‘A GOOD MAN GOES TO WAR’
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“Demons Run When A Good Man Goes to War”
N.B. Watch the prequel for ‘A Good Man Goes to War’ before this episode.
This episode by Steven Moffat is the mid-season finale to Part 1 of Series 6 of ‘Doctor Who’. Everything comes together about what happened in the previous episode and a secret gets revealed.
I must admit I felt underwhelmed from watching ‘A Good Man Goes to War’. There were lots of things going on in this episode that I couldn’t keep track of with who was who from seeing this on TV.
This follows on directly from ‘The Almost People’, where Karen Gillan as Amy has been held on a space station called Demon’s Run in the far future and in deep space. She gives birth to a baby girl called Melody.
It’s hard to know how long Amy was on that space station and held a prisoner. During the time Amy’s flesh avatar was travelling with Matt Smith’s Doctor and Arthur Darvill’s Rory; an army of humans has been prepared.
From first seeing this episode, I didn’t understand why this army of humans wanted to wage war against the Doctor and why they hated him so much. Seeing it a second time, it was more interesting.
It turns out that these people are from the Forests of Gamma and that for them, the word ‘Doctor’ means ‘Great Warrior’. This makes them afraid of the Doctor and they want him to be dead in an instant.
I found this idea interesting in that the Doctor’s name may mean something different to another alien or human-like race. The fact that the Doctor is a warrior for some people is so fascinating and disturbing.
The human army on Demon’s Run have allied themselves with the Headless Monks. They’re very scary; do not speak and have red-lightning power-charged swords that they use to kill people mercilessly.
The Doctor, in order to find Amy, summons help from old friends who have a debt to pay to him. This was where it was so confusing for me, as I didn’t have time to know who these characters were.
The episode features the first appearances of Neve McIntosh as Madame Vastra the Silurian and Catrin Stewart as Jenny. It also features the first appearance of Dan Starkey as Strax the Sontaran.
Simon Fisher-Becker also makes a return as Dorium Maldovar, who appeared previously in ‘The Pandorica Opens’. There’s a shocking moment for Dorium when he gets beheaded by the Headless Monks.
Frances Barber guest stars as Madame Kovarian, the Eye-Patch Lady who has been watching Amy in previous episodes. There’s also Danny Sapani as Colonel Manton. Both hate the Doctor very terribly.
There’s also Christina Chong as Lorna Bucket. Lorna seems to be one of the human troops, but she actually signed up to see the Doctor since she saw him as a little girl. She wants to help him and his friends.
Alex Kingston returns as River Song in this episode. Here we get the reveal as to who she is. I was disappointed with this reveal, as it turns out she’s Amy and Rory’s daughter, Melody Pond. What?!
The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 4 of ‘The Complete Series 6’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there’s a commentary with Arthur Darvill, Neve McIntosh and visual effects supervisor Tim Barter. There’s also the prequel for ‘A Good Man Goes to War’ with Simon Fisher Becker as Dorium Maldovar.
On Disc 6, there’s the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘The Born Identity’.
So Part 1 of Series 6 of ‘Doctor Who’ ends on a cliff-hanger! I enjoyed watching the first half of Series 6 in the spring of 2011. It’s a puzzle of a series so far, as there are still some unanswered questions left as to why the Doctor died at the beginning of the series and where it’s all going to lead to at the end.
Also the reveal of River Song as Amy and Rory’s daughter was a little disappointing. I’d hoped for something fantastic than that as I felt cheated with this reveal. It didn’t live to my expectations, but it was interesting. I wondered what was going to happen next in Part 2 of Series 6 of ‘Doctor Who’.
‘A Good Man Goes To War’ rating – 7/10
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