Rate & Discuss: A Good Man Goes to War

June 4th, 2011
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

In her cell in Stormcage, River Song sadly acknowledges that the time has come at last – today will mark the Battle of Demons Run and the Doctor’s darkest hour. Both sides will make their sacrifices and River Song must finally reveal her most closely guarded secret to the Doctor.

Well, there we have it! The first half of Series 6 has reached its mind-blowing conclusion. There were twists and turns waiting around every corner, but did it live up to the hype?

Tonight’s epic episode has undoubtedly been one of the most highly anticipated of recent years, and, what with the return of several monsters, the culmination of various ongoing plot threads, plus the long awaited reveal of River Song and the fact that it was our last dose of the Doctor until the autumn, you can see why it had so much riding on its back!

Responsible for delivering the goods was Steven Moffat, the man universally acclaimed for his time and space defying brain. He had lots to get through in the mid-series finale, and from start to finish, the story went by at rocket speed, as the Doctor and Rory the Roman raced across galaxies and River acknowledged that her time had come at last…

For poor Amy, it was an emotional rollercoaster at the hands of Madame Kovarian, while all around them the Doctor’s enemies lay a carefully concealed trap as he called in long held debts and solemnly given promises. Both sides made sacrifices, but was it worth it?

We’ve had some exhilarating cliffhangers this series, and this one was no exception, but we’re now left to twiddle our thumbs until the autumn. Among all the shock revelations and surprises that hit us in tonight’s episode, we’ve been given plenty to think about until our heroes return, most notably River Song, whose true identity has at long last hit the airwaves. Was her secret the pay off we’d been promised? Were your theories right?

So, did you love it or loathe it? Were you blown away by the suspense and danger, or was Steven Moffat’s storytelling just too much to take in? The comments are waiting…

Please don’t read the comments if you haven’t yet seen the episode. Spoilers!

Rate this episode
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(89 Votes, Average: 4.69/5)
237 comments on this article
  1. Ellen
    June 4th, 2011 at 7.30pm | #1


  2. George
    June 4th, 2011 at 7.31pm | #2

    Little disappointed as you could have guessed it by now. But I’m still shocked!

  3. Katie
    June 4th, 2011 at 7.32pm | #3

    So disappointed! Been waiting since series four to find out who River is and they give us the thing we all knew anyway! Really gutted that she isnt something better than that :L The episode itself wasnt great either, not much happened and that ending was just really bad! Couldnt be more disappointed with the reveal!

  4. Sean
    June 4th, 2011 at 7.34pm | #4

    I’m also very disapointed… in my opinion “the show rose higher than ever before and then fell so much further” … Moffat said that River would be someone unexpected by the whole River Pond thing everyone’s debated since The Time of Angels.

  5. Sean
    June 4th, 2011 at 7.34pm | #5

    I’m also very disapointed… in my opinion “the show rose higher than ever before and then fell so much further” … Moffat said that River would be someone unexpected by the whole River Pond thing everyone’s debated since The Time of Angels.

  6. Tom Versey
    June 4th, 2011 at 7.34pm | #6

    Wow! That was amazing, I did predict, and so did pretty much everyone, I imagine, that River is Amy’s Daughter, But what the hell? Let’s Kill Hitler!? Is the next title of the Next Episode… What’s Hitler got to do with this war? I can’t wait until Autumn! Hurry up :(

  7. shawn
    June 4th, 2011 at 7.36pm | #7

    i new from last series the way river came to amys wedding with the book but it was that look she qive amy through the window that got me thinking and the way she spoke to them when she meet them kso i got my thory rite ages ago for once in my life

  8. JC
    June 4th, 2011 at 7.38pm | #8

    Well, if you take part in communities like this, who River Song really was may have been bound to have been theorised and indeed, it turned out to be.

    As for who she turned out to be, I can understand why people would be disappointed. As for me though, I’m not actually. So River turns out to be Melody, that’s cool, and she’s part Time Lord, which is also cool.

    The episode itself, as others have said, not a lot actually happens. It’s more a big set up for the next half of the series, and in a sense, that’s fair enough since we’re only actually half way through the series, but I too would have liked a bit more to have happened, though it’s important to say that the reveal of the Flesh Melody and finding out who River Song were, by themselves, amazing.

    So yeah, I’m happy, personally, with what’s happened and I can’t believe how long we have to wait for the next part.

    Oh, and that skeleton holding a Sonic Screwdriver?…….genius teaser

  9. Whitewash
    June 4th, 2011 at 7.40pm | #9

    OK, well I loved the start, great way to kick off the episode. Was find up until the ‘big reveal’. I have issues with it given what also has been mentioned in the episode. If the baby has been revealed to have Timelord DNA and River is the baby, then she must have Timelord DNA as well, so how come the Doctor didn’t know this (he’s been able to ‘detect’ Timelords in the past).

    We’ve still had nothing on her ‘killing a good man’, so I suppose we still have that to deal with, and no answer to when Amy was taken. I’m hoping those aren’t going to be ‘forgotten’.

  10. Bobin
    June 4th, 2011 at 7.41pm | #10

    I think it’s fair to say for many of us Whovians who’ve read all the article s , watched all the teasers, and guessed, it was in total a let down. So the revelation wasn’t very “shocking” :-(

    Brilliant acting though from Alex!

  11. Jenn
    June 4th, 2011 at 7.45pm | #11

    I haven’t seen the episode yet since I’m in the US but I don’t mind the spoilers! So basically from what I am reading and hearing River Song is Melody Pond. That was the big reveal? Didn’t everyone already figure out that she was Amy and Rory’s child. That’s it? Please tell me there is more to this story.

  12. Katie
    June 4th, 2011 at 7.47pm | #12

    Very disappointed with River’s reveal, thought we were going to get something so much better! I still dont really know what she has to do with the Doctor though :L Apart from how shes a bit Timelord.

  13. Frankie
    June 4th, 2011 at 7.48pm | #13

    thats basically it, she turned up at the end of the episode and used the cot to tell the Doctor and used a bit of cloth to tell Amy and Rory shes their daughter and thats it :L Not great tbh!

  14. Roseym
    June 4th, 2011 at 7.51pm | #14

    It was a good episode it really was..but River’s reveal was just expected by a lot of use on here for sure it was a good reveal though and everything :D. Lots of use on here already had figured it out so according to Matt Smith himself we are all very clever people:D.

    Really for me the moment in the tunnel when River had stomach pains with Rory at the same time the fake Amy did with the Doctor I kind of figured it out then who River was.

    So was so hoping that I wasn’t right though, so a bit :( in away, but the way they did it was good and it was a good way to set it all up for the next half off the series and that matches with what Matt said in an interveiw about episode 13 being really the whole series wrap up for them all and for River to. x x x

  15. Tom
    June 4th, 2011 at 8.01pm | #15

    well the “big reveal” was not big at all infact it was slightly cliched, it was badly written and way too obvious. I learnt from this episode that Moffat isnt a great writer after all. And the cybermen/Judoon were only in it for something like 3 minutes yet another huge dissapointment. Lets hope part 2’s finale isnt a huge let down :l

  16. blakey
    June 4th, 2011 at 8.06pm | #16

    They said we would be surprised…it was the most popular guessed theory that made perfect sense!

    but what im confused about was….if river s amy and rorys daughter – how can she be half-timelord? it makes more sense if she’s the Doctor’s child and not Rory’s. The said she had time lord DNA, the doctor is the only time lord left! then if he’s the dad he kissed his own daughter! :O

  17. Ellen
    June 4th, 2011 at 8.07pm | #17

    the only reason why river showed up at the end and couldnt help is if she touched the baby the universe will blow apart

  18. Ellen
    June 4th, 2011 at 8.07pm | #18

    Did anyone notice when the doctor said “I slept in there” the baby said eww

  19. TWWL
    June 4th, 2011 at 8.11pm | #19

    Oh don’t complain; all the clues were there for you to work it out if you’re into that kind of thing, it would have been silly and go against what we’ve seen if she just turned out to be something else. What else could she have been, really, that would make any sense?

  20. Lily
    June 4th, 2011 at 8.12pm | #20

    I thought that a bit like e12 in series five, lots of villains were used for no real reason :L The cybermen were in it for about a minute, the return of the Sontarans, Hugh Bonnerville and everyone was just ‘lets put them in because we can’ and had no real purpose. Rivers identity was totally predictable and so ruined the episode for me! 3 out of 10 at best!

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