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A Good Man Goes To War

ShowDoctor Who / Series VI / Episode 8
First Broadcast2011/06/11 - 19:30 (Link: ABC Details)
Related LinksDoctor Who Wiki Wikipedia
Previous EpisodeThe Almost People
Next EpisodeLet's Kill Hitler

An extremely fast-paced episode that didn't leave time to dwell on all the things that were going on. For the second time in two episodes the Doctor is defeated by the same trick. The cliff-hanger ending involves the revelation of a big secret: who is River Song.

The Doctor assembles an army of friends and people who owe him a debt. Intriguingly River Song cannot help this time. She warns Rory the Doctor will rise higher than he ever has and fall so much further. The eye-patch lady is revealed to be Madam Kovarian. She is leading an army in a battle against the Doctor.

The Doctor and friends track down Amy and defeat the army. It seems that Amy and her baby - named Melody Pond - are safe. One of the opposition soliders, Lorna Bucket, who met the Doctor before when she was young and is here just for the chance to meet him again, gives Amy a prayer leaf with her baby's name on it in her Lorna's native language. Lorna sides with the Doctor in the battle.

Vastra congratulates the Doctor that he has never risen higher. Rory remembers River's warning. As they analyse the baby's DNA and discover it is human DNA plus a bit of Time Lord, it turns out it was all too easy. They haven't won. The headless monks attack, and while they're defeated, many of the Doctor's friends are killed. The baby is not real, but another doppel-ganger. They've lost.

River Song finally turns up. The Doctor berates her for not helping. She says she couldn't this time. He demands to know who she is. She doesn't say it, but through the Doctor's cot, she conveys the truth. He is initially shocked, then jubilant. He races off in the TARDIS to save the baby, leaving everyone behind. Amy demands to know who River is and she drops the bombshell - she is Amy and Rory's daughter.

The pace of this episode is incredible. It was hard to keep track of all the little things going on. The people of the Gamma Forest might be significant. They are from the Doctor's future as he doesn't know who they are, nor has he met Lorna yet. In their world, the term "Doctor" means great warrior. Apparently the Universe gets the proper meaning of doctor from the Doctor, but River warns him if keeps going this way, it will come to mean warrior.

Kovarian wants the baby to use as a weapon against the Doctor. The baby is hope in a long battle. The Doctor doesn't know what it's about yet.

When was Amy kidnapped? At some point after their honeymoon and before America - so we didn't see this. When did the Doctor figure it out? It's not clear.

Where does the Doctor go to find Melody? It seems he knows (and that it's too late). It also seems likely she is the little girl in the spacesuit from The Day of the Moon. She has the ability to regenerate and this would match up with Melody. Does this mean the Silence are involved? It seems it is she in the spacesuit that kills the Doctor - is this the good man she killed? The title of this episode suggests it is. Finally, at what point does Melody encounter the Gamma People. Is it they who change her name to River Song?