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Review: Doctor Who: A Good Man goes to War (Episode 7 Season 6)

Posted By: Matt McGloin
Wed, 06/01/2011 - 22:16
"Demons run when a good man goes to war.
Night will fall and drown the sun when a good man goes to war.
Friendship dies and true love lies,
Night will fall and the dark will rise,
When a good man goes to war" 
Warning! Big Spoilers Ahead!
picSo unless right now you're locked away in some deep, dank dungeon - disconnected your computer from the internet or put a paper bag over your head -  you've probably glimpsed the big reveal that ended Doctor Who's first ever mid season finale online -- that the Doctor's a Daddy!
Okay, just kidding! Although to be fair - sneeky writer Mr Moffat did try and imply that partway through the middle along with other revelations in this 50 minute episode where the Doctor doesn't even appear for a massive 19 minutes! What you have to ask yourself if/when you watch "A Good Man goes to War" is - was it worth the hype? Well for me, yes and no.
Okay lets tackle that big reveal that River Song is Amy's newly born daughter named Melody Pond all grown up! That's right folks, my guess was spot on, as was unfortunately most of everyone else's. Yes, she has Time Lord dna - so yes she can be the little girl in the spacesuit who regenerated at the end of episode 2 - and yes she can still be the one who kills Future Doctor  - the "Good Man" she murdered thus ending up in Stormcage. 
There's more to this of course.  Some beautiful performances from Karen Gillen and Arthur Darvill; the latter as Amy realizes she looses her daughter twice, as baby Melody cruely turns out to be another flesh clone - the real one spirited away by bonkers Matron, Madame "One eyed" Korivan. Then unable to cope initially with the reveal River is Melody by pointing a gun at her head! She changed her name by the way, as the Tardis can't translate a particular alien language - odd that - hence the resolution of that cryptic poem Idris spoke of in "The Doctor's Wife." 
As for Rory - well he's a Daddy! Thank God he knows the birds from the bees - and his scene holding his daughter was a joy - and original as we get now a first, a full family on board the Tardis. But anyone thinking they'll be here next year? Even so, Time Lord dna...hmmm? 
As for the Doctor, well, Matt Smith excels as ever; from his "If you want to feel safe...point a gun a me," opening to, "I speak baby," to his encounter with Korivan. 
New monster, the Headless Monks (mentioned in name only in The Time of Angels) were good, although I wonder if George Lucas will have a fit with them wielding light sabres. Moreso was Jack the Ripper Slayer (I ate him so I won't be having dinner) Silurian Madame Vastra! She was brilliant alongside her close mate, her girlfriend Jenny. So to was Sontaran Strax, if you can't laugh out loud when he offers to feed Amy's baby or shed a tear when he dies despite him being "just a Nurse," then you're as unemotional as a Vulcan. 
The episode was packed full extra delights, including another spitfire in space attack on Demon's Run: Captain Avery and his pirate son turn up, even the Cybermen alongside con-man Dorium from "The Pandorica Opens."
However, a lot of the initial scope of the story was a slight disappointment. There wasn't a war as such, just a raid, and I didn't get the impression The Doctor has fallen so badly as River Song hints when reluctant to join the Doctor's raiding party at the start.  
"A Good Man goes to War" was a good episode, but not the hyped up deal initially promised, setting the scene for the rest of the six episodes due for transmission later in the year. And as for that title for episode 8, "Lets Kill Hitler," (Editor's Note: Head on over here for the teaser video! - Cyberman Matt) well if that didn't bring a smile or a groan I don't know what will. Even so, its a cool title. Lets hope 3 months flash by very quickly!