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< 6.12 - Closing Time
7.0 - The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe >

6.13 - The Wedding of River Song

Rating Votes
10
4%
4
9
8%
8
8
31%
30
7
24%
23
6
12%
12
5
7%
7
4
11%
11
3
1%
1
2
0%
0
1
1%
1
Average Rating
6.9
Votes
97
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
4
Plot Rating:
2
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
4
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 2/4/19 11:53 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Sadly the very talented Steven Moffatt very frequently returns to the same problematic story ideas:

1. A main character appears to die before returning.
2. Lots of 'timey wimey' complicated storytelling with timelines crossing and contrived paradoxical resolutions which are largely illogical.
3. The Doctor is made out as a God-like mythical figure who is feared throughout the galaxy, has prophecies about his future told as legends and has dark, ambiguous morals.
4. Historical figures and/or things from history (dinosaurs/pyramids etc) are thrown in for no good reason.
5. The Doctor's companions are shown to have abilities and importance far greater than anyone else in the universe.

The Wedding of River Song yet again features all these tired ideas which as usual are thrown into a convoluted plot that many young viewers or casual viewers will not follow. Some fans love it, some hate it. By my description it would appear that I hate it but I always look for positives and try to judge fairly and there are lots of positives along the way.

The acting is really good. Arthur Darvill and Alex Kingston are my favourites from the Matt Smith era and they are, as always, excellent. Smith himself always acts very well indeed. I am not a big fan of the character of Amy but Karen Gillan is pretty good and is a strong female character once again in this story. The Silence are suitably creepy and there are some dramatic, exciting scenes. There is some fun, entertainment and humour and potential for this to be really good. It is just the problematic Moffatt obsessions which hold this episode back.

The Doctor predictably escapes his apparent death in a very contrived way. There is lots of crossing of timelines and jumping about in the narrative but if you consider events, characters thoughts and actions once it all pans out some just do not make sense: Why does the Doctor trust the Teselecta but not Amy, Rory or River? Why is it not OK to tell Amy while they are in the alternative reality but then suddenly it is OK to tell her as soon as she returns to normal life? The young River is apparently taken by Madame Kovarian and put into the spacesuit so is that the River who changes what happens or is it an older River taking her place secretly? If it is the younger River then why does she love the Doctor so deeply when she only just met him and tried to kill him? If it is the older River how did she achieve the switch? They just strap River into a suit that kills the Doctor against her will so what the hell was the point of kidnapping her as a baby and raising her to kill the Doctor and what is the point of her being in the suit? If the Doctor is just a Teselecta Doctor 'suit' then why does him kissing River cause the paradox to close? Is River actually only married to the Teselecta Doctor 'suit'?! We have Churchill, Pterodactyls, pyramids etc for no good reason but if time is 'all happening at once' then where are all the rest of the people and creatures and buildings and items from history? Why is this messed up world so selective? Amy can always remember everything because of the crack in time but why can River always remember everything too? Isn't it exceptionally convenient that them both remembering again saves the universe (after The Big Bang when the same exact thing happened) Isn't it repetitive to once again have the universe collapsing and the Doctor, Amy and River magically cheat it all and undo everything including apparent deaths we are supposed to have felt emotional about? The Teselecta was introduced for this storyline in Let's Kill Hitler without us ever hearing of it before and we never hear of it again in following years so it was another plot device dropped in conveniently. It all is too contrived and illogical.

Even when we finally end this bad story arc we are immediately presented with the next arc and the next 'prophecy'. So we have had Series 5 prophecying 'Silence Will Fall' and the Pandorica which supposedly spells the end for the Doctor only for him to miraculously escape by a total cheat paradox where he inexplicably saves himself via an impossible alternative timeline (which he could do for ANY event if he can do it for that one) and companions who happen to be able to undo all the events because they are 'special'. Then we had Series 6 prophecying his death which is supposedly shown to us and is a 'fixed point' only for him to cheat it with another trick and featuring another paradox and another case of companions being able to just undo all the events because they are 'special'. Now straight away we have the prophecy "On the fields of Trenzalore the Doctor will fall" which takes more than a whole further series to come to conclusion. And guess how that gets resolved - with a huge, convoluted, timey wimey story featuring a host of returning characters where the Doctor is apparently going to die but cheats death with help from a companion who just happens to be able to influence events because she is 'special'! REALLY? AGAIN?! This is hardly clever storytelling, it is repetitive and contrived. Also if there is already a prophecy of the Doctor falling at Trenzalore then how was his 'death' at Lake Silencio supposed to be his final demise at a fixed point in time? How can you prophecy things happening to someone after they are meant to be dead?! Introducing this as a prophecy just to harp on Moffatt's obsession of making the Doctor a mythical figure is dumb.

I can understand people just totally hating this episode because there are LOTS of faults but as always I am fair minded and take into account the fun, the excitement, the acting, the dialogue and the production values. So I rate this 4/10 which I think is generous considering the flaws. That still makes it the lowest rating I have given for any episode since 2005. Very disappointing.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
1
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: Omega3000Review Date: 4/17/18 2:30 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Story arc that dragged through whole season (and continuing from previous season) resolves in most disappointing way possible. Either Moffat planned it all along thinking that it is satisfying way to end the season to cheat his audience or he just made it up as he went along and written himself in a corner. Either way, Moffat soiled the idea of story arcs by insulting his audience.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 7/12/16 11:29 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The Wedding of River Song is a spectacular and glitzy conclusion of Series 6, that's full of eye-pleasing and mind-popping visuals and concepts as the Stetson-clad Doctor is determined to find out what he had to die.

In many ways, this is a frustrating episode, because there's so much that you want to like about it. It has Pterodactyls, cars being flown through the air, a loving homage to the Brigadier, Winston Churchill as Emperor, an electrified version of chess, and some genuinely good moments from Matt Smith. Yet the story is often illogical and it concludes a series-long story arc where nothing was really accomplished or settled. It felt very much like when hints about River Song's past were given in prior episodes that Moffat wasn't actually aware of what he was going to write to validate those hints, so we end up with some really odd turns.

At the same time, it's an enjoyable spectacle but the very nature of Series 6 makes it a problematic one.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
3
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: AshantaiReview Date: 7/1/14 2:08 am
0 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Showcases the reasons why New Series Season 6 is the one I consider the worst. It has dodgy characterisation, gimmicks, contrived endings and the elevation of the Doctor into some sort of deity figure. Disappointing.