Monday, 3 October 2011

Doctor Who: 6.13 The Wedding of River Song

On TV: Saturday 1st October 2011
Channel: BBC One 7.05pm
Episode Type: Finale of the season!

In 1 Sentence: A jaw-dropping end to the series - this is how it’s done!
BBC Summary: All of time and space hang in the balance, for this is the day the Doctor dies.

My Review: Well, we’ve made it to the end of the series, where all the plot threads of the past series will be tied up and we’ll finally get some answers to our questions. Yeah... not quite. This is Doctor Who after all. Why answer all those questions when you can just ask new ones! 
But this episode was a corker! And definitely felt ‘big’ enough to be a season finale - one we’ve been waiting for about 6 months due to this series being cut in half. After the mild disappoint that was A Good Man Goes To War, I was hoping that Steven Moffat would pull this one out of the bag. Especially because, after Christmas, there won’t be any more episodes until Autumn 2012, according to reports. And with no Torchwood or Sarah Jane, things will be more than a little quite in the Doctor Who world.
Back to the episode and it opened with an alternative version of our world, permanently stuck on the 22nd April 2011 5:02pm, as a result of the Doctor not being killed at this time, a “fixed point” in history. As the episode unfolds we find out how he managed to escape, both the first time that resulted in this chaos and then again permanently! 
Because there was always going to be some way for the Doctor to escape his death - there isn’t a show without the Doctor, so it was always a question of how? The Flesh were one theory; “the flesh doctor was killed on the lake, that’s all”. Or, more recently, the Teselecta, who ever since being introduced in Let’s Kill Hitler, have been obvious candidates. And while that may have been predictable, how they got there was much more interesting. 
This alternative universe is full of pterodactyls in parks, balloon flying cars, Charles Dickens on Breakfast and Churchill in Buckingham Palace. And the Doctor in a roman-style toga. After it becomes apparent that time is happening all at once (a great concept, if a little flawed - surely the plague or black death etc would kill everyone?!), things start to kick in when the chilling markers on the Doctors arm appear - signifying that he’s seen the Silence. This was played effectively with many jokes between Churchill and the Doctor - a great relationship which I hope we see more of in the future - as they seem to acquire weapons. They look up and see... the Silence. That made me jump even though I knew what was coming. The Silence really, really scare me, especially in this episode. The images of them inside the tanks with their hands(?) cracking the glass... that I didn’t like! I think it is because they move a bit like humans but we don’t know much about them and they seem to not have much emotion. And of course the killer concept of forgetting them as soon as you turn around - that is the best idea in Doctor since the Weeping Angels and I hope this episode isn’t the last we see of them.
And at last we find out what Madam Kovarian’s eye patch is all about, which, ironically, led to her death. Their was great humour throughout this episode: with Amy not remembering that ‘Sergeant Williams’ is her husband and of course, Dorium - now headless. 
It was stunning to look at, incredibly dark, full of surprises, involved the marriage of the Doctor and River... how could this not be the perfect Doctor Who season finale?!
One final thing to leave you with though before I’m back for Christmas...
if Amy remembers killing Madam Kovarian in the alternative universe, does everyone else remember the alternate universe?
The Doctor is now ‘officially’ dead - how will this effect his travels next series?
And lastly... Doctor Who?

Score: 9/10

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