And so we end for the new mid-series break, a concept which irritates me tremendously when it’s a standard British series and not a long American one. Fortunately this is a rather good episode, and I hope we can expect things as good or better later in the year.

Cast and Crew

Matt Smith as The Doctor
Karen Gillan as Amy Pond
Arthur Darvill as Rory
Alex Kingston as River Song
Frances Barber as Madame Kovarian
Charlie Baker as Fat One
Dan Johnston as Thin One
Christina Chong as Lorna Bucket
Joshua Hayes as Lucas
Damian Kell as Dominicus
Neve McIntosh as Madame Vastra
Catrin Stewart as Jenny
Richard Trinder as Captain Harcourt
Annabel Cleare as Eleanor
Henry Wood as Arthur
Dan Starkey as Commander Strax
Simon Fisher-Becker as Dorium Maldovar
Danny Sapini as Colonel Manton
Huge Bonneville as Henry Avery
Oscar Lloyd as Toby Avery
Nicholas Briggs as the voice of the Cybermen

Written by Steven Moffat

Produced by Marcus Wilson

Directed by Peter Hoar

Originally shown on the 4th of June 2011

Premise

The Doctor and Rory are looking for Amy. Once they find her, things get weird.

High Points

  • Bad-ass Rory.
  • Bad-ass 19th-century Silurian.
  • Crazy fan theories 1, sensible regular old theories 0.
  • Explicit nod to stereotyped token gay characters.
  • “Good people don’t have rules.” “You don’t want to find out why I have so many.”
  • “I shan’t be needing dinner.” Delivery spot on there.

Low Points

  • Now we have to wait until the autumn for part two.
  • Too much faffing about with writing translation.
  • Explicit nod to stereotyped token gay characters. (I have mixed feelings about that kind of thing)
  • The disconnect between River’s apprehension and what the actual reaction was. Although I suppose she might know what’s going to happen in part two.

Questions

  • What makes the headless monks’ hoods stay up?

Scores

Originality: This is not really where Doctor Who has been before, explicitly addressing how the Doctor has changed and questioning whether it’s a good thing or not. I like it, if it results in a change. Five out of six.

Effects: You can tell that it’s not made on movie budget, but there are a lot of effects shots, so the budget was probably huge anyway. They are, however, appropriate and pretty well-integrated and very much in the accustomed Doctor Who style. Five out of six.

Story: It kind of reminds me of the plot to get the Doctor into the Pandorica, but this is a more mature kind of plot and certainly rather more effective. So far, at least. I really want to know what’s going on in the bits we’ve not seen yet. Six out of six.

Acting: A lot of guest cast this week, and some very good stuff. I particularly enjoyed our friend the Sontaran nurse (Dan Starkey), and the elegant Silurian lady with the sword (Neve McIntosh). As for the regulars, I have no complaints, and I think Matt Smith was really showing his talent today. Six out of six.

Emotional Response: It’s exciting, but it’s a bit unresolved until the next part, and possibly the end of the series presumably airing in the run-up to Christmas so I’m not quite sure if I entirely care or not. The series break may be causing a disconnect in me there. Four out of six.

Production: The asteroid base looks great, and the production team did a good job producing lots of environments for short-duration shots here. Presumably at least some of them were done at the same time as using those locations for other episodes. I did like how the Cybermen had a control console they were all gathered around just as they used to be in the classic series. I found the music a little irritating though, it’s the same Doctor Who action music yet again. We need some more variety here. Five out of six.

Overall: I did enjoy it a lot. Six out of six.

In total, A Good Man Goes To War receives 37 out of 42.