her visor to indeed reveal River Song.  River explains that she isn’t in control, and asks the Doctor to run.  The Doctor tells her that she has to do this, and points out her future self watching from some distance away, explaining that this must happen.  The Doctor tells her she won’t remember this, and that she is completely forgiven.  He tells her that her future self will go to prison for his death.  He then braces himself for his death, but after a few flashes of light…nothing happens.  On cue, River adds, “Hello Sweetie.” 

The Doctor, frantic, asks for an explanation, and River states that she just drained her weapon system.  River tries to explain that fixed points can be rewritten, but the Doctor exclaims, “WHO TOLD YOU THAT?”  Everything is then consumed in a blinding yellow light, and we return to the Doctor telling his story to Churchill in the Senate chamber, explaining that after the fixed point was changed, time ceased to be and everything began to happen at precisely the same time, and will do so forever.  The Doctor: “Like a needle stuck on a record.”Churchill: “A record?  Good lord, man…have you never heard of downloads?”  The Doctor: “Said Winston Churchill.”

Churchill then smells the air, and identifies the odor as gun smoke.  He quickly decides that the gun in his hand must have just been fired, and the Doctor, now mysteriously holding a sword, determines that they have just been defending themselves.   He then realizes that they are in the presence of the Silence.  Looking at the dozens of tally marks on his arm, he determines that they are grossly outnumbered, and sure enough, an entire battalion of Silence is hanging from the ceiling above them.  Before they can be overwhelmed, a group of commandos run in to rescue them.  Leading them is Amy Pond, now wearing an eyepiece covering like Madame Kovarian, and the Doctor assumes that has joined the enemy.  She zaps the Doctor with an electronic blast, and he blacks out.

Later, the Doctor awakens on a couch to find Amy standing a few feet away.  She apologizes for the discomfort of the stun gun, and the Doctor, still thinking she’s evil, tries to convince her that they were once good friends.   He then notices that she has a model TARDIS and a number of drawings from their adventures around the room, and realizes that she remembers him completely.  She then gives him one of his suits.  “Geronimo!”

Shortly thereafter, a shaved and redressed Doctor poses for Amy.  The Doctor:  “How do I look?”  Amy: “Cool.” “Really?” “No.”   Amy goes on to explain that many of them realize that time had been changed, and that the eyepiece isn’t really an eye-patch but it’s a device that they’ve appropriated from the followers of the Silence that allows them to see them and remember them.   The Doctor asks her about Rory.  Amy recognizes the name but hasn’t found him yet, and can’t even remember what he looks like properly.  The Doctor asks her about Lake Silencio, and Amy explains that she remembers it two different ways.   The Doctor then explains, specifically, that the two separate events happening at the same moment caused time “to split” and thus all history is happening simultaneously.  Amy asks if they can just remain that way, but the Doctor explains that time isn’t just frozen, it’s “disintegrating.”   On cue, “Captain Williams” pops in to tell Amy that the train they’re riding will be arriving at its destination shortly, and it’s clear the two do not recognize their significance to one another (nor does Rory recognize the Doctor).  The Doctor explains that she has to look harder to find her Rory.  The Doctor then states that the cause for all the problems is that he is still alive.  The train then pulls into “Area 51,” which is actually an Egyptian-style pyramid in this reality. 

Inside, Rory tells the Doctor to wear his “eyedrive,” which will enable him to see the Silence.  Area 51 has a number of Silence captured and stores within cases filled with liquid, which is supposed to inhibit their electrical attacks.  They are all clearly agitated by the Doctor’s presence.  The Doctor also clarifies that the human race are no longer programmed to kill them on sight anymore (a loose thread from “Day of the Moon”).  Rory becomes nervous about the Doctor being there.  As Amy goes ahead, the Doctor goes back to talk to Rory, and encourage him to go out with Amy.  Rory is incredulous after the Doctor tries to convince him that Amy found him “hot.”

 The Doctor then follows Amy upstairs, where they meet River and a restrained Madame Kovarian.  The Doctor and River immediately start flirting with one another, much to the Madame’s disgust: “Why couldn’t you just die?”  Though the Doctor tries to emphasize to River that “time is dying because of you,” she explains that she refused to kill the man she loves. The Doctor tries to grab her, and when he does they end up back at Lake Silencio just before she is about to kill him and time begins moving forward again.  She separates herself from him before it can happen, however, and has him restrained.  

Meanwhile, the Silence begin to break out of their holding cells, and water starts leaking everywhere.  Meanwhile, back in the main hall, River tells the Doctor about the many theories about the two of them, and about whether River was going to be his wife or his murderer.  The Doctor: “Idle gossip.”  River: “Archaeology!”  The Doctor: “Same thing.”  They then notice all of the water leaking in.  The Doctor: “How many of the Silence to you have trapped inside the pyramid?”  Madame Kovarian: “None.  They’re not trapped.  They never have been…they’ve been waiting.  For this, Doctor. For you.”

Downstairs, the Silence begin killing the commandos and Rory enters the main chamber and bars the door, locking them all inside.     The Silence then activate the eyedrives, which begin electrocuting everyone in the building wearing them, killing some quickly and others slowly.  After Madame Kovarian begins to gloat about what’s happening, her eyedrive begins to electrocute her, too.  The Doctor tries to convince them to fix things, but Amy and River convince him to follow them to see what they have planned as an alternative.  As River leads the Doctor toward the top of the pyramid, Amy tells Rory to come with her, but Captain Williams states that he will instead make sure the doors hold so that they can get away.  Amy tells him to take of his eyepiece before it activates, but he tells her that it already has and he doesn’t want to forget what’s coming after them.  Stoically enduring the agony, he trains his gun on the doors as the Silence try to break through.  Amy thanks him, and then seems to depart after the Doctor and River.  After the Silence break through, the pain becomes too much for Rory to stand, and he’s helpless against the Silence.  They then taunt him: “Rory Williams, the man who dies and dies again…die for the one last time, and know she will never come back for you!”  On cue, Amy bursts out of nowhere with a machine gun and kills all of them, and then gets the eyedrive off of Rory before it kills him. 

As they try to leave, Madame Kovarian, who has managed to dislodge her eyedrive, tries to ask Amy for help.   Amy, FINALLY, explains to Kovarian that she stole her baby, and though River’s now grown up, she’ll “never see (her) baby again.” Madame:  “You’ll still save me, though…because HE would…and you’ll never do anything to disappoint your precious Doctor.”  “The Doctor is very precious to me…but you know what else he is, Madame Kovarian?  Not here.”  Amy then replaces the Madame’s eyedrive, before continuing, “River Song didn’t get it all from you, you know…sweetie.”  The eyedrive begins to electrocute her…over her screams, Amy takes Rory by the arm and head after River and the Doctor. Amy: “You and I should get a drink sometime.” Rory: “Okay.”  “And then…get married.” “Fine.”

On the roof, River shows the Doctor her alternative plan: a distress beacon directed throughout their universe and beyond.  The Doctor is highly critical, and even feels embarrassed, but River informs him that they have received millions of responses, so much that it’s interfered with all the radio transmissions on the planet.  River: “You’ve decided that the universe is better off without you…but the universe doesn’t agree.”  The Doctor insists that he’s beyond help, and that River must let him die.  “I can’t let you die, without letting you know that you are loved…by so many and by so much…and by no one more than me.”  The Doctor then emphasizes that billions of people will suffer and die. River: “I’ll suffer, I’ll die.”  “More than everyone else in the universe?”  “Yes.”   The Doctor then turns to the Williams: “I hope you’re both proud!”  Rory: “I’m not sure I completely understand.” Amy: “We got married, and had a kid and that’s her.” “Okay.”

The Doctor asks Amy to remove his handcuffs, which she does.  He then begins to instruct River in the “quick version” of the Time Lord wedding ceremony (which included him using his bowtie, in a very nice touch).  After Amy and Rory both give their verbal consent, the Doctor then tells River that he has to whisper something in her ear, and that she must share what he tells her with no one.  After he whispers something in her ear, she looks at him and is momentarily overcome. The Doctor then clarifies, “I just told you my name.” The Doctor then tells his wife that the world is dying, and it’s his fault, and he can’t bear it another day, and again beseeches her to help him save the world.  River: “Then you may kiss the bride.” The Doctor: “I’ll make it count.”  River: “You better.” 

The two of them kiss, time resumes marching forward, clocks begin ticking again, the events of “The Impossible Astronaut” happen as they should, and the anachronisms all vanish from London proper.  We then see the Earth from space and again hear children singing the “Tick-Tock” song: “Tick-tock goes the clock…he gave all he could give her…tick-tock goes the clock…now prison waits for River.” 

Sometime later, Amy Pond is sitting in her back yard drinking a glass of wine, the wine bottle, and an empty glass sitting on the table beside her.  A flash of light and a crackle of electricity and River Song appears from another time and place.   They compare notes about where they are in their respective timelines. River has just come from the “Weeping Angels” two-parter from Season 5 (which was actually the first time she met Amy), while Amy is still getting over the death of the Doctor, which she can apparently remember as having happened again.  She’s also guilt-stricken about killing Madame Kovarian.  Amy wishes she could talk to the Doctor, but she can’t because he’s dead.  “Oh mother…of course he isn’t.”   She then confides “the Doctor’s last secret.”  As it turns out, in compliance with Doctor Rule #1 (the Doctor always lies), the Doctor actually didn’t tell River his real name… River: “Oh that man, always one step ahead of everyone…”  (She also nicely addresses a number of continuity errors by saying that she always has to lie, too, because she doesn’t want to reveal “spoilers.”)

Rory then comes home, to find Amy and River jumping around in the back yard, excited and overjoyed.  When he goes outside to investigate, he hears the good news out of our earshot.  Rory: “Are you sure?” River: “Of course I am; I’m his wife.” Amy: “And I’m his…mother-in-law.”   

Back in the Catacombs of the Headless Monks, a mysterious, robed figure carries Doriam’s box back to its pedestal, while he complains the entire time.  After he demands the doors of his box be left open, he confronts the mysterious figure, “It’s you, isn’t it?  But…how did you escape?” 

A brief flashback occurs to the Captain of the Teselecta asking the Doctor if there was anything they could do for him, and the Doctor’s moment of pause that was interrupted by Churchill earlier.  This time however, we see it lead into a more typically ebullient Doctor reply, “Actually…thinking about it…”

We then see that what the Doctor whispered to River instead of his name was “Look into my eye…”  As she did so, she could see the REAL Doctor, shrunk down to miniaturized form, with the TARDIS standing behind him.  In the present, the figure drops his robe, revealing the Doctor – live and in living color.  “The Teselecta.  The Doctor…in a Doctor suit.”  As it turns out, the Doctor was protected in the Teselecta when River zapped him, and he just teleported out in the TARDIS, leaving his friends to actually burn the Teselecta instead of his body.  He explains to Dorium that he had gotten, “too big; too noisy,” and he can face his enemy, the Silence, from the shadows now that they think he’s dead.  Dorium promises to keep his secret, but says that his dark destiny still awaits him.  The Doctor then says goodbye, but Dorium keeps talking about the Question:

“The first question…the question that must never be answered…hidden in plain sight…the question you’ve been running from your whole life:

Doctor who? Doctor who? Doc-tor WHO?!”

The Eleventh Doctor then turns back, looks into the camera, and smirks.

End season.

Observations/Reactions:

Well, really, what else would the Question have been?  And congratulations to everyone who had “the Teselecta” in their pool for how the Doctor was going to circumvent his death.  I had initially leaned toward the Flesh being involved, but figured that was too obvious as an initial misdirect, and thus using the Teselecta would have seemed the obvious choice (though, for the record, I personally though he was going to use the specific model from earlier in the season, the fate of which will, I suppose, remain unexplained.)

As for the episode itself, while the actual mechanics of how the Doctor cheated his death might have been as predictable as the reveal of River Song’s true identity back in “A Good Man Goes to War,” it still hit the right emotional buttons to make it work, and the marriage of the Doctor and River still felt like a fairly momentous occasion.  And the revelation of the question was incredibly clever and felt like an epic reveal.  The episode also set up so many gigantic things for future seasons, including possibly the location of the Eleventh Doctor’s death (“the fall of the Eleventh”) and the revelation of his real name (which River Song does eventually learn, as we discovered back in her very first appearance in Season 4’s “Silence in the Library”).  They also packed in a lot of story for 45 minutes, and it moved at a really dynamic pace, and thus this ultimately felt like an excellent culmination for a season of truly terrific episodes.

Reflection on the Season:

Looking back on Season 6, this was a season of undeniable quality and some surprising departures from the norm. In general, this was the season where the series matured, with a multilayered story arc that kept me intrigued from the season premiere, and certainly engendered a great deal of speculation on what was guaranteed to be number of truly dynamic twists and turns.  Really, all the episodes were good, and many were great, and I think a very good case can be made that “The Doctor’s Wife” may have been the best episode of the modern era.  I also personally liked the mid-season break.   For a season that featured many content-heavy episodes replete with many mind-bending twists, it was a good way to avoid burnout, at least for this viewer. 

As good as this season was, however, there were also more than a few signs of growing pains, especially when it came to finding the balance between character consistency, especially with the Ponds/Williams, and the mechanics of the series clever storytelling.  Now, I personally loved that Amy finally acknowledged her grief about having lost her daughter’s childhood, and found her avenging herself on Madame Kovarian appropriately cathartic, but the prevailing criticism still stands that that the entire traumatic experience really should have been prevalent sooner.  It’s honestly pretty clear that Moffat and company kind of wanted to have their cake and eat it, too, in terms of the overall season arc: they wanted to keep the strong, standalone episodes that have been a part of the Doctor Who tradition, but they also wanted to add a more serialized aspect to it.   For the most part, it did work, but it’s really clear, though, that they didn’t account or adjust for the fact that events like “losing your daughter” are supposed to weigh heavily on people, and once put out there, really can’t just be left hanging without inadvertently either making those revelations seem ultimately irrelevant or your characters seem unforgivably aloof (and I think in the case of Amy and Rory, it was more of a case of the latter).  Certainly, both characters made some good steps forward in the later part of the season, and whenever they were the direct focus, or “in the moment,” their writers and actors rose to the occasion; but there were equal times when they weren’t the focus both Amy and Rory kind of felt as if they were left adrift.  Going forward, the writers are going to have to take better care to keep the emotional aspects of their story arcs a little more consistent if they plan to go for the more serialized approach. 

But with that said, this was still an exemplary season of what continues to be one of the wittiest and most consistently clever shows on television.   So until next time…

Doctor who?

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About Jonathan Morris

Jon Morris is a failed screen and script writer, failed academic, and soon expecting to be a failed novelist. However, he's also an avid cineaste, a student of philosophy, a devotee of the humanities, a keen political observer, a semi-voracious bibliophile, a history buff, a literate fanboy, and an eloquent writer and scholar. Naturally, all of this makes him completely unemployable in this economy. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California in Screenwriting and a Master of Arts in Cinema Studies from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Posted on October 2, 2011, in The Antiscribe Recaps (Self explanatory, really). Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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