TV REVIEW: Doctor Who Series 6 Episode 13: The Wedding of River Song

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What’s It About?
It’s time to face the end for The Doctor, but first he needs to know why he must die. As he faces the Impossible Astronaut, time becomes out of joint. Can the Time Lord restore time to it’s proper course and save himself? …

Review It

Steven Moffat has set up this climax with style and once again, The Doctor must return Time and space to it’s proper course. This time, the breaking of a fixed point has caused everything to happen at once, and the Doctor finds himself in a mixed-up, wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey version of Earth where key events are all happening at once, at 17:02 on 22nd April 2011 … Some are aware of the problems, and it seems The Silents and their agents are amongst those who know that The Doctor must die.

The script is filled with great dialogue and the crew have excelled in presenting an Earth where Steam Trains travel through the Gherkin in London and Pterodactyls fly through Hyde Park. The pyramid base interiors were particularly impressive and the captured Silents in their fluid tanks were an eerie sight and made for a great threat. Of course the true threat comes from a relatively young River, who refuses to kill her one love. This brings a massive threat down to an extremely personal level for The Doctor and bringing the Time Lord, River, Amy and Rory together in a completely alien situation creates for some interesting dynamics.

My favourite moments came from seeing Amy swinging a machine gun and then cold-bloodedly allowing the woman who kidnapped her baby daughter and turned her into a psychopathic murderer to die in agony at the hands of her masters. Shortly afterwards, as The Doctor deals with that most selfish of emotions – love. River is effectively sacrificing reality for her love of a man.

The Doctor manages to escape his death in an innovative way which is particularly Doctorish – clever and devious in equal measures. What I also liked was the fact the the Time Lord realised he’d become too big and known and that it was now time to step into the shadows and perhaps be more subtle. It will be interesting to see whether next year’s stories reflect this adequately. Personally I hope they do as I’ve never been a big fan of the bolshy-god like Doctor we’re sometimes presented with since the series came back to our screens in 2005.

And the niggles?

I thought I had some, but re-watching the episode and engaging my brain actually helped me iron some out. The fixed point … was that everyone assumed the Doctor died, not his actual death. The Silents being on the messed up Earth? Well, they were tied up in the whole event so it makes sense that they were present and aware that things were out-of-joint. My only real niggle is, much as I agree that the question should not be answered, how is it the Oldest question? and how is it hidden in plain sight? Sure it is to the viewer, but not to those within the bounds of the show’s universe.

In summary:

An enjoyable episode, but one that I feel suffered from being similar to last year’s conclusion, with time being messed up and only the Doctor and company able to resolve it. Definitely deserves re-watching to get the most out of it. Roll on Christmas and next year’s series, I say!

Rate It: 3.5 / 5.
Dry Slaps: 1
Reviewer: WedgeDoc

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One comment

  1. That was a bit disappointing. Moffat didn’t answer any of the questions he had raised, and chose to raise new ones instead (like Lost!).

    It was a crazy mess with two many balls in the air and not enough chance to breathe (and it was oddly expository, when normally finales are action-packed?)

    Five Questions raised in the last episode (along with theoretical answers!)
    http://theoncominghope.blogspot.com/2011/10/five-questions-raised-by-doctor-who.html

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