Monday, 20 June 2011


Doctor Who - A Good Man goes to War (Series Six, Episode Seven). Amy (Karen Gillan) has been kidnapped by Madame Kovarian (Frances Barber). The Doctor (Matt Smith) races across galaxies with Rory (Arthur Darvill), calling in long-held debts and solemnly given promises in order to raise a posse.

In August 2010, Doctor Who supremo Steven Moffat announced at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh TV Festival that the current 13-episode series would run for seven episodes "building to an Earth-shattering climax" at Episode 7, an "enormous game-changing cliffhanger that will change everything". And then would return in the autumn after a hiatus for another six. « The wrong expression would be to say we are splitting it in two. We are making it two separate series, » as he explained, referring to the second block as « what would be in fact Series Seven » (1).

« Budget cuts are tough: I don't like them, but they force you to be creative. » (Steven Moffat)

Amy wasn't the real Amy but a blob version of herself. The real Mrs Pond is held prisoner by the ultimate soap opera villain Madame Kovarian and her henchman, Colonel Manton (Danny Sapani). They have an army and sinister extras, the Headless Monks, so rescuing Amy and baby Melody will not be an easy task. Rory dresses as a centurion to gatecrash a Cybermen space station, while the Doctor destroys a whole cyber legion to show how much is p***ed off and checks a rolodex (we imagine huge) to ask old acquaintances for a favour payback.

Enter "sword-wielding Silurian Victorian detective" Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh as another Silurian character) and her human companion Jenny (Catrin Stewart), Commander Strax (Dan Starkey) - the Sontaran Doc Martin, and black market blue trader Dorium "I'm old, I'm fat, I'm blue" Maldovar (excellent Simon Fisher Becker). River Song (Alex Kingston), back to Stalag 13, cannot attend the party due to a technicality but a Silurian squad, some Judoon forces, space Spitfires, Captain and Junior Avery (Hugh Bonneville and Oscar Lloyd) can. Those who couldn't join certainly missed the prop store call, and the Daleks have a LOA signed by the boss. Meanwhile, Human soldier Lorna Bucket (Christina Chong) tries to befriend Amy.

As far as we know Earth survived A Good Man goes to War, written by Steven Moffat himself and directed by Peter Hoar. But the faith of some of us in Doctor Who, briefly restored by The Doctor's Wife, Neil Gaiman's masterpiece, may have been shattered by the Grand Moff's timey-wimey scheme around THAT pregnancy. The rest is irrelevant: the smogarsbord character extravaganza, the notion of a Silurian detective in the 1888 London (for the spin-off series, a CBBC budget would do), or the not-so-big-baddie with a patch and her poor aide out of a 70s mercenary movie. His speech has some of the most terrible lines ever written in the series. But thankfully he's interrupted by the Doctor, truly visible only after almost 20 minutes of his "Darkest Hour" .

Stefania "Hatch" DiMera - aka Take The Baby And Run - makes Melody melt (total waste of Frances Barber's talent), Dorium loses his head and our Time Lord counts the casualties of the Star Wars Poetry moment: Potato Doc Martin (but Dan Starkey will certainly play another Sontaran someday) and Lorna, who yet looked for a nanosecond as a possible companion for the Doctor. Then this space operetta edition of Days of our Lives ends with the "enormous game-changing cliffhanger" for the Doctor, Amy and Rory. « I'm your daughter. » [Insert The Imperial March here]

Doctor Who is more popular than ever but some viewers will indeed need some time to recover from this until september, when Series Six (not Seven finally) will go on for more clues, tricks and blob decoys. In the meantime the adventure continues behind the scene with the "scheduling saga". The Doctor will be back.


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