Doctor Who - A Good Man Goes To War
Doctor Who – A Good Man Goes To War

A Good Man Goes to War

First Broadcast 4th June 2011 @ 6.40pm (7.51m viewers)

‘A Good Man Goes to War’ is a strange episode, providing a mid-season finale to the 2011 season ready for a summer break but doesn’t feature the Doctor for a significant proportion of the episode. This tactic allows the mystique of the Time Lord to build gradually until he finally makes his move, achieved by having the soldiers tasked with combatting the Doctor discussing his various virtues. In the meantime, he is recruiting. Part of the Doctor’s army would include Dorium Maldovar, Madame Vastra and Jenny would later join forces with Sontaran Strax to form the nicknamed ‘Paternoster Gang’ in a scene which would provide a prequel to ‘The Snowmen’. Rory also visits River Song at the Stormcage Containment Facility, which builds the anticipation further to what dramatic events would occur at Demon’s Run. This isn’t Rory’s first appearance in the episode however.

Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)

I have a message and a question. A message from the Doctor and a question for me: Where. Is. My. Wife?!

Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) and Cybermen - Doctor Who - A Good Man Goes To War (c) BBC
Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) and Cybermen – Doctor Who – A Good Man Goes To War (c) BBC

The scene in which Rory Williams confronts the Cybermen is one of my favourites of the modern show because of its perfect execution. There is a steely (pun intended) determination expected of a husband in search of his wife but it resonates to the viewer that this character, who has been so jovial up until this point, means business and sets the tone very early on that this episode is significant.

When the Doctor finally does make an appearance, standing in full view of the assembled army, it is both dramatic and funny, his line “Amelia Pond, get your coat” a personal highlight. But then no dramatic battle takes place, despite all the elements having been put into place. This is the moment when the Doctor has never soared higher, capturing Demon’s Run without, supposedly, a drop of blood spilled. Cue further cameos from Captain Avery and his son, Silurians and Judoons. Sadly the Time Lord would fall after his victory. This can be interpreted by the revelation that the Pond infant has been duplicated and shockingly melts in her mother’s arms. Alternatively however we see a new side of the Doctor, particularly in this incarnation, who becomes angry and vindictive. His verbal dismantling of Colonel Manton reveals a side of the Time Lord that we have never seen before and it is frankly frightening. Given the ease at which he has defeated an entire army you do worry what he could be capable of if he was to harness that rage in a negative way.

The Doctor (Matt Smith) - Doctor Who - A Good Man Goes To War (c) BBC
The Doctor (Matt Smith) – Doctor Who – A Good Man Goes To War (c) BBC

Alternatively, however, we see a new side of the Doctor, particularly in this incarnation, who becomes angry and vindictive. His verbal dismantling of Colonel Manton reveals a side of the Time Lord that we have never seen before and it is frankly frightening. Given the ease at which he has defeated an entire army you do worry what he could be capable of if he was to harness that rage in a negative way.

We do get a battle against the Headless Monks, which sees a sad demise for Lorna Bucket and also a wounded Strax. The Monks are an interesting if graphic new addition, the loose skin of their neck tied up verges on the horrific.

Of course, this episode is also momentous for exposing the identity of River Song and although not Earth shatteringly crucial for her character it ties together nicely and more importantly sets up the events of the next episode, ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’.

Cast:

The Doctor – Matt Smith
Amy – Karen Gillan
Rory – Arthur Darvill
River Song – Alex Kingston
Madame Kovarian – Frances Barber
Lorna Bucket – Christina Chong
Commander Strax – Dan Starkey
Dorium Maldovar – Simon Fisher-Becker
Henry Avery – Hugh Bonneville
Toby Avery – Oscar Lloyd
Voice of the Cybermen – Nicholas Brigg

Crew:

Writer – Steven Moffat
Producer – Marcus Wilson
Director – Peter Hoar

s

 

Also First Aired On This Day…

  • The Savages : Episode 2
  • Boom Town
  • Doctor Who Confidential : Unsung Heroes and Violent Death
  • Doctor Who Confidential : The Born Identity

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.