Ten Thoughts About Doctor Who: A Good Man Goes To War

Obviously spoilers for the mid-season finale of Doctor Who that aired earlier in the UK today. You don’t want spoilers, then what on earth are you reading this piece for. I mean it’s obvious isn’t it? Get with the program.

1. Rory Finally Finds A Legion

And he’s all bad ass and everything. When he’s backed up by a skyfull of exploding Cyberships that is.

2. We’re Putting The Band Back Together.

The Sontarans, Silurians, the space pirates, the space dog fighters, River Song, anyone who’s anyone is getting an invite to this party. Say, didn’t they do this at the end of last year’s season? What, no Daleks?

3. Let’s Hear If For The Gay Bishops And The Cross Species Victorian Lesbians.

Glad to see all the Anglicans have gotten over the whole gay marriage thing by the 51st century.

And of course…

SILURIAN: He’s rather attractive

JENNY: You do realise he’s a man, don’t you ma’am?

SILURIAN: Mammals, they look alike.

JENNY: Thank you!

SILURIAN: Was I being insensitive again dear? I dunno why you put up with me…



Any chance these two could get a spinoff series? Stalking the streets of Victorian London, taking on all comers, going home for a little tipping of the velvet… I’d watch that over Torchwood.

4. Today is River’s Birthday. Twice.

It’s her birthday. And it’s the day she’s born. Awwww….

But now we get to redo the Doctor/River timeline again!

Is that right?

5. A Doctor By Any Other Name

Here’s a particularly stupid theory. If we take “The Doctor” to be the Doctor’s name – even if it is in the form of a title no doubt meaning something deep and Gallifreyan – perhaps our earthly use of the word “doctor” meaning healer or wise man is direct result of the Doctor’s multiple interventions in our history as a healer and wise man. In other words, we got it from him. This is a very silly idea and I’m consequently rather proud of it.  –Steven Moffat, Jan 1995, rec.arts.doctor.who

He’s been holding onto that one for a while, hasn’t he? Blimey. And now he’s an angry Doctor.

6. Is This Doctor Who Or Star Wars?

Questions about parentage, spacecraft hangars, blokes with hoods and… light sabres! Not to mention… It’s A Trap!

Or is it Thunderbirds?

“Thank you Parker, I won’t be needing you again tonight.”

“Yes, milady”

7. Sontaran Suckle!

Is this the best use for a Sontaran to date? As a wet nurse? So we go from comedy tragedy and a nurse dies – just not the one we have been expecting to, most weeks. Although the future bodes badly, did you see how River addressed Rory? The first time they’ve met?

8. Nice Soldier With The Prayer Leaf

The Amy Pond that wasn’t. Who also rises and falls.

And as ever, the people the Doctor touches are turned into weapons. In this case, terribly, terribly literally.

There’s been some issue over what people were to have read or not on the Doctor’s cot. River points out the lettering on the side – and that the TARDIS hasn’t translated it for them because it’s Gallifreyan. But the point is the lettering on prayer leaf – which it is translating. And what that translation signifies…

9. Swipe File: River Song And Cable.

Child born to famous parents, taken away in time, returned as an adult, all experienced as a fighter and stuff. All she needs now is a glowing eye.

10. Questions Questions Questions

We know who River is. But we still don’t know who River is. I mean what she is to the Doctor, apart from his companions’ child, with a time head. But so much more to discover after the break…

Who were the church working for? Who is the patch lady and who is she working for? Why do they want a Time Lord weapon? Did they use her to kill the Doctor? Why did he go along with it? How are they connected to the Silents? Is it significant and Melody is the opposite of Silence? Why was River Song brought up in 1960s Britain? How many times can she regenerate? How does she turn from a weapon into the Doctor’s love? How did the Silents destroy the TARDIS and why? Who was the voice in the TARDIS before that happened? Did they want to kill River with the TARDIS? Why was the young River allowed to escape and regenerate? Why didn’t River regenerate in Forest Of The Dead? Oh wait, hang on she told the Doctor “It will burn up both your hearts, and don’t think you’ll regenerate!” So there’s that.

Plus I also have my own theory that if regeneration is caused by exposure to the time vortex then maybe regeneration makes you become an alternate reality version of yourself. Oh and also why Rory was able to survive death and Autonisation. Maybe.

But with all the people stating how much they predicted the identity of River ong, did anyone predict the ganger baby before that window in reality opened? Magic.

It’s going to be a long summer…

Additional Thought

A smoking skeletal hand with a dying sonic screwdriver… is that a flashback to the Doctor’s death, or something new?


About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.