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< 6.6 - The Almost People
6.8 - Let's Kill Hitler >

6.7 - A Good Man Goes to War

Rating Votes
10
10%
11
9
21%
22
8
30%
31
7
12%
13
6
15%
16
5
9%
9
4
2%
2
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
1%
1
Average Rating
7.6
Votes
105
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
2
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 1/27/19 11:51 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This episode is another Steven Moffatt epic where he throws everything at it. Moffatt does not seem to have 'less is more' or subtlety in his vocabulary and tends to 'over-egg the pudding' very frequently. You still get a tasty 'pudding' but it leaves you feeling bloated afterwards from having too much! This episode is as usual exciting and complex but has some elements that are surplus and some elements which are questionable. Overall I think this is good in many ways due to its plus points - production values, entertainment and acting, particularly Matt Smith, Arthur Darvill and Alex Kingston - but there are things which detract from its quality.

Right from the start this is a big, brash space opera. Rory is back to his 'Last Centurion' persona despite being human and not the Auton-Rory who originally was given that superhuman characterisation. The Doctor is set up as the mythical God-like figure Moffatt wants him to be. River and Amy are given even more epic importance in the lore of the series than they had already been given. We have everything from Cybermen, Silurians, Sontarans, Headless Monks with lightsabers, an 'army of God', a host of returning characters and new characters who we are told have history with the Doctor and we have grandstanding speeches, unarmed face downs of entire armies etc. It can only be described as overblown really. Yes it is entertaining and thrilling at times but it is a bit too much. There is a place for epic episodes in Doctor Who but I think Moffatt overdoes it and stretches things too far.

There really is no need for Madame Vastra and her sword wielding partner, her Silurian allies, the Cybermen, the religious aspect to the opposing army, Strax the Sontaran (apart from comic relief), the random returning characters or the ambiguous Dorium Maldovar who seems intended to be like Sidney Greenstreet in the film Casablanca. They are all there simply for show and add nothing to the story. I liked the Cybermen part but all together it is too much pointless showiness instead of substantial characters that bring quality to the story.

I did not like the storyline of Amy being held captive throughout pregnancy and having her baby stolen. I find it unpleasant and distasteful and that is somewhat compounded by the fact this does not resolve that arc and instead we are left with the baby still captive. The fact there is the revelation the baby is in fact River Song and that River has apparently known this all along just does not seem to make sense either. River's previous behaviour towards the Doctor, her previous behaviour when first meeting Amy and Rory and her motivations all seem dubious. Would River really have said and done everything in the way she did if she knew all this? I don't think so. And as much as Moffatt wants to make the Doctor into a mythic figure I do not buy the plot of all this effort to kidnap a the baby and raise it to kill the Doctor. How did they know Amy was pregnant? How did they know the baby would be part Time Lord when even the Doctor does not think this possible? Why do they think a Time Lord baby will be the best weapon to beat the Doctor? Why if they can duplicate Amy so convincingly would that false Amy not be a sufficient thing to use to kill the Doctor? Is raising a baby to kill someone remotely a believable method when it takes so long and has so much chance of failure?

Another question is does it even make sense that River/Melody being conceived on the TARDIS makes her part Time Lord with powers of regeneration etc? I guess in a sci fi concept you can throw this kind of thing in and it is not illogical but it just seems a bit of a weird idea. In theory, if you had lots of people being conceived aboard the TARDIS you could completely revive the Time Lord race! Strange!

I also do not like Moffatt's obsession with making the Doctor a dark, mythical figure of war and destruction. He has River telling the Doctor that if he does not change his ways he will alter the meaning of the word Doctor in the universe to be a word of war and danger as he has in some places already. So how is he supposed to change his behaviour and what has he been doing wrong? Should he stop saving the universe? Stop rescuing people from conflict and suffering? Stop taking on villains and monsters with evil intent? I do not get it. The Doctor is a force for good. Yes by all means acknowledge the dark side of having to make tough choices for the greater good and his feelings of conscience, responsibility and loneliness, but do not suggest he is somehow a war-maker or bringer of death and destruction. He is the hero. He is OUR hero. Moffatt's obsession with making him edgy and dark goes too far. RTD had it spot on with Eccleston and Tennant as they were the hero without question but were bearing a weight of choices they had to make. Smith and Capaldi are made out by Moffatt to be questionable as to whether their actions are good or bad.

Some of these over arching issues should not be used to judge this episode too harshly as this one story only makes up part of the ongoing problematic ideas. But their appearance in this episode does detract from my enjoyment as do the extraneous, overblown aspects.

On the plus side the acting is all very good, the effects are excellent, there are moments of good humour, good dialogue, there is exciting action and there is some interesting drama. I cannot say this is a bad episode in terms of entertainment value but it is a bad episode in terms of plot with dubious story arcs and themes and a bit too much being thrown at it.

I am not the sort who put in a 1/10 rating just because I do not like a bunch of things, I also take into account the things I do like as well. I think a fair score would be 4.5/10 which is VERY weak for Doctor Who and is one of the lowest ratings I have given a story but is more realistic than a 1/10 reaction vote.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
1
Plot Rating:
1
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
1
Effects Rating:
3
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: doctorwhnoeReview Date: 1/28/18 10:05 am
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Worst story of Doctor who ever. Useless, empty with forgetable characters. The whole series 6 is bad because of a bad story arc and because of writers who didn't even think of creating good characters.

The whole episode plot is 'battle, battle, fight, shoot' only this. The purpose is to rescue Amy and it's finally a victory after 35 minutes of battle. There's only a sort of plot twist at the end with Rivers' revelation and the baby who's kidnapped. The others parts of the story are empty.

The Doctor is only here to say 'look I'm so powerfull, I've many allies'. His characterizayion is bad. I didn't like Matt Smith because his voice is so slow and so monotonous. He is boring.

Amy is only here for the Doctor to have a reason to come. She only talk to a baby and do nothing very memorable. Rory is only here for the battle and River only appear at the end to say something everybody had guessed since a long time.

The crowd of old ennemies/ally are useless. Moffat introduce the Paternoster quickly and create Dorium Maldovar for nothing because this guy don't do anything in the story. Why there's Silurians and Sontarans with the Doctor ? Why Judoons ? Why flesh peoples ? And why did Moffat did this story ?

I wanted to give it a 0 but I can't. Even a 1 is to much for this mess.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 6/12/16 12:34 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Series 6 mid-season finale brings us the Doctor's attempts to rescue Amy and Melody from Demon's Run and we finally learn the true identity of River Song. It's an episode that mixes in some great spectacle and atmosphere, with some more questionable elements. Matt Smith, Alex Kingston, and Karen Gillian are all superb. We also get the introduction of Strax, who is brilliant in this story.

At the same time, the story suffers from some poor editing choices as well as the attempt to overpack the episode with too many guest characters and elements, with many being surplus to requirements. It's also a story that's rife with dubious and illogical elements. It's most enjoyable if watched without a whole lot of analysis.