Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wedding of River Song - What did YOU Think?

The latest Doctor Who episode, The Wedding of River Song, has aired - but what did YOU think. Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.


RELATED POSTS
The Wedding of River Song audio commentary
Campaign to save Doctor Who Confidential
The Blogtor Who Commentaries
Doctor Who Complete Sixth Series Boxset
Closing Time - What Did YOU Think?

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

ugh... DOCTOR WHO? REALLY? That just made me double face palm.

Anonymous said...

AMAZING :D....iknow not everyone is a fan of moffat, but i bloody love him, he is an amazing writer and he is a genius, this episode had me laughing and crying, it was amazing, i love the meetings between river and amy aswell.....thank god for sky +...need to watch it again :)

strayski said...

Well that was bland bitingly boring :-(

Badasspov said...

Great series shame the finale was a bit low key... but the BBC is transient Dr Who is forever

Anonymous said...

Thought that was an amazing episode. Matt is an amazing doctor, Moffat a clever writer and looking forward to next year!

lekarz said...

Staggered!! Moffat is a genius. No deus ex machina like in the Russell T Davies times. The question really was in plain sight.

strayski said...

We watch the same thing here?! I'm off to cry with disappointment over my dinner

Glyph said...

Hmm. Some good moments but not as good as I'd hoped. A bit too much WTF-ery and over-complicated cleverness for its own sake. As much as anything, I think it was basically trying too hard.

Looking back, it's noticeable that the standout episodes of this season barely touched on the overarching Silence plot at all.

awkward91 said...

It was pretty good, not phenomenal but not at all shameful. Nice to see a slightly understated finale for one, and some truly stunning set-pieces. And I guessed what the question was. Probably one of the less satisfying series finales, but at the end of the day anything's better than Doomsday.

Ian said...

Excellent stuff, again from Moffat. Couldn't believe all the hate on the Twitter stream. Someone even accused Moffat of "deus ex machina". Errm no, that was Russel T Davies who every damned series wrote himself into a corner and then had to result to "deus ex machina" endings.

Moffat always leaves clues to his stories endings and they're always consistent. Excellent writing, original and challenging story. Great stuff.

Mark said...

Please, Please, Please stop. Moffat is an amazing writer and I really wish he would give up his position and go back to writing the best scripts ever seen in Doctor Who... We are missing out of his amazing mind while he spends time with budgets and silly and pointless series arcs that get lost and wasted.

Lets have 12 great stories that are not connected to each other. Stories that have you on the edge of your seat, crying, shocked and wanting more. Not angry at quick endings that resolve things in a page of script or a flick of a switch. Endings that leave you rewarded and if needed to tell the story fully, then carry over the story to two episodes instead of wrapping things up because 45 mins says so. Surly 6 double episode stories are better than 12 rushed and wasted ones.

This series was frustrating with a couple of exceptions. As a fan of the show for many years, I will watch it if the Doctor was to read the telephone book for an hour but I would rather be rewarded with a quality script that stands the test of time... I like watching old episodes again and again but I'm not sure I would bother with this series. Blink, Empty Child, Girl in the Fireplace and all those other scripts that sold us the idea of Moffat coming onboard are lacking in this series. Matt Smith is so wanting a great script. He could be given so much more to allow him to show just how good he is...

I await the Christmas Special and 2012...

Mark

Bentendo said...

I guess seeing the next series is building up to the 50th Anniversary, studying the name itself is quite a clever twist in it's own way. As a cliffhanger? Not really.

As for Confidential, not only did the last episode of Confidential not even get a proper goodbye from the announcer, but the HD version isn't until 2:20am on Monday morning! How disrespectful to the cast and crew of the show is that?!

However, there was obviously a quick re-edit at the end there, using "I Did It My Way" to close the episode off. Fantastic episode with the story of River told in the right order, and then the Script to Screen short story from the winning primary school. More proof that Confidential educated and inspires as well as entertains.

If the BBC don't listen to the near 30,000 signatures and over 7,000 twitter followers about the shows return, there is something very wrong...

Andy Serevitch said...

I must say that when the "previously" came on and they showed the Teselecter I said to my better half "oh no, i think i have figured out how the doctor escapes death...but it can't be, that ideas pants" ( i even joked in my head that the question that couldn't be answered was Doctor Who...), but when it really happened i thought it was done really well and all was forgiven. Really enjoyed the episode and loved the concept of Live Chess.

Anonymous said...

That was it? Srsly? Feel like spitting poison right and left.
OK, the question appeared to be the one I predicted months ago (and I'm gonna get a dinner on my friend's account for being right, so that's not a bad point after all).
OK, the Doctor avoided death in the most ridiculous way I've ever seen.
OK, he was histerical, and only sudden not-to-the-point mentions of his past companions helped him calm down a bit - he thought he was to finally die, that's justifiable.
OK, OK. But tell me someone why the hell did he marry River Song? Was it vital to marry her to tell her "look me in the eye" or what? Looks like mr. Moffat created his beloved Mary-Sue River and thought that the Doctor who only ever was platonic with his companions must have his sexuality suddenly all up and about - because it's River, she loves him, she's the child of the TARDIS, of cooooourse. A facepalm ever the biggest. Like no one loved him before. Like no one near him was more than a human. And this phrase about River's nights in the end - that, firstly, made me puke, secondly, was illogical. River doesn't meet him after his death, she meets only the younger versions of him, eh? There can be no _nights_ unless the whole story set up back in the 4th Series goes to hell because Moffat wants the Doctor to have sex with an egotistic, naive, psychopathic and old-looking woman.
Well, I hope the next season we won't have River and won't explore the Doctor sexuality that much. For that one might bring him to Torchwood to pay a visit to Jack or something, DW is a kinda family show.
And yes, sometimes it grew boring and I thought: get on with it, just tell me what's up with the Doctor's death and I'll be satisfied.

Sean said...

I thought it was hit and miss but I still loved it as a whole. Although the teselecter death escape was a bit of a cop out but in a way I enjoyed being conned. Jammy Doctor

Vincent Truman said...

I was hoping that we'd really been watching the Flesh Doctor all of this time, and that the real Doctor was pulling strings in the shadows. That Time Itself could be fooled by a robotic Doctor seems ridiculous.

Further, when Rose's dad didn't die all those years ago, the flying beasties made sense. Time running amok like this seems like not only silly but an 'f-you' to canon.

Easily, my least favourite season.

Gene said...

Thought it was the best episode of the series. The visual effects, the frozen time, the plot...all wonderful. Bringing together various characters & mythos into the story...the Brigadier, Daleks, Silurians, the Tesselecta, it all comes together so brilliantly. For those naysayers & others who want to complain, obviously not a fan of the show. It had it all.

Steve said...

Rule One: Steven Moffat lies.

So now we know the truth. Although Mr Moffat assured us that "This is the Doctor and he is dead", we now know that that's only partially true. And therein lies the problem with the whole episode. And then when I really thought about it many more problems arose....

Up until the very end reveal of the fact that the Doctor sent a robot in his place, I was really enjoying the episode. It was nicely written with some nice performances, especially by a "kick ass" version of Amy in the new reality. However, this is where my first problem reared it's ugly head.

Isn't this just a bit too much like The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang? Last time, the whole of the Universe was threatened by an event where the TARDIS was the singularity at the event horizon. This time it's The Doctor and River. But the outcome is pretty similar. Yet another version of reality is created. Deja vue anyone?

And then, on the back of this, hasn't there already been a precedent set for this kind of event, where a fixed point in time gets changed? Where were the Reapers?? In Father's Day, Rose stops her own father's death and the Reapers appear to. well, reap their revenge. So where were they this time, eh?

But back to elements of the story I liked, before we talk about the real humdinger of a problem.

It was lovely to hear them acknowledge to death of the Brigadier and the Doctor's reaction was very poignant.

Rory was excellent and his love for Amy was nicely shown even if he didn't actually know he was in love with her.

And well done to however it was on here who predicted what the eye patches were for. Go to the head of the class.

But now we come down to the big one for me. The big problem with the entire episode. And remember Rule One, as mentioned above.

The Doctor says the River that the only way that everything can be put right is for him to die. It's as simple as that. No other way. He mentions it a few times. This is a fixed point in time.

So when he decides to send a robot in his place, what changes?? The Doctor still isn't dead. Is "reality" that stupid that it can't see the difference between a fake and real Doctor? Surely the bottom line is that the Doctor STILL DOESN'T DIE, therefore, reality WOULD NOT reset! I just don't get it.

So sadly, the resolution makes little sense and is as bad as the Ganger version some of us thought by be the answer.

Rule One: Steven Moffat lies. But, he had no real choice. He had written himself into the ultimate corner. RTD used to write himself into corners but nothing like this. I had thought that SM could pull it out of the bag. Somehow, even though I really had no idea how. I guess I had enough faith in his writing. But actually, his resolution makes no sense and is a real cop out. Sadly.

Which bring me to the Ultimate Question being Doctor Who? But what, in itself does that mean? Please don't let us down again, Steven. I don't want to know who the Doctor really is, other than what we almost know.

So, what on the surface was very well done and exciting. really let me down because it ultimately became a real cop out.

Hannah said...

@most recent anonymous. He had to marry River because the tesselecta can only be accessed by a spouse. Not sure if accessed is the right word, and can't quite remember the details from LKH. I imagine River had to get him out of it somehow.

Shauny said...

To all you saying he "tricked reality" by using the Teselecter to die, I think you're confused. The Doctor never died, it was always the robot, so reality wasn't tricked, all it knew was that everyone thinks the Doctor is dead. And they do; according the history the Doctor died that day. Doesn't matter that he didn't actually die does it!

Chii-chan said...

It wasn't the worst of this season... but a bit too much like Pandorica from last year all over again!

I once again restate my earlier summary: Moffat is excellent at one-shot stories, but carry a full season/full story arc spanning a season he Can Not

erin said...

Loved it!! Wish we didn't have to wait til next autumn! I hope River is still around. She's so much fun. If Amy and Rory are gone River needs to make an appearance... Maybe even be saved from the library mainframe

Steve said...

In reply to comments about the robot version of the Doctor always being the one to die, yes, I get that, thinking about it and I did miss that. However, the problem still stands. In order to send the robot back in his place, this had to happen in the false reality. Which would never have happened, as the Doctor never died at any point!! Therfore, no false reality, therefore no robot sent, etc etc...

Anonymous said...

Loved it! Moffat set up next season perfectly as well as the regeneration from Matt Smith to whomever (The Fall of the Eleventh). Great fun all around. I think it's an episode that will eventually grow on people, especially when it's presented as a whole in the DVD/Bluray set coming soon.

Anonymous said...

We've had better series finale...really.
This one wasn't bad...but we've had better.
I thought the whole "Doctor Who" thing was very good.
I just didn't understand why the Doctor had to marry River...he doesn't even love her...
we can see she does...very much. But he doesn't.
really didn't get this.
The rest of the epi was ok. No AMAZING...but it was very good, yeah.

Anonymous said...

Just not very satisfying really. Was obviously going to be the tesselator or rebel flesh that got shot. Episode seemed crammed-it needed a full hour. I think Mr Moffat was better placed in dealing with a creepy individual episode rather than a whole story arc. Just oh dear in general.

Hannah said...

I assumed that the Doctor we saw dying right at the start was always the tesselecta, as he went there as the robot (therefore it's River and the robot at the epicentre of the thingy), not the un-robotted (?!) Doctor. The doctor never actually died, people just thought he did. Wrote thus before but don't think it worked. Or I may appear to say this in two different ways!

Trap Johnson said...

Shauny has it quite correct about Robo Doc, everything involving "dead Doc" and "Time Pole Doc" happened while he was inhabiting the machine, so there is no inconsistency.
Steve, it was in real reality before the splintering that he recruited the Tesselector to help him out, that was always the case, they only reveal it to us at the end.
Hannah as well has it spot on.
Cam, in your gripe within the commentary, the touch in the pyramid works because the entire Older Doc in The impossible astronaut was robo Doc, robo doc was the one ostensibly killed, and therefore robo doc is the opposite pole to river. we simply assumed it had to be him him because of how he speaks.

Dylan said...

Eh.

gallifrey reject said...

Alright.. Now you're about to hear from me.. lol. Yes this season has had a few episodes that weren't all that great but if anyone has noticed, its going in a new direction. A direction that a lot of people love. If you have watched the classic series, you will remember how they had a running gag about what the Doctor's real name was. I think this is a throwback to that. Not to mention, our beloved Time Lord could be more than just an old man in a box. As for River, I like her. She is the anti-Rose. I think he truly does love her & the fact that he forgave her, knows how she dies & she knows his name.. come on!

Bet money Rose doesn't know his real name. Lol! I think this is Moffats was of evolving the character. The episode was really good but as far as the marriage, I figured that out in her intro episodes with 10. I think people should enjoy the ride & stop nitpicking. The cast has put on fantastic performances this season & I'm looking forward to more :). Oh and the nod to Nicholas Courtney was sad but so fitting.. If they had included Sarah Jane, I would've lost all composure! So my fellow Whovians, enjoy the ride!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed a lot of it. All the cameos and Amy / Rory / River. The Rose Tyler / Jack (presumably) Harkness references. The touching news about the Brig. Guessed the Question in advance but didn't bother me at all.

The thing that struck me as a bit of a problem, is that when the Teselecta copied people in the previous appearance they all came off as creepy and weird and like something was wrong with them (even when Amy was talking through the Amy Teselecta it came off as robotic and odd)...but the Teselecta as Doctor plays...like the Doctor. That feels like a cheat to me. Nobody notices him acting strangely, because he's not, but it just doesn't seem like the Teselecta would get it right - a line of dialogue might have fixed this, but as it is it feels like a 'gotcha!' moment that isn't truly deserved because it doesn't really match up with the story we were previously given; the moment isn't earned so the payoff isn't as satisfying as it could have been. It also makes his "death", which was built up all season, pretty lame in retrospect...his actual death in "Let's Kill Hitler" was much more satisfying and moving IMO.

Other than that it was...fine? It just lacked something. It sort of ended on a whimper more than a bang. I did tear up when they mentioned the death of the Brig and I wondered if they'd do something similar for Sarah Jane, but I suspect they'd want to wait at least until after The Sarah Jane Adventures ends it's final run.

Le Andre' said...

I believe this episode to be the culmination of many different aspects of the show. Firstly, there has always been an underlying theme of the Doctor maintaining distance due to the loss he would have to endure by being nearly immortal. This was, at long last, edified by the death of the Brigadier. I sought closure to the companion, Sarah Jane Smith, in this episode since the death of Elisabeth Sladen. However, this may be addressed in the next season. Secondly, there is the humanizing factor, introduced with Paul McGann and revisited with David Tennant. The doctor is not only allowed love, but marriage as well. Lastly, the individuality of the Doctor is displayed as he was allowed to travel on his own, visibly during the final episodes of the season. This was only contrasted by the aid he received from the many beings he had helped over the years and the love of River Song, which was shown to be stronger and more enduring than time itsself. In conclusion, I feel this was a wonderful season, ending in a well-written finale. I look forward to the next season and many more to come.

Scrumptious said...

I had guessed it would be Teselecter but thought the Flesh Doctor would be the more satisfying answer (I mean the Teselecter is a fantastically sophisticated piece of equipment - not sure they would agree for it to be burned on a boat and where did all of the operatives materialise when River, Amy & Rory were on the beach?). But I don't want to be one of those people who take it all WAY too seriously particularly when it doesn't fit in with their own theories. So taking it at face value I LOVED IT.

Matt Smith is just an AMAZING Doctor and I now have to watch every forthcoming episode with a sense of dread that we are approaching his regeneration, following Dorium's explanation. I can truly identify with River's strength of feeling for the Doctor anyway but the Doctor as played by Matt in particular.

For all of those who claim this to be the worst series of New Who, just take a look at the montage in Confidential. It's full of truly iconic moments and I cannot wait to get the Bluray box set to experience them over and over again.

Anonymous said...

This season has been a huge let down, and as a life long fan i cannot see why anyone is ranting and raving so positively about it, season 5 was amazing. the only good episode was the Doctors Wife (Moffat did not write it).
1st Complaint, the doctor will die...except he didn't.
2nd fixed time is fixed time...except it isn't.
3rd. Robot Doctor? Not the flesh one, which would have been cool and poignant.
4th felt like last seasons cliff hanger in reverse, instead of the university exploding and time ending, time never ends and is stuck on one fixed point.
6th. The silence, never fully explained as to who, and the doctor does not destroy/beat them.
7th. Amy pond doesn't not seem to mind that not only was her daughter stolen and her childhood missing but that her daughter is also 40. And the doctor does not rectify this.
8th the robot can mimmick a regeneration. Get stuffed.
9th amy is special because of the cracks, god i nearly threw up, thought this would be the pandorica all over again.

Personally i think Moffat had two main ideas for this season, explain river song and kill the doctor, he started with this idea and shaped the season around this, he wrote himself into the corner from the start. Both didn't work together. Nice to see a dalek, and the silence mock rorys' various deaths.

Hannah said...

Hello anonymous. here are my comments on your comments. Hope you don't mind. :).

1. The robot doctor is always the one who died. He did.
2. It is. The robot doctor died
6. I'm sure we haven't heard the last of them
7. Amy *kills* the woman who took her baby! If the doctor rectifies the whole Melody kidnapping, River song will cease to exist, surely?
8. Why would it not be able to? It can turn into a man on a motorbike and anyone it wants. I'd say making some orange lights would be easy
9. The cracks are part if who Amy is.

Anonymous said...

It was predictable, the whole season has been, but still fun. This ending was a lot more believable than the entire Earth saying the Doctor's name and thus resurrecting him. (RTD at his "pull it out of your arse" best) Moving on to the Christmas special then the long wait till the new season. See you all there!

Anonymous said...

Reading the comments this just came to mind. The theory of the whole of the universe being a "perceptual causality" comes to mind, remember this. The fixed point in time says the Doctor must die. The only evidence that "The" Doctor dies is perceptual, made by those who witnessed it, thus making it a part of reality. You can't tell the robot from the real Doctor, thus they believe the real Doctor dies. The Universe/reality says the Doctor must die at this fixed point, but it doesn't specify whether it's the real or the robot that must perish because it is a perceptual event and everyone believes it's the real Doctor. So a Doctor does die and reality is satisfied with that. It's the whole "If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?" thing.

Rebecca said...

I loved it!
Being a maaaaaaaaaasive DW fan, I knew what was going to happen.

Little bit complicated in parts.. but goooooddd all the same :)

Ed4HolywellWest said...

I have watched it once & felt it very unsatisfying, & still the questions:
1. Who blew up the TARDIS last year?
2. Who's voice said "SILENCE WILL FALL"?
3. Who was Madam Kovarian?
4. Why did time reset itself when River married the Tesselecta Doctor?
5. When does the Doctor tell River his name, is it this Doctor or a future one?
6. Why are the Silence out to get The Doctor?
7. Why after 6 episodes of gadding about did Amy suddenly act like a mother who had lost her child?

It feels more like Lost than Doctor Who, questions leading to questions & no real answers.
Going to watch it again later, maybe I missed something.

Anonymous said...

Absolute and total convoluated garbage. A pathetic end to the worst season of the revival by a long shot.

As I said last week, I think Moffat's mistake is that he is like a kid in a candy shop. He is through his first year and now he has free reign. He has too much fan in him and he sees the show as a way to make his fan dreams come true. I think if you contrast his efforts this year to the effort of Neil Gaiman the contrast is all too evident. Gaiman, like RTD, knew that you could bring in elements of the past to a show but you still needed that quality drama. That's why, IMO, The Doctor's Wife remains the stand out episode of the season and the other good episodes are all authored by people other than Moffat. What saddens me most is that I had high hopes for Moffat. I felt he would just add in that little bit extra feeling of the classic show to the revival. After shows like Blink I never expected that to be at the expense of quality writing. Perhaps Moffat is better off writing the odd episodes here and there, rather than running the whole show. Writing an episode is one thing, planning a whole show, including audience appreciation and so forth, is clearly a bigger task and one at which he may not be as skilled as RTD.

What exactly where we watching tonight? The episode was nothing but pathetic quick fixes for the vastly too many plot questions that Moffat has tried to be over clever on.

Who were the Tessalecta? Why are they so ready to create a fake Doctor?

Why did the Doctor begin to regenrate in the first episode of the season when he was shot, when, actually, he's just a robot?

Why, after a season long episode was the Doctor's death a feeble quick-fix in the middle of the episode? Meh.

Where was the big additional pay off for Rover Song? So she married a robot. Um, ok. What about the Time Lord elelemts of her? Are we really just left with "child of the Tardis"? Meh.

How many Rory and Amys are there going to be that are subject to the reset button? How can you get emotionally involved in characters if they are just reset at the end of an installment? Meh.

Who was Madame Kovorvian at the end of all this?

Who were The Silence? Where did the really come from?

So ultimately this whole episode revolves the question of who is the Doctor? A question we knew wouldn't be answered, but was just there wo that Moffatt could serve the fan inside him and include the line "Doctor Who?".

Moffat may be good at individual episodes, but he doesn't have a clue how to write arcs and good pay offs. He thinks he is far more clever than he actually is.

Moffatt eiether has to be reigned in or replaced for next season. 2 good episodes and one half decent one has made for an extremely dissapointing season. I expect better next year if he is to stay on in the same capacity.

Episode - 1/10 ( I never thought this e[isode would be worse than any of the previous arc episodes)

Season - 3/10 (worst season of the revival by a long shot).

jaythenerdkid said...

Sensing a whoooooooooooooole lotta rage in these here comments.

I understand that for the more casual viewer, a return to the multi-season arcs and complicated plotlines of Classic Who might be a little bit much to handle after the easily digestible monster-of-the-week of which RTD was so fond. But for those of us who actually enjoyed serials like Ghost Light and The Curse of Fenric, Moffat's vision for Who is a welcome return to the show we loved. Not that I'm expecting them to drag out the Cartmel Masterplan again - nor am I suggesting that they should do anything of the sort! (though that'd be pretty cool :D) - but I must say, I'm very much enjoying the fact that we're finally being treated to the sort of television that actually does require multiple viewings to unpack and analyse fully. Call me a hopeless nerd, but there you go.

If I had to rate this episode, I'd give it a solid 8.5/10 (points detracted for uncharacteristically stilted dialogue in a few places and for a couple of other minor niggles). The series as a whole also gets an 8.5/10 - it wasn't as fantastic as last year's, but they've built a solid foundation for some truly fascinating telly next year, and I can't wait to see where they're going to go with it all.

(P.S. I still maintain that the Doctor's real name is "The Other". XD)

Emilie Conchepcion said...

I just loved it to bits. it was absolutely wonderful, funny in the right moments, sad in others, and absolutely just mindblown. So much love for this show, and Matt Smith, especially Moffat.

Anonymous said...

I just want to make one piont that everyone seems to be missing here.
The fixed piont was NOT the doctor's death!
THE FIXED PIONT IS THE DOCTOR FAKEING HIS DEATH!
It always has been, but they cant tell us that at the start of the series or thats just boring and then there be no surprise or twist on what we bealived lol
More inportantly the doctor dosnt realise it either untill the last moments.
AND he sees this as the perfect oppertunity to "step back into the shadows" thats why he couldn't tell anyone unless he realy had to which was River.
So NO there was no cop out and it all made sence if you payed attention to what was happening.
I MEAN IF YOU WHERE REALY THINKING THE DOCTOR WAS GOING TO DIE JUST WOW!
I challenge anyone of you to come up with a way to fix that so EVERYONE would like it and with out going ohh you know what he never got shot, time went back so he didn't have to go.( now that WOULD be a cop out).
NOW the ep wasnt the best theres been, and there where things that didnt HAVE to happen such as the wedding.
But if i have a choice between RTD styled endings like "doomsday" and "journey's end" (part 1 of that story started well but then it got bad real quick), i much prefer this, something that has some smarts behind it.
Just because its the last ep of a series dosnt mean it has to have a big full stop at the end, why not have something thats going to take place in the future storys at the end of this one?
Now as i said this wasnt the best ep of this series BUT some of the things people are moaning about are rather rubbish things to be moaning about or "well ok you do better then that makes everyone watching happy." lol
As for the qeation beaing Doctor Who? normaly id be a bit iffy about that choice but since i think that is planting the seeds for what the 50th anniversary ep will be about its probs the best way to celabrate the show by haveing a ep about the lead character (BUT ofc this is only a theory and i could be wrong)
This ep was good, not the best, but it was good.

Anonymous said...

Upon a second viewing, I think that the biggest flaw of the episode was the direction. Jeremy Webb (did the pirate episode too) had so many cuts from scene to scene, that the episode that even if the script was more cohesive, it would have still felt rushed. I honestly think that when it comes to “big” finales, you should have the best director available. I question the logic behind giving him the director’s chair, and not someone who has proven to be a better Smith era director, such as Toby Haynes or Adam Smith. The cast this year had been better in almost every way then last, but even then, they could not seem to overcome the bad direction of this episode. Rapid cutting robbed them of their chance to perform. Alex Kingston’s speech about how the universe and she SOUNDED like her best performance on the show to date, but the director (and editor) to be fair elected to cut away from that, instead showing The Doctor, Amy and Rory rather than concentrate on one person.
That being said, in my opinion, this was certainly not Moffat’s best work. Just looking at series 5 (my favourite since the 2005 program started) Moffat was able to find a good balance between arc and standalone episodes. I think that The Time of Angels was as close to perfect Who as can be made. He, and the other writers that series, stepped their games up, knowing that they had an uphill battle retaining the audience from the RTD’s era. This year, the balance was not there. Moffat’s episodes concentrated too much on the arc, and suffered for it. Because series 5 was so good (my opinion, mind), expectations this year have been too high for anyone to have live up to. Law of averages says that not every episode penned by Moffat is going to be a masterpiece. I just hope that this turns out to be Moffat’s Last of the Timelords, and we can move on.
I have firmly believed Moffat has been taking the show in a direction he wants it to go. He wants to leave his mark on the program, and that’s fine. The thing about a writer doing that on a show with the history of Doctor Who is that not everyone is going to be happy with it. But that’s fandom for you. I knew full well going into this episode that it would be divisive. For those who dislike the direction, fact is that the shows been on (and off and on again) for nearly 50 years. It thrives on change, and Moffat was what the show needed after RTD. Something different. For some, RTD was better, and this makes those people appreciate it all the more. For others, it was not so good, and Moffat’s thematic change was what they were looking for. The biggest difference is that Moffat seems to be playing a long game (pun fully intended). The risk is that the longer he stretches out this arc, that however it ends will be less and less satisfactory. I also believe that those asking for him to step aside are making a mistake in judgement based on a knee jerk reaction. With the BBC making cuts left, right, and center, and their desire to keep Moffat on their team (Sherlock and Who being big critical successes), it is all the more likely they would see a change in producer now as a chance to severely cut budget, or worse, put it back on hiatus.
This was not so much a series finale as it was a transitional episode. In doing this, he has lined up the characters the way he wants them to be. The running theme of series 6 was that the Doctor needed his fame to fade away, so he could once again be the enigmatic traveler that he was when the show began all those years ago. The Doctor faking his own death served that purpose. I am certainly looking forward to the repercussions of all this, and hope that I will not be as unsatisfied by an episode as I was by this one.

C.O.Z.industries said...

Long post alert! (sorry!)

I have to admit I was disappointed.
I liked the twist, the kiss, but not the question. Did we even need to know what the question was?
I liked that throughout the series, The Doctor's 'human' side has been explored.
I don't think the idea of The Doctor dying is ever going to work, because we all know he won't. We knew there was a Christmas special coming...
I also agree with most people here that The Doctor's Wife was the standout episode this series.

I've never commented on here before, so I'll start by saying how brilliant I think Matt Smith is. I won't even bother trying to put into words how well I think he encapsulates The Doctor, because I'm not much of a wordsmith, but he ticks all the boxes for me.
I'd actually like to see The Doctor without a companion for a little while, the TARDIS was becoming a tad crowded (and that takes some doing!)

And back on topic...
I'm not going to complain too much about Moffat's writing here. It's good, it's clever, but maybe a tad too much. He did run himself into a corner here and if you sit down and think about the timelines of the series as a whole, you could probably pick out things that don't add up.(I haven't done this though as I don't want my brain frazzled).

The series definitely had direction and left nice little clues, but when it came down to the finale, it's like everyone in the Doctor Who team said 'OH NO! WE ONLY HAVE ONE EPISODE TO WRAP THIS UP!'
Everybody panic.

Since the River Song storyline has really been around since Tennant was The Doctor, I really thought more needed to be made of the finale.

Why on Earth wasn't it a double episode? The first 20 minutes of the episode was pretty much The Doctor getting information, then the rest was crammed into the next 30 minutes. Everything was in place for a great finale, and then it just passed by because there was simply no TIME to develop anything (the irony!). What actually happened to The Silence in the end? It's such a shame.

Every single one of my favourite episodes of Doctor Who were 2 part episodes (well, maybe on second thought, about 90% of them). Throughout the series, I thought the episode length was too short. I can't really blame that on the writing though, because when you're given 50 minutes, you have to work with it. I just don't see why more episodes aren't split into 2 parts and given the time to develop. Quality over quantity, people!

I know I've written a lot, but I can't stress enough the need for more 2-part episodes. Actually, I just looked down and saw someone is on the same page as me here. I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking this.

@Mark 'Surly 6 double episode stories are better than 12 rushed and wasted ones.'
YES. WHAT HE SAID!!

Maybe try to keep it a little more simple next time?

aaricci said...

How many times is Moffat gonna be able to get away with killing characters and bringing them back? It loses any tension in the show
And the Tesselectoer-sci-fi equilivent to Dallas and then I woke up scene.Very poor

Anonymous said...

Loved it. I know it was low key but resolved questions opened others. When will the Doctor tell River his name? When do we get the TARDIS exploding story? Cop out? I don't think so. You had your big finale at the mid season break why do it twice? Thanx Stephen

Dollycat1 said...

LOVED it?!!!

Anonymous said...

In the season previews there was a scene of an apparently naked, winking River Song. What happened to that scene? Did I miss it somewhere?

Evil Adam said...

Enjoyed it, far simpler answer than I, or for that matter the majority of the internet, have come up with. Obviously there are some very very vocal folks who hated it, say it was too simple, to complex, or they guessed all of it way in advance, (probably didn't, but since there were millions of theories out there maybe a few of them did), or that "Doctor Who?" is too simple (Because someone is going to bring up RTD I will remind you of "he will knock four times").

Though what astounds me is the number of people complaining it was too simple are almost equal to the number saying it was too complex. *shrugs* you really can't please everyone.

Evil Adam said...

I will admit to one great curiosity, how is the Doctor going to carry on this particular deception? He's not exactly shown great ability to be low key ... ever.

neknekenken said...

I'm just sad that Doctor Who doesn't feel like the show that I used to really love, but I'm always ready to give it a chance. It's not the best episode this season, but I enjoyed it overall. So.. the oldest question is Doctor Who? I'm really looking forward how they will address that for the next season.

CockneyCharmer said...

The Finale was more then I expected because it was more about the bigger picture then just wrapping up this series

it set up the run to the 50th Anniversary, wrapped up the last two series of the 11th Doctor, concluded the story of River Song and the Ponds in a way that allows their return if needed

but also gives an internal reboot for the show, a Doctor working in the shadows now rather then the big huge enemy of all evil in the universe...as the Doctor said, he got too big too loud...so it be interesting what that means leading into the 50th Anniversary.

When the eleventh Fell...

Scott said...

Geh, my full review is here:

http://icebergink.blogspot.com/2011/10/tv-review-doctor-who-wedding-of-river.html

But overall I am severely underwhelmed by the entire season and this last episode punctuates that. I agree with the comments that say this is the worst of the revamped show series. Easily.

John Doyle said...

Still digesting that finale and need another viewing, I think, but the show is still clearly in fine hands, no matter what we cantankerous Hartnells might like to quibble about.

I did want to say that there are some wonderfully thoughtful posts on this page, and one more reason why I'm so happy that Blogtor Who continues.

John

Cameron McEwan said...

Many thanks John.

Dalek Thay said...

I was initially disappointed in how it all worked out in the end, but then I thought back to what the Tesselecta does. It removes people from time just before the end of their recorded timestream in order to punish them without disrupting the existing timestream, allowing them to punish those who weren't properly punished. It could take the form of anyone or anything that it had scanned.

Well, instead of punishing the Doctor, they took him out of his timestream and 'died' in his place. As for the 'regeneration', the Tesselecta was present for the regeneration of 'Mels' into 'River', so could have scanned that in order to fake it for the Doctor.

I can't believe I didn't guess it from the line 'We remove people near the end of their timestream...' in 'Let's Kill Hitler'.

Now, as for the question. Okay, so Dorian says 'Doctor who?'. That doesn't automatically mean the question is 'Who is the Doctor, really?'. It may simply mean he is addressing the Doctor, and asking 'Who?'. The 'Who?' can be anyone...as in 'Who created the Universe?' or something along those lines. I think it's too early still to guess about that.

I'm going to watch the episode again, along with The Impossible Astronaut, and see if I'm more satisfied watching it with this frame of mind.

Trekkie2063 said...

OK, so now that I have a clearer head, I have this to say about the Series 6 finale of Doctor Who. It was definitely a FUN episode, however, as far as series/season finales go, it left a lot to be desired. Too much of the episode was spent in the alternate reality and not enough answering the questions. Only one or two, maybe three if you stretch it, plot points were resolved out of the ten or so started since the beginning of Series 5, and even more questions were answered in this episode :/
The Doctor should have whispered his name in River's ear to lead the way for Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead. And I still wonder what the exploding TARDIS had to do with this and who hijacked during The Pandorica Opens.

But all that said, it was a very fun and good episode of Doctor Who overall, however it was a sub-par series/season finale.

Marc B. from Cicago said...

Think what you want, but I enjoyed the episode and series 6 as a whole. Did anyone catch the nod to Nicholas Courtney? Anyone?

James-The Empty Child said...

Solid but disappointing finale overall. Series 6 as a whole I feel possessed more quality stand-a-lone episodes than series 5. Questions about the story arc will remain and I can understand people's confusion but

I think the first two episodes established expectations that were never going to be fulfilled fully. Too much going on to really deliver on each one: River's identity, Amy's pregnancy, the nature of 'The Silence', and the death of The Doctor.

That's why I think Moffat chose to have the series split but it felt very convoluted and unbalanced at times unfortunately. Biggest strength of the series was the acting with some genuinely brilliant performances, not Alex Kingston, who I hope won't be returning for series 7 but I fear I will be disappointed.


Series 6 episode ratings:

1. The impossible Astronaut - 9/10
2. Day of the Moon - 9/10
3. The Curse of the Black Spot - 4/10
4. The Doctor's Wife - 10/10
5. The Rebel Flesh - 8/10
6. The Almost People - 6/10
7. A Good Man Goes to War - 8/10

8. Let's Kill Hitler - 5/10
9. Night Terrors - 7/10
10. The Girl Who Waited - 8/10
11. The God Complex - 8/10
12. Closing Time - 7/10
13. The Wedding of River Song - 5/10

Special Mention to Neil Gaiman, Toby Haynes, Richard Clark and Nick Hurran.

Paul said...

a good nod to the Brig but... I felt it was lacking -how did the tesselator do the regeneration thingy?, how did the silence blow up the tardis?, and I'm sure there's a figure up by the shed on the beach when the doctor dies -you can see their arm and then they seem to fall down when the doctor dies... so who's that!?!?
questions, questions, questions!

Amuro said...

Paul - I don't think it's fair to say questions went unanswered when one of your examples is something that was likely an error in production. Do they really have to explain why a figure was seen, when it was probably a camera man?
Also, I've heard people criticising the lack of answers saying "why were there no ducks in Amy's pond" - that was just a throwaway line that can be interpreted in many ways (to me it was just the doctor frazzled by regeneration over-thinking everything, or an analogy that Amy's life was missing so many elements).
Finally, Rory dying was a result of plot devices that got over-used on one character for narrative reasons (and in 'curse of the black spot', in a very cheap way). The Silence's line to Rory was a joke from Moffat referring to that.
When fans pour over every line of dialogue and scene - including likely mistakes - and make them into grand questions they are bound to be dissapointed. Ultimately, these aren't a conscious part of the narrative so any time wasted on dealing with them would really ruin the show for me.

Amuro said...

The questions that matter have mostly been answered. We even know the question, even though that won't play-out till next season (are the people complaining this didn't happen in the finale the same ones complaining that too much was going on - I think so). All that is really left that matters is how the Tardis was destroyed. We know who did it - the silence - and why - an early attempt to kill the Doctor. Given the power and influence they have, you can easily assume they could find a way to comrpomise the Tardis. All that is truely unanswered is the voice saying 'Silence will Fall'. If this isn't answeres it is easy to assume that a) it was the voice of one of the many members of the Silence or b) Moffat was forced into finding a generic voice before settling on the eventual voice for the Silents.

SpiritMuse said...

It seems that the measure of how much you like Moffat's run is how you deal with unanswered questions an unexplained events. If you don't mind things going unexplained or waiting for answers, or if you see it as a fun opportunity to let out your imagination, you're likely to enjoy Moffat's style tremendously. If, on the other hand, you're the type to scream "Plot hole!" at the first hint of omitted explanation, this is not for you. 

I'm very firmly in the first camp. Though I'm not one who likes to spin elaborate theories on what might be or what might happen, I prefer to wait and see, just sitting back and enjoying the ride. And I have. Enjoyed it. Very much. 

I don't think I can add anything more here that hasn't already been said, except this: I loved Matt Smith's longer hair in this episode! It looked absolutely amazing on him. I really wish he'd keep it, but it seems more likely he'll go back to shorter hair again. Oh well, I can always watch this one again. Hmm, I wonder if that was his real hair growing out or (more likely) just a wig...

Anna A said...

I have to admit, I'm still confounded by a few things.

Why did the Doctor marry River? That makes no sense. There was no purpose for it. It didn't seem he was in love with her. It wasn't just to pass along the truth of where he really was.

If River was conditioned to kill the Doctor, why the whole bit with her in the spacesuit? She said the suit was acting on its own and she couldn't stop it. Why did she even need to be in it?

Why the spacesuit to begin with? What was the purpose of her being a child in the spacesuit? She should have been able to survive without it - she was on Earth - her parents were from Earth.

How was she strong enough to rip herself out of the spacesuit as a child?

How did she get to New York from Florida?

Why did she die and regenerate?

How did she get to England after that?

How did she get from 1969 to sometime in the 1990's to grow up with Amy and Rory?

Why was she aware that she was conditioned to kill the Doctor when she was Mels but did not know Dr K. and the Silence when she was Doctor Song?

And one of the big disappointments was her first meeting with the Doctor. It could have been so much more. In fact, what River says promises so much more than what we were given. He just glossed over it with witty dialogue in a campy setting.

No, I'm sorry - too many plot holes that I don't think will be filled.

Mr. M strikes me as a man who wants to write certain scenes and doesn't care how they fit together. Like a child forcing a puzzle piece into a hole just to try and finish.

And yes, I know it's not over yet but there hasn't been enough satisfaction with what we have.

Celine said...

Anna A
1) He marries her as people know that RS knows his name, and that most people also believe that he tells his name when he marries her. That's also why he says after to Rory and Amy so that they are eye witnesses that he had 'told' RS his real name. He had already planned to fake his death, that's why he was already Robot Doctor when he met up at the lake.

2)Not so sure with the spacesuit while killing him part. But I have the feeling that there will be more on this part =) What I do know though was that the time she was in the spacesuit killing the doctor it was already after the Berlin, Let's Kill Hitler episode, where she doesn't know him, but finds out that he will mean a lot to him in the future. This means that she no longer has the interest to kill him and that's also why she was put in the spacesuit, as they needed to frame her for the murder of the doctor. If she doesn't get framed as well, then she wouldn't be in prison and the past episodes (which is her future) wouldn't have gone as they did.

3) The spacesuit isn't because she can't live without it. If you have watched the impossible astronaut then you would know that it had a built in life surport system which made eating not necessary and other features (just go watch it yourself)

4) Not too sure about this time, not much information on this part. I just put it down as at that time she was still part timelord, but with at a mental state of a child. Which is why she is scared of the 'spaceman eating her'

5) No idea how she did with the travelling and stuffs, they didn't go into detail. The most they said was in Let's kill Hitler (I think?) where RS says that it took her a long while but it was worth it.

6) Again, no real answer to why she died, I just put it down to starvation.

7+8) read 5

9) It is due to the Silence's memory suggestion ability. Again not much details on how they brainwashed her but it was said that she was brainwashed and conditioned to kill the doctor. Also again due to the Silence's ability she was aware that she had to kill the doctor, but she doesn't remember who. That's why she doesn't recognise Dr K. I am quite interested in what happened between her regeneration and when mels meet amy and rory. It's possible too so I hope they do it.

10) Well you didn't mention exactly which part you were disappointed with, but I see it as River isn't fully gone yet... am I the only one who sees it this way? There will be more coming, as what was promised in the doctor's 1st meeting with her hasn't completely been revealed yet.


and stuff that I thought about this episode:
Also to those that complain that he didn't really die so that means that time still hadn't been fixed, well hard to explain this part. But as it said towards the end where he explains it to Dorian, he says 'Time said I had to be there, so I dressed for the occasion'. Basically, all that was fixed in time that we really know is his time of death from the information from the tess-robo-thing, which only had the time and date. Another is that his friends watched him get shot. As long as those who were eye witnesses believe what they saw, then information in the robot is 'true', the doctor dying by the lakeside.
In that later part of the episode too Dorian says 'So your gonna do this? Let them all think your dead?' - if they think he is dead, then the robot's database would still say that he died then, as people believe that. I really don't see why people don't understand this part? It's hard to explain, you just have to get it yourself.

I am soooo looking forward to next season. I think it's a really good season finale because of the fact that they end with a 'blank canvas', the writers can go anywhere from here. Which is also suggested at the end where the Doctor says 'Time to step back into the shadows.'

Anonymous said...

And what exactly is he hoping to accomplish by "stepping back into the shadows" from now on, when he's already been storming the time-space continuum from its beginning to its very end? His legend can't be undone. Nobody is going to forget him, or to believe he really died in 2011. Is he going to go "low profile" by avoiding saving planets, letting genocides happen and History be subverted, to dedicate himself only to tell random alien children their imaginary friends are imaginary? Does "stepping back into the shadows" mean an entire series 7 of "Night Terrors"? No, please. And how is Eleven going to succeed in scaring villains away now, without his "I'm the Doctor, basically, run" huh?... Truth is, the Eleventh Doctor would be close to nothing without the legendary status earned by all his previous incarnations. And this goes both for the character, and the show as it's becoming. After an entire season of dealing almost solely with his nutty wife, going furtherly "low profile" would mean disappear into the sit-com dark territory.

ishhhikins said...

I actually think it was rather interesting and it DID have a spin but sorta boring and confusing. Could've been better but I still love Doc Who and am still a whovian. Moffat is amazing!

Anonymous said...

I aggree with you moffat is a genius

Anonymous said...

It was a amazing episode,moffat is a really good writer for Doctor Who!!!