Mon
Oct 3 2011 5:46pm

Doctor Who S6, Ep 13: “The Wedding of River Song”

For all the worrying about Steven Moffat’s dependence on timey-wimeyness, the final episode of the sixth series of Doctor Who, “The Wedding of River Song,” is beautiful, emotional, and most importantly, it makes sense. Whether you think the season was troubled as a whole or not, this finale was truly satisfying.

At the top of the episode, all of time is happening all at once, which is causing it to disintegrate. The Doctor knows he’s going to die soon, but is going on a wild quest to discover why. And then there’s River, who has caused the disintegration of time because she couldn’t bring herself to kill The Doctor. Love makes us kind of crazy, doesn’t it?

 

The Script

I was thrilled that Moffat’s solution to The Doctor’s death was the “robot run by miniature people” from “Let’s Kill Hitler.” All signs were pointing clearly to either a Ganger Doctor or a robot one, and Moffat went with the less obvious choice, which worked really well. His script not only did this well and provided each of the characters with closure and development, but it did so in one episode, rather than as a two-parter. And then there were the teasers for the future, of course....

The question: “Doctor who?” One of our readers, Pendard, deserves kudos for that one, as he was the first to bring that up as a possibility in the comments of my last review. I don’t have a prize, but consider yourself virtually patted on the back. The Doctor is alive, but The Silence are not gone, and we have a whole new story to look forward to involving The Fall of the Eleventh and the Fields of Trenzalor and the First Question Hidden in Plain Sight. This is his best episode since “Blink,” precisely because it manages to be entertaining and thorough while also being tight and precise.

 

The Doctor

The Doctor has always been someone who defies the universe to challenge him. (“Well, [time] has never laid a glove on me!”) I love that, in this episode, he is the man who will fight until the very end more resolutely than ever. However, his resolution is deeply shaken when he hears about the death of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. (What a wonderful tribute to Nicholas Courtney!) In that moment, we see that The Doctor realizes that there’s no point in going on forever if the people you care about can’t go with you. Struck by the Brigadier’s mortality, The Doctor decides to give in to his own destiny and be okay with dying.

But not for long, because he just can’t resist the idea of being a Doctor in a Doctor Suit and showing the likes of time and the universe that he will not be beaten!

However, River, with her blind (slightly sociopathic) love for The Doctor, forces him into “dying” a second time. This time, however, The Doctor gets to die the right way. It’s always been his M.O. to inspire other people to be their best selves by trusting and believing in them. By dying and not confiding in the person he loves most to have the strength to act, he wasn’t being The Doctor. So, the second time around, he gives River what she needs to give her the strength to be willing to kill him. He marries her, and confides in her. He trusts her enough to put himself entirely in her hands. He could have easily just grabbed her again once Amy uncuffed him, but he didn’t. Instead, he showed her she was worthy of being in on something like this with him. He gambled and he was right to trust her. This episode took a journey through every aspect of The Doctor’s personality, and it was fascinating.

 

River Song

I hope we see River again, as this episode cemented how much I love her. However, even if we never see River Song again, she was given some beautiful resolution. The fact that she’s been keeping all these secrets because The Doctor himself told her to; the fact that all she wanted was for The Doctor to trust her the way she trusted him — unconditionally; and the fact that she shared his biggest secret with her parents who are also his best friends; all of these things grounded and explained her motivations completely. She is now someone who is best friends with her parents and who gets to spend the rest of her life with The Doctor. Not a bad life!

 

Amy Pond

Amy has always had difficulty with her emotions, and more often than not chooses to bury them and hide behind a tough exterior. Many viewers have complained of the fact that she hardly ever mentioned her baby. This episode provided her with closure on that score in a way that was entirely character-appropriate. She’s never mentioned her baby, because it was just too much. But put her in the same room with the woman who kept her imprisoned then kidnapped her baby in order to brainwash her and turn her into a sociopath, and she kills without hesitation. All of the emotion she’s held in is released all at once in a single, cold action. River didn’t get it all from you, sweetie. But she isn’t entirely unrepentant, feeling guilty even an entire timeline away, and this speaks to the other side of Amy Pond. The part that genuinely cares for people. In my opinion, that’s the main difference between mother and daughter. River wouldn’t have been sorry about killing Madame Kovarian.

 

Steven Moffat as Showrunner

While this episode was very strong, and while I’ve always believed that his River storyline would eventually have a point, I don’t necessarily think he did a great job as showrunner this year. He is expert at writing single Doctor Who stories, but trying to spread his latest puzzle-box story over an entire series spread it too thin this time, often relying on tacked-on elements that explained an otherwise unrelated episode’s connection to the main story arc. A storyteller like Moffat should either be capable of selecting stories/scripts based on their thematic similarity to the main story arc, or he should just write all the episodes himself. Aaron Sorkin did that for The West Wing! Then again, he had a coke problem.

In any case, the cast was brilliant all around, the script was wonderful, and it was a satisfying ending to an uneven season.


Teresa Jusino knows better than to destroy time and space for any one man. She can be heard on the popular Doctor Who podcast, 2 Minute Time Lord, participating in a roundtable on Series 6.1. Her “feminist brown person” take on pop culture has been featured on websites like ChinaShopMag.com, PinkRaygun.com, Newsarama, and PopMatters.com. Her fiction has appeared in the sci-fi literary magazine, Crossed Genres; she is the editor of Beginning of Line, the Caprica fan fiction site; and her essay “Why Joss is More Important Than His ‘Verse” is included in Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon By the Women Who Love Them, which is on sale now wherever books are sold! 2012 will see Teresa’s work in two upcoming sci-fi anthologies. Get Twitterpated with Teresa,“like” her on Facebook, or visit her at The Teresa Jusino Experience.

71 comments
Joseph Kingsmill
1. JFKingsmill16
I'm sorry Teresa, I couldn't disagree with you more. This episode while somwhat enjoyable was very slopy and relied on all three of the New Who crutches ("The Doctor lies", Sonic Screw driver and the magic words: Timey Whimey) to get the story out of the ridiculous corners Moffat paints it into. This has been getting teadily worse since the Pandorica Opens.
The best epiosode since "Blink"? You're really diminishing who wonderful that episode was by placing this onw with it.I still can't seem to help to think that the whole River Song plotline is being rushed. She should have been popping in and out for a season or two trying to kill the Doctor repeatedly as he tries to figure out how to get her back safely while trying to figure out who is doing this to him.
I've been a Who fan for over 30 years now and I want nothing more than to enjoy these stories but I need the writers to at least meet my suspension of disbelief half way.
Jason Henninger
2. jasonhenninger
Funny, when the Tennant/Davies time ended, and Moffat/Smith began, I was concerned about Smith but not Moffat. Now I have total confidence in Smith but my confidence in Moffat is iffy.

I agree with you that in terms of fun, adventure and, above all, emotion, this episode was fantastic. But in terms of continuity, wrapping things up, a coherant and plausible story line, and such...I think it's got big problems. Maybe I'm just not quite getting how it all comes together. But maybe...it doesn't.

I'm rewatching the season to see if it all works, but I fear that either Moffat is just not all that keen on tying up every loose end or he is pulling a big Shahrazade on us all.

Again.

There is so much that went unexplained, or is contradictory. Red herrings are one thing, but this season is like a whole school of them.

Either it will all become clear in the next season or...it won't. Hence my confidence problem.
David Goldfarb
3. David_Goldfarb
I enjoyed the episode a lot -- that opening montage in particular broke my brain enjoyably. I thought it was just a little bit too similar to "The Big Bang", though: alternate Earth with history disintegrating around it. We also didn't get answered just how the Silence managed to get the TARDIS to blow up last season.

"Lethbridge", btw, not "Leftbridge".
Steven Halter
4. stevenhalter
In retrospect, the robot fit very nicely, so that worked out. I still think the ganger will reappear.
Amy's line and action with "River didn’t get it all from you, sweetie." was very good.
JoeNotCharles
5. JoeNotCharles
Worst episode of Doctor Who since The Underwater Menace, way back in the Troughton days. No semblance of plot whatsover.

Thank God that season is over. Hope they choose a better gimmick for the next one (or even, gasp, do away with the gimmicky arc plot entirely!)
JoeNotCharles
6. Smaug's Li'l Brother Puff
Here's the thing: this episode was just like its initial premise. You have to enjoy it minute-by-minute, not looking too far forward or back, because in the moment every moment is brilliant, but as soon as you start considering the entirety, it unravels and disintegrates.

Best episode since "Blink," though!? Sorry. I enjoyed it very much, but no episode this series is the best since "Blink." In between comes four episodes with Simms' Master, the two introducing Dr. Song, "Turn Left," and "Vincent and the Doctor." Then, okay, maybe I'll give you this one.

Maybe. :-D
R O T
7. rogerothornhill
I have a friend who is LIVID with this season and it's the biggest SF disagreement I think we've ever had. I agree with you about Der Moff as runner and the "last 10 minutes" aspect of all these scripts. I'm guessing 2012 will be more standalones in the shadows with the buildup to the Fall of the Eleventh coming for the 50th Anniversary, so that may fit his style better.

But I do love the goofiness of so much of this, as with "The Big Bang" last year. It's taken him two series to finally dismantle the Davies Era Who, which was amazing but which you really can't expect another person to write or run. It will be less Oncoming Storm for a while, I think, and more curiosity and helping hands. More babies too, I hope, because Smith is hysterical with them.

Ultimately, I think the biggest difference between Davies and Moffat is that the former came to Who from writing drama and the latter from writing comedy. Davies was better at the big epic moments, while Moffat is better at spinning moments of absolutely daft whimsy, my personal favorite of which this season was probably "Shut up daddy I'm concentrating on a dress size!"
Jason Henninger
8. jasonhenninger
among the many thousand things I don't understand:

1. How did Melody Pond as a child end up in a space suit/why?
2. How did she get to New York and later to England (could be easily explained but as far as I can tell, hasn't been)
3. Why did the orphanage have a pic of Amy and Melody? This never happened, did it?
4. Why, at the end of Day of the Moon, when River kisses the Doctor does he act so surprised? Taking into account the events of the Wedding, which chronologically takes place before this moment, they have already married and kissed. I can understand her confusion at his reaction, but can't understand how his reaction makes any sense.

I have plenty more, but can anyone help me with these?
JoeNotCharles
9. AngelaG
jasonhenninger - I can help with #4 - The Doctor that married River and was "killed "on the lake was 200 years older than the Doctor who we see live through the events in Day of the Moon - that's why he acts surprised, for him the wedding hasn't happened yet.
marian moore
10. mariesdaughter
This episode had some absolutely sweet moments and I ended up with only one quibble. That whole business with time restarting if the Doctor and River Song touched worked while I was watching. Later, I thought, “wait a minute. They weren’t touching. River was touching a machine shaped like the Doctor—not the Doctor.” That was my one quibble.

I watched the show twice that night and will probably watch it again before I banish it from the DVR.

I never understood the constant questions about the baby Melody Pond. Once we knew that she was River Song, why purpose would there be to bringing the baby back? That would have made for one boring an episode. Amy asked often enough to show that it bothered her and definitely her dispatch of Madame Kovarian (who I keep calling Kovorkian in my head) showed that she cared about losing Melody’s childhood.

So now, the Doctor is going to lay low? After saving the Earth and universe several Christmases in a row—it’s about time. I can’t imagine how they can continue to destroy time and space every season and keep our suspension of disbelief.

Favorite moments:
Amy’s face at realizing that the Doctor is her son-in-law. An image that we’ve all imagined and finally got to see.
Rory getting the abbreviated explanation of who River Song is. “We got married and had a child and that’s her.” Rory rolls with the punches better than anyone.
The chaste kiss at the wedding and the Doctor’s note that what he and River do during her nights away from the prison is their own business.

I won’t call this the best since “Blink”. That one can stand on its own without any setup. This one needed the entire season as a setup. But this show was definitely emotionally satisfying for me. Moffet hit the notes that I wanted.
JoeNotCharles
11. sofrina
@10 - i fully agree! how can their polarity issue restart time if he never really touches river? that is right up there with amy pond grabbing amelia pond in "big bang" - a direct violation of the "rose-don't-touch-the-baby-or-it'll-cause-a-paradox" principle. the whole resolve turns on this. it was clever making it a justice robot, but not consistent.

otherwise it was fun.
Ashe Armstrong
12. AsheSaoirse
I pretty much agree with everyone else, though not quite at the level of poster 5. Especially 8's four things of note. I'd like to add one more. In their first encounter, River whispers the Doctor's name to him to calm him down, right? Except now, he "whispers" his name to show the real him in the robot fake him so she'll trust him. In an alternate timeline thing. So either he DOES tell her, or Moff just retconned his own episode and created a hardcore paradox for his own character.

Of course, there's a lot of that for River. Personally, as much as I like River, I hope she barely shows up again for a while. That would be nice. Very nice indeed. And no more "the answer is emotions" like with Craig and the Cybermen. Great, be whimsical but don't cop out with timey-wimey handwaving so much. Technobabble is okay, it has dignity, Star Trek made fine use of it. You really have to be careful when slingin around timey-wimey because it can make things too bloody complicated and annoying.

And on the point about faith in Smith and the Moff, I have the same view and this to say: Moff, dearest, stop (trying to) destroying the universe all the time.
JoeNotCharles
13. Drachasor
@12 Ahh, but technically she was supposed to shoot the machine all along, hence touching the machine should work. It's touching the actual Doctor that shouldn't cause anything to happen.

Could someone explain to me what they think all the continuity or whatever problems are? I don't see them.

@1 I don't understand what you mean here.

How was the plot dependant on the Sonic Screwdriver? I don't recall anything like that.

Secondly, is the Doctor telling a lie really some sort of sloppy story device? I don't see it. He's almost always been a bit fast and loose with the truth and that's part of the fun of the show. Do you think being a clever shouldn't be a surprise to the audience? I think it works well.

I don't see how the "Timey Whimey" aspect is a complaint. The only Timey Whimey parts were "all of time happening at once" and "River and the Doctorbot touching undoes that problem." Neither of those is a device to get the Doctor out of a jam. Heck, they are solely devices to create the jam and add tension. There's no Timey Whimeyness to the Doctorbot getting shot, because we find out here it was ALWAYS the Doctorbot. Or did you just take River and some one-time companion at their word that it was the Doctor? (Personally I always found that highly suspect).

Certainly the whole thing could have happened without this Episode if River had just shot the Doctor. This entire episode was just meant to be a fun romp and about exploring the charactes and their actions. It seems to do that very well to me.
JoeNotCharles
14. Drachasor
@12 Or River finds out the Doctor's name LATER. Don't create a problem when there's no need to be one. This just wasn't the moment you temporarily thought it was.

@8
1. How did Melody Pond as a child end up in a space suit/why?

A: It's pretty obvious, I think. They had her since she was a baby and were testing the suit's technologies. I'd wager the suit had systems that needed a Time Lord's DNA (or some of it) to fully realize.

2. How did she get to New York and later to England (could be easily explained but as far as I can tell, hasn't been)

A: It hasn't been explained. Does it matter? Large tracts of her life haven't been shown. I don't see how it is important.

3. Why did the orphanage have a pic of Amy and Melody? This never happened, did it?

A: It happened in "A Good Man Goes to War." Seems to be a picture of that, probably provided by the Silence. Seems knowing her mother turned out handy too later. Remember, it's just Amy and a baby.

4. Why, at the end of Day of the Moon, when River kisses the Doctor does he act so surprised? Taking into account the events of the Wedding, which chronologically takes place before this moment, they have already married and kissed. I can understand her confusion at his reaction, but can't understand how his reaction makes any sense.

A: As someone said, that's a much earlier Doctor.

@Everyone

Personally I'm enjoying how we don't need a Deus Ex Machina at the end of almost every season and some episodes to wrap things up. Davies was waaaay too fond of this device. He used it at the end of the first, third, fourth, and fifth seasons extensively as well as elsewhere. It sucked a lot out of the finales.

Moffat uses a forewshadowing of possible solutions to problems, which is nice. A good amount of the time the "big problem" isn't even what the episode is about. This finale is a good example. It wasn't about how the Doctor was going to get out of dying, but rather about character interactions, development, etc, etc.
JoeNotCharles
15. AlBrown
I very much enjoyed this episode, although I had some trepidation going into it, as there were an awful lot of balls in the air that all needed to be caught if it was going to be a satisfying conclusion to the season. Actually, I saw this as being the second part of a two-part episode; part one being "Let's Kill Hitler." The two episodes fit around the second half of the season like bookends.
I liked the way we all knew that the doctor would find a way to avoid dying, but despite knowing the destination, the script made the journey enjoyable. I liked the fact that the thing that needed to be undone to save the universe was not the 'killing' of the 'doctor,' instead, it was the attempted avoidance of that 'killing.' And I very much loved the creepy man-eating skulls, and the blue guy returning as a head in a box, the scariest and funniest images of the show juxtaposed. And the interplay between River and the Doctor was just wonderful.
I wouldn't say it was the best since "Blink" (I still think Vincent and the Doctor and last season's conclusion are among those I liked better), but a very satisfying end to the season. I like how it sets up a Doctor that will operate on a smaller scale, as he will be doing some sneaking around to avoid the notice of the Silence, who think him dead. That new direction suits me just fine, as too many BIGGER, MORE EXCITING, MORE ACTION episodes are all forte with no pianissimo, all release with no tension being built.
I look forward to the Christmas episode, and the next season!
JoeNotCharles
16. JCHicks
@12: I was wondering about the whispering of the name, too. If I remember correctly from "Silence in the Library," the only time the Doctor can tell his name to someone is at his wedding. However, this wedding - being part of an alternate universe that gets wiped from existence - techincally never happened. So maybe they have a do-over ceremony later. Just speculating there.

As for the episode itself, I did not particularly like it. Things that worked for me: how the Doctor "died," super-tough Amy and her Captain Williams, and the First Question.

I dislike the Doctor's treatment of River at the pyramid. He says he does not want to marry her. He calls her stupid and says she embarrasses him. She says she loves him, but he never says he loves her back. He is quite cruel, so his decision to marry her strikes me as odd, to say the least. He could just tell her that he's inside a Doctor suit without going through the wedding vows and the result would have been the same. Knowing that he wouldn't die, she would have allowed them to return to the lake.
JoeNotCharles
17. Drachasor
@16 The Doctor never says anything about telling his name at weddings, as best I can tell. He only says there's only one way he'd tell someone and only one way he could. Something like that.

I think his treatment of her in the pyramid is explained by his legitimate outrage over her willingness to let the universe die to save his life. That IS crazy, and he's angry about it. He definitely softens about things at the end. I suppose one has to decide whether the Doctor not saying "I love you" is odder than him saying it. He definitely isn't perfect, but that's always been the case.
JoeNotCharles
18. JCHicks
@17: You're probably right about what No. 10 says about when he can tell someone his name. It's been awhile since I watched the episode.

The Doctor's anger toward River is completely understandable. What I don't understand is why he would suddenly decide to marry her right then and there when he's obviously very angry with her and has said it's not what he wants. Especially when it's not necessary to getting her to change her mind. All she wants at that moment is for the Doctor to live, and the marriage doesn't give her that. The robot does. What is his motivation for this?
Teresa Jusino
20. TeresaJusino
David_Goldfarb @3 - THANK YOU! Tor.com fairies, please correct the Brigadier's name! :)
As for the Silence - no, we didn't get that answer, but I don't think it was important now. Like I said, we're not done with The Silence, and the Doctor will continue to be pursued.

To everyone else: I compare this episode to "Blink," because it is, to me, a successful standalone episode. Unlike every. Other. Good story he writes that requires two episodes to contain it all, this ep - like "Blink" - does what it needs to do in one ep. And yes, while it could use the rest of the season to put it in context, it also doesn't need it, as everything you need to understand the story is in the episode - from seeing how the Teselecta work, to Amy briefly explaining their history to Rory, to the flashbacks to "Impossible Astronaut." While there were shout-outs to other episodes that having viewed them made fun, you also didn't NEED them to enjoy this story. (except for maybe knowing about why The Doctor's arm was marked in the presence of The Silence, but even then, you get the impression that the marks are a signal that something is wrong)
And I didn't mean that it was the best OVERALL episode since "Blink," simply the best Moffat-penned episode since "Blink." (Moffat didn't write "Vincent and The Doctor" to the person who mentioned it above)

Also - River lied about having been told his name. And in "Silence in the Library" it's easy for River to have revealed the real secret, and the Doctor to have said "There's only one way I could tell you my name." He'd know why she had to keep that a secret. That might have been part of what she whispered to him. We just don't know. I'd say it's OK for Moffat to "retcon" his own dang story, except that you can't retcon something that wasn't established for sure in the first place. He's left things purposely mysterious so he can do whatever he wants with them later. That's totally within his rights.

Like I said, there have been problems with this season, but this episode was not one of them, in my opinion.
JoeNotCharles
21. DavidK44
Three things:
- After 'The Impossible Astronaut' I remarked to my wife that we'd never seen the elder Doctor's Tardis at any point in the episode, and its fate was unknown. This episode showed what had happened - when we saw the Doctor waving to River from the roboDoctor's eye, the Tardis was in the background behind him.

- In the scene atop the pyramid, the Doctor is initially dismissive and cruel to River about her beacon, because he knows that she has to 'kill' him and she isn't cooperating. He changes completely when she tells him about all the offers for help, and says "I can't let you die... without knowing that you are loved". He realizes then that she was going to go through with the killing, but needed him to face some realities about his place in the universe that he'd been ignoring. That's when he realized that he could trust her after all - she'd come full circle (kill the Doctor, save the Doctor, kill the Doctor for the right reasons) and that she deserved to know how he felt about her.

- Regarding the First Question: In 'The Big Bang' the Doctor flies the Pandorica into the exploding Tardis, rebooting the universe via the Pandorica's 'memory' of the old universe. However, along with the memory, the other thing that the Pandorica contained was the Doctor. So, it stands to reason that the essence of the Doctor was also transmitted into every part of the reborn universe. Thus, the mystery of the Doctor is a fundamental aspect of the rebuilt universe, and who knows what might happen if that Question is finally answered and the mystery resolved?
JoeNotCharles
22. Bek
My biggest problem with this episode is how good the Teselecta has gotten at acting naturally compared to Let's Kill Hitler. It was all robot-y and stiff with a mask like face there and here? It moves smoothly and shows emotion through moving tiny little muscles in its face. It can be argued that the Doctor is better at piloting the thing, but that would be cheating IMO. The Doctor can't be better than everyone at everything (plus, he's not that good at piloting his own TARDIS, as River has demonstrated a couple of times).
JoeNotCharles
23. Ross Smith
It's worthwhile tracking down this week's Doctor Who Confidential, because it has a long segment that's basically River Song's autobiography, showing all the fragments of her life we've seen so far, but this time in chronological order from her point of view, with her narration explaining what's going on. It clears up a lot of the confusing points about her history. And Moffat explicitly says that the one remaining mystery about her that's still to be answered is how she learned the Doctor's name.
R O T
24. rogerothornhill
What if The Answer spoken on the Fields of Trenzalor is The Doctor's name? If River is there, that's when she could learn it.
JoeNotCharles
25. Stellmarine
Oh well, we still have the Fields of Trenzalor coming, don't we? And I do want to see Jim the Fish.

I have to say, I loved the Pandorica/Big Bang and this has been something of a let down... it has been fun, and I'm quite satisfied with how he got out of this one, but it felt a bit rushed and there were too many giveaways. Was it really necessary to call the episode River's Wedding? As soon as we learn that by touching River, time would flow again, you know they're headed for that kiss. Foreshadowing is fine, but I think Doctor Who works better with the unexpected.
Amy's moment was chilling, but rang true.
But my favourite moment was in the beginning when he encountered the Dalek. He just couldn't resist taunting his dying enemy, could he? "The Devil Himself", aren't you smug, Doctor... XD
Joseph Kingsmill
26. JFKingsmill16
@Drachasor – I’ll try to explain what I mean about the three New Who Crutches.

The Sonic Screwdriver: You’re right, this past week’s episode didn’t have any “major” plot points that were directly affected by the Doctor using the Sonic Screwdriver but it was used multiple times. The problem I have with it is it has gone from what was essentially a futuristic lock pick to a way over used cure all to almost any situation. There are reasons that it was used sparingly in the old series and was even eventually written out. It almost seems sometimes that the show has moved away from being able to solve problems and win the day by using your head to just waving the Sonic Screwdriver a couple times at it and the problem is solved. I know that is an over exaggeration but you can’t argue that it is being used way too often as a plot device now.

The Doctor Lies: On the surface this wouldn’t seem to be a problem. But think about it, if it was only said once or twice and he only lied to the characters on screen there wouldn’t be much of a problem. My problem with it is the fact that he is also lying to the audience. As of the end of this past episode we as an audience can’t trust a word the Doctor says now. Nothing. To me, that makes it very hard for me to take the plots seriously when I am trying to find hidden meanings or wondering if what he said was the truth or not with everything the Doctor says. So now we get major plot twists that come waaaay out of left field and we get the “The Doctor lies” card flashed at us.

“timey-wimey… stuff”: After re-watching the episode last night I will admit that there wasn’t much in the way of actual “timey-wimey” in this episode. The quick edits and Matt Smith’s fast talking kinda make it hard to tell what’s going on the first time through an episode.

I agree, this was a very fun episode. I just believe that it sets a dangerous precedent within the shows current mythology that we can now not trust anything that happens or is said by anyone on the show.

Lastly, just because you can’t see these things doesn’t mean others can’t.

@Everyone – After watching the episode twice I still don’t understand why he had to marry River? Was it to get her to touch him?

Ugh… I’m sooo ready for a season of true stand alone episodes. This past full season was way to rushed with only maybe 4 decent episodes.
F Shelley
27. FSS
@ 26 - agreed that the sonic screwdriver has become something beyond it's stated purpose, especially the wave-it-at-something-and-read-the-results. which is weird because it doesn't have a screen or anything to read!

Add this to your list: "perception filter". dear lord, it is way, waaaaay overused since moffat took over...
JoeNotCharles
28. Pendard
I also really liked this episode. The first time I watched it I didn't like the ending much, but the second time it grew on me. The Doctor escaped the fixed point of his own death by fulfilling all its requirements technically in a way that still allowed him to survive -- he was on the beach, he was shot by River, he was burned, and as far as the whole universe is concerned he died there. The fixed point in time wasn't averted, he simply went through it, kept living, and people drew their own conclusions that he had died there. My only quibble is that I'm surprised that mimicking the regeneration effect was within the Teselecta's shapeshifting abilities, since it seemed to go a tiley when it changed shape in "Let's Kill Hitler."

Teresa, I agree with you completely about Moffat falling down on the job as showrunner this year. This season wasn't as good as last season. The problem wasn't Moffat's writing -- "A Christmas Carol," "The Impossible Astronaut," "The Day of the Moon," "A Good Man Goes to War," "Let's Kill Hitler" and "The Wedding of River Song" are all very good, in my opinion. It's the other writers' episodes that were sub-par, and Moffat was responsible to commissioning those other writers. "The Doctor's Wife" and "The Girl Who Waited" were very good. "The Rebel Flesh," "The Almost People" and "Closing Time" weren't too bad but they were definitely uneven. "The Curse of the Black Spot," "Night Terrors" and "The God Complex" were all pretty forgettable. Also, with so many dead weight episodes, the decision to split the season in half wasn't a good one. Neither one of the two halves built up any momentum.

@DavidK44 (#21): I like your theory that the Doctor's identity is connected to the universe because he was in the Pandorica when it recreated the universe in "The Big Bang." Very interesting.
JoeNotCharles
29. Pendard
@AsheSaorise (#12): River doesn't know the Doctor's name yet but that doesn't mean that she doesn't learn it before "Silence in the Library." The most obvious answer would be that she learns it at
Trenzalor. From Dorium's description, it sounds like no one can tell a lie there, and someone asks the Doctor who is he.

@JFKingsmill16 (#26) & FSS (#27): The sonic screwdriver has definitely gone beyond its stated purpose -- which is putting in screws. It went beyond that purpose the first time it appeared. It is a swiss army knife-like gadget that can do a lot of things, but that isn't a problem unless they start using it to solve the major problems of the episodes. It's not used for that now -- it just keeps the story moving by overcoming some small problems.

I would also argue that the main effect of writing it out of the original series was not to eliminate its misuse (it was very seldomly misused) but to let the writers waste time. On the old series, the writers extended many a four-part serial into a six-part serial with two plot devices -- have the serial's guest stars not trust the Doctor, and have the Doctor get captured repeatedly by the bad guys. Eliminating the sonic screwdriver in the Fifth Doctor era led to a lot of time wasting imprisonment -- in "Snakedance," Nyssa even laments the loss of the sonic screwdriver while she and the Doctor are cooling their heels in jail for fifteen boring minutes of screentime. On the new series, both the sonic screwdriver and the psychic paper have been included to get rid of these two specific kinds of lazy writing. They're definitely plot devices, but they're GOOD plot devices. They're designed to make the writers earn their money by making them come up with problems for the Doctor to solve other than old standbys like distrustful aliens, locked doors, and things that need to be scanned. They keep things moving.
Ashe Armstrong
30. AsheSaoirse
Perception Filter jumped the shark with the little alien boy all scared of everything.
Ashley Fox
31. A Fox
Heres a link to River's time line vid, and the skit written by children.
http://blastr.com/2011/10/watch-river-songs-timelin.php
JoeNotCharles
32. Elayne
@26 He didn't have to marry River, the robot just needed to touch her to restore time. The decision to marry her might have come from the speech she made about not wanting him to die without knowing how much he was loved, and by none more then her. Also, by her saying how much she would suffer if she had to kill him. That is at least why I think he showed her that he wasn't really going to die. There had to be other plausible ways to whisper "look into my eye" to her besides marriage. I think when he realized how much he ment to her, he also had to face his feelings for her and choose to marry her. His I don't want to marry you earlier was as others said, was likely a result of his anger at her letting the whole world suffer to save him.
JoeNotCharles
33. AI
Wow, I have been itching to comment on this episode because for me I think it didn't answer many questions and brought many more to light. So here goes:

1. Dorium Maldovar's prophecy: I think the Fall of the 11th likely does refer to the death of this incarnation of the Doctor. What is mysterious is that the Doctor seems to believe that the part of the prophecy that says: 'the Silence must fall' refers to the Doctor's death, rather than the Fall of the Silence, the religious order. The latter interpretation would support the reason for the apparent hostility the Silence holds for the Doctor thus would seem the obvious interpretation, but this is not the Doctor's understanding. By his understanding wouldn't the Silence find a reason to deliver the Doctor to Tranzelor as fast as possible? All that would really be required is to deliver some poor unsuspecting British population there and poking them with sticks. Is the Doctor just being hopelessly self involved?, he repeatedly tells us that this is one of his character flaws. Or are the Silence more dependent on the Doctor continuing his efforts for their ability to procure power, than fearful of the damage he can do to them? Moffat seems to love ambivalently held enemies. Wild speculation could make one wonder if the Silence is in fact a religious order dedicated to the worship of the Doctor after all we don't have a clue about their doctrine (Doc-trine?). Are we meant to make anything of the Doctor at the start of the episode being presented to Churchill by Centurions, like Christ to Pilate?; and at the end of the episode dressed as a monk? It is a prophecy after all.

2. Lake Silencio: When the Doctor asks 'why Utah?', Dorium tells him that it is a "still point" in time and so makes "it easier to create a fixed point". This explanation struck me as odd, if a fixed point is created that begs the question: created by whom? And if a fixed point is 'created' doesn't that go against the premise of fixed points in the first place? If all of time and space exist simultaneously, which is the central idea in the Whoniverse and fixed points hold the fabric together in some coherent manner then doesn't creating a fixed point change the entire fabric, just as rewriting one does, (ie. pterodactyls in modern London)and if so how does one navigate? Also, if the death of the Doctor is a fixed point then we now know that it is fixed point that refers only to the Death of a Teselecta Doctor, and what's the big deal? The Doctor after all was 'hardly singed'. Very confusing, and mysterious. Finally we are told that these changes create time 'bubbles' that slowly spread and eventually 'time is dying'--the beacon River creates out of the Tardis is able to communicate outside the bubble and the universe comes to offer aid to the Doctor (very touching). But I seem to remember that Gallifrey is contained in such a bubble, and one of its ruling class (The Doctor's mom?) is able to carry on communication with Wilfred (Donna's grandfather), why isn't that one expanding and killing off time? Even more confusing and mysterious.

3. Madame Kovarian: I doubt its lost on many that this is a very probable play on Kavorkian. Is her task is to facilitate the Doctor's suicide? Throughout the season we have seen him painfully slogging toward his own death, all the time distracted by his "guilt" as he is only able to see the damage he does to his loved ones rather than the good he does for the universe (particularly those poor hapless British)and more particularly to those he holds closest. Objectively is there one companion who was not improved by their association with the Doctor? The Doctor and Craig externalize the point-counterpoint argument of the Doctor's struggle with his own Self view.

So we have Madame Kavorian and the Headless Monks on one side of "this endless bitter war", they have created an apparent alliance with the Silence, but we are told that the Silence allow no advantage without taking one for themselves (re: the eye drives), Kavorian is surprised that hers is also placed in torture mode. So Who is on the other side??? We know that "a million million voices" answer the distress call to lend their support to the Doctor but all this is seemingly powerless as River is still finding her way to accept the death of the Doctor and all these voices are relegated to the important but unfortunately impotent place of informing the Doctor that despite all his doubt and self loathing the 'universe does not agree' that he is a dangerous influence, rather that he is loved, and esteemed by virtually all he has touched.

4. River's Paradox: Because she loves the Doctor she rewrites the fixed point. She hopes that her love will somehow change or buy some time to come up with a solution hoping that the offers of help will result in a solution, which it doesn't. His death being the absolutely necessary condition before time can move forward and so her efforts to save him with love, which we have seen work time and time again this season, but seemingly not this time, and not to her knowledge certainly. To RIver, love has lost this one. By the time they make it to the top of the pyramid, she knows absolutely that the Doctor must die but now compromises with informing him of the opinion of the universe because she can't tolerate the idea that he dies lost in the belief that he is a detriment rather that an asset. And despite her feeling that her sorrow trumps all of the sorrow, every individuals sorrow, throughout the universe, at her individual loss of the Doctor and she accepts that her priority is to destroy the bubble just as she created. Even as the Doctor brutally humiliates her for her presumptuousness, and is embarrassed by her actions. She stands her ground and accepts his derision willingly, even though these may be the last words he speaks to her. How epic is that?! At this point he marries her and let's her in on his secret. The joke is this, it is River's love that saves the Doctor because she created the condition where the Teselecta could make a potent offer of help. C'mon, Moffat is good.

Sorry for the length but had to get these thoughts out somewhere, anyone else thinking about these things?
JoeNotCharles
34. AI
Sorry, that comment looks so much longer than it actually is--it doubled up for some reason. I apologise.
Jenny Thrash
35. Sihaya
Well, alot of other folks have covered some of the blips that the plot has to iron out, as well as the many, many good points of this episode. So I only have small things to add:

1) I can't help but imagine the Teselecta pilots shouting commands and answers on the bridge as they try to maneuver a kiss with River Song. "Full stop! She's pulling a Crazy Ivan!"

2) Do the Silence really only exist to stop the Doctor from asking the question that will end the Silence? Huh.
3) New companion next season? Or will the Doctor go stag, rotating through members of the Pond-Williams family when he needs a fishing buddy?

4) Ms. Jusino, thanks *alot* for managing the zoo here this season. As a reader and commentor, it's been plenty of fun.
Teresa Jusino
36. TeresaJusino
AI @33 - I LOVE your breakdown of River's love saving the Doctor. I'm actually working on a piece about the depiction of Love under Moffat's tenure, and this will totally be figuring in now. (you shall be credited!) Thanks!
JoeNotCharles
37. Raskolnikov
Remember when we all thought that Moffat becoming showrunner was an excellent development? Seems like another lifetime, at points. That's certainly not how I feel now.

It's not that I thought "The Wedding of River Song" was terrible. It's a lot better than the worst Doctor Who finales, and has a lot of good elements, even things that were great in short segments. Emphasis on the short length, though. I'm beginning to feel that Moffat's strengths lie in a much shorter runtime, like the Time/Space comedy sketch. Judged as a whole episode, it's a lot weaker. As the conclusion to a seasonal arc, weaker still.

Why did the Silence want to blow up the universe at the end of season five? It appears that they somehow remote-controlled the TARDIS to explode, despite the fact that we now know quite well they
are in the universe and want to go on living, it doesn't serve their
interests in any way to lay waste. Perhaps we're meant to take it that
they anticipated the Doctor's fix and detonation of the TARDIS to
recreate the universe, but didn't think he would be able to survive
that, the whole point was to get rid of him ever existing, when that
failed they went with the Utah fixed point of time. Which would seem to make a certain amount of sense, after all it seemed that the Doctor was gotten rid of and only revived because River showed up, and it's not like the Silence would know her well enough to anticipate she might--oh, wait. That doesn't work either. The way things have played out suggests that Moffat is making things up as he goes, it served his S5 story to have there be time cracks created by a TARDIS explosion created by a mysterious force, this group is made the villains of S6 without any clear connection to their past actions. This season it's time for a completely different MO.

Let's talk about the Utah death, then.
The problem with it is first that it doesn't work as any kind of active
plot--the Doctor went to that point and walked up to the suited figure
because he already knew it was going to happen, without awareness of the death already happened it would not have occurred. How did the Silence manage to initiate it, then? What causes it to form? Furthermore there's the issue of the whole thing ringing emotionally hollow now. I didn't hate the way they explained the Doctor's survival, partly because it wasn't the fake out I'd anticipated (ganger Doctor) and it featured him being believably clever. Still, the more I think on it the more problems there are. Recall the "Doctor" started to regenerate after getting shot, I guess the mimickry now covers that. There's a larger sense of pointlessness, though, given the Doctor told River about his trick, and she eventually told the others. Why end up playing things the way they went, except as a trick on the audience, in this episode and especiallyat the start of the season? Why not send out the letters to them to say 'Here's a charade I need your help in, pretend that I'm going to be dead for reals but actually I'll be fine.' It's a writterly slight of hand, and renders a lot of the past emotion by Eleven and all of the mystery rather pointless.

There is some positive potential in this--I like the idea that the Doctor will be laying low and doing less flashy stuff to have people assume that he's dead. (His continued presence may be assumed as non-linear travels for quite awhile). That is somewhat undermined by the very close of the episode, where the whole secret of the universe is revealed to be the show title, promising even more focus on the Doctor as the God-of-Gods, and unproductive meta diversions.

There were things I liked--the matter of fact bizareness of the hybrid time, a number of forceful Doctorly moments, and a more natural pulling together of different resources than in "A Good Man Goes to War". There were still some significant issues, though, like the fact that
structurally so much of the episode relied on alternate-Churchill as an
audience and Dorium Maldovar knowing absolutely everything by the end.

And then there's River. She's appeared in six episodes this season,
which is exactly six too many, and remains the albatross of Moffat's run as show writer. There's no valid reason within this episode script for having a marriage with the Doctor, and her attitude remains entirely insufferable. I'm prepared to regard her as more annoying than Rose or Adric at this point, because she's ultimately less relatable--although the writers still don't understand what "psychopath" means--and her increasingly tangled timeline means biting off more than is coherent. This episode faces the issue a bit more squarely, with River claiming she knew Amy was her mother and a lot of what would happen, but pretended not to know. Uh, no. That just doesn't work, the character has never been written or acted in a way that would carry that level of deception off convincingly. We've seen her lie before, and it's been far more obvious than the times when she apparently 'knew it all', the show hasn't done the kind of planning out that would make their retro-continuity plausible.

So, at least we'll always have Churchill, head of the Holy Roman Empire. That aside, I didn't think this season came together very well at all.
Joseph Kingsmill
38. JFKingsmill16
@37 - I keep forgetting that we still don't have an answer about why the TARDIS blew up.

If there were only one or two things left unexplained I could offer it up as timey wimey stuff but there is a growing list of things being left on the table as unexplained.

Right now the show is surviving on the momentum of die hard fans who love it and the characters. This wont last forever. We lost the show back in the late eighties. It can happen again :-/
Ashley Fox
39. A Fox
you do realise most of the 'holes' that have been mentioned are directly answered in the actual episode, or in the confidential (which a previous poster pointed you in the direction of).

Excepting those that are obviously leads into the next season. I have a sneaking suspicion that wheras the Doctors death was the focus of this season, River's death will be in the next. Will our Smith incarnation be visiting the Library (Again...there was an Ep where he went there with Amy). She obviously wasnt telling the truth re time lord DNA in the programme.

The Silence-Its an order, not a race. The creatures we think of as the Silence havent actually been named. The order is there to STOP silence falling. To do so they have to stop the Doctor reaching the 11th Hour (Anything to do with the Ep of that title?!?) where he will... blah blah, you know the rest.

Doctors comment to River- cruel to be kind. He was trying to antagonise her, to make killing him easier. The Doctor Lies. HA!

Time. Time is perception, if people percive the Doctors as dead-as indeed the whole universe apparently whitnessed his death, then for all intents and purposes IS dead.

Mmmm. So Names and River's death. And Amy with a machine gun!
JoeNotCharles
40. Kaydee
It's just plain bad storytelling if an episode needs the author to explain and justify the story in any place other than the episode itself.
Brad Bulger
41. tatere
However, his resolution is deeply shaken when he hears about the death of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.

When I saw this bit, while I had the same reaction as you, appreciating the tribute to Courtney, at the same time I thought, "But surely he knew already?"
I don't mean this as a quibble about the episode, it's more the interesting conundrums that come up when your hero has a time machine. Because isn't it true, in a sense, that The Brigadier has always been dead? And is always alive? It's just a matter of coordinates. So how does the Doctor deal with that? Does he just try to avoid "spoilers", by not looking too closely at records or histories? Does he experience some kind of linear progression through a constantly evolving ocean of time - where, say, a year ago in DoctorPersonalTime it rained on 11/13/2011, but now when he goes there it's sunny?
F Shelley
42. FSS
regarding the Headless Monks...when The Doctor takes Amy to the Byzantium, he does so because River gave him coordinates carved into the Byzantium's "black box" in order to save her. He finds the "black box" in a museum that he described as the "final resting place of the Headless Monks". So that leads to the question of: did the Doctor finish them off (in his future), or did they die off independent of the Doctor? Is this his first encounter with them? How does he know about their end without knowing that at some point they join a fight to kill him?
JoeNotCharles
43. AlBrown
To echo what was said above, thanks Teresa for the reviews, and everyone else for the discussions that ensued, I had lots of fun reading it all.
R O T
44. rogerothornhill
Three things:

(1) "making things up as he goes along." If you think Moffat is making things up as he goes along, read Davies' (utterly magnificent) The Writer's Tale, about the writing of the fourth season and the last Tennant specials. Davies was absolutely making it up as he went along, and he both changed plots and inserted retcons as he moved through each season and realized he needed to make course corrections. Moffat is on record as saying he didn't know River would be Melody when he wrote "Silence in the Library" but he did when they got to "Time of the Angels" and he told Kingston at the time. I assume he now knows what happens on the Fields of Renzalor, what The Question is, etc., but I also assume he will adjust it, as Davies did, when he gets closer to the actual episodes.

(2) "Hasn't the brigadier always been dead?" This is Moffat's most radical contribution to Who lore. Everybody quotes the phrase "timey-wimey" from "Blink," but they often forget the theory of temporal mechanics that Moffat advances in that Easter egg speech. Both time travellers and non-time travellers experience causality as a linear phenomenon, but those linearities are entirely separate and cross and affect each other. The Doctor may know what the history books say (if he ever checked them) but those events intersect with the line of his own existence and are affected by and affect it. Otherwise Adric would always be dead, etc.

(3) "Fixed points in time." This to me is the most maddening phrase in 21st century Who, because unlike timey-wimey causality, we've never had a thorough, consistent explanation of it. The phrase just gets thrown around. "The Fires of Pompeii" and "The Waters of Mars" are hard to reconcile with each other, but both make me wonder about the "fixedness" of Lake Silencio. In both cases, the Doctor saw that fixedness but didn't properly understand precisely which elements of the scene were fixed and which weren't. At a fixed point, something always has to happen but not everything. What was fixed at Lake Silencio, I suspect, was not the Doctor's death, but the witnessing of his death and subsequent report. That had to happen.
JoeNotCharles
45. AI
Thanks Teresa and everyone else on this thread. I'm with AlBrown on this, I really appreciate all the thought and discussion and it has been enormous fun both in the reading and the writing. No other site seems to be so interested in actually piecing together both the science and the plot, and complaining vociferously about both. Poor Moffat, I hope he knows how much we actually appreciate him...I think we appreciate him...well, I know I do at least. I'm looking forward to the Christmas episode and hearing a whole new avalanche of accolade and derision from this tribe. Again thanks to you all.
JoeNotCharles
46. Drachasor
#40 granted, but I don't think it requires watching anything except the Doctor Who episodes to piece things together. I certainly don't need it at least. I never watch Confidential or anything else about the show except the show itself.

I think the real issue is that some people have trouble dealing with some of the possibilities of time travel.

Anyhow, I will say this season wasn't as good as last season. There were too many one-shot episodes, imho.
Joseph Kingsmill
47. JFKingsmill16
@46 Drachasor – I can grasp the possibilities of time travel with no trouble, my problem is when time travel is being used to twist, turn and make things so confusing that when you actually dissect what happened you realize that what you just watched was impossible even with time travel. Example: The way that the Doctor got out of the Pandorica was completely impossible. When asked in the episode by Rory “how he did it”, the Doctor explained it away by saying “don’t look too closely at it or you’ll get confused” (I am paraphrasing here). You can’t just explain something away by saying that my future “escaped” self will travel back in time and give my friend the key (which is on my person) to my prison. It doesn’t work that way. You need a way to start the paradox. In that particular situation there wasn’t.
F Shelley
48. FSS
and how did the robot start a regeneration sequence?
JoeNotCharles
49. Drachasor
@47 JEKingsmill16
I think that's the only example in 11th's run of something like that. One could argue we merely don't see the start of the loop. From a story perspective, it didn't seem that important to me. It wasn't a major problem of the two parter.

In any case, since we're talking about the LATEST season, maybe we should stick to that? There wasn't anything wrong with the time travel in it, AFAIK.

@48 FSS: I assume it was just part of the duping technology of the robot.
JoeNotCharles
50. Shaz
I thought the Doctor told River his real name in 'Let's Kill Hitler', when she gave him her regenerations.
Ashley Fox
51. A Fox
@40 et al re: Confidential. You guys seem to be missing the point and context of this show. In the recommended one, particuarily the River vid; we do not get any new information or explaining. It merely presents info given in the Eps in a linear format. No extra justifications or exposition. Just clarifying the clues.

Also its fun. They go behnd the scenes with a member of the film crew, interat with the cast, chat to directers/producers of said script. They also have amsuing skits sunch as the actress who plays Amy having her first driving lesson in a Topgear like scenario.

Not at all as sinister as you seem to be implying...:P

@45 etc agreed, lol, & huzzah

@50. So did I.
JoeNotCharles
52. Pendard
@JEKingsmill16 (#47) & Drachazor (#49): The escape from the Pandorica is definitely not the only example of a causality paradox in the Doctor Who series -- the conversation between the Doctor and Sally Sparrow in "Blink" is an identical paradox. Sally can't have he half of the conversation without knowing what the Doctor will say in advance, and the Doctor can't have his half of the conversation without knowing what Sally will say in advance -- it's a loop of cause and effect that has no beginning, just like the Doctor's escape from the Pandorica.

The thing is, just because it's a paradox doesn't mean it can't happen. The definition of a paradox is "a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory." In other words, a paradox makes no sense but is possible anyway. Cause-and-effect logic is based on the assumption of linear time. When you throw out that assumption by introducing time travel, logic no longer applies and illogical things like the escape from the Pandorica are possible.

Nearly all sci-fi shows, including previous incarnations of Doctor Who, have preferred to avoid the kind of paradoxes that could very possibly happen if time travel were possible. Steven Moffat has decided to embrace the absurdity that could result. That's one of the things I love about his tenure as the DW showrunner.
Ursula L
53. Ursula
The show directly addressed the issue of River being her mother's daughter, such as Amy telling Mme. Kovarian that River got some of her ruthlessness from Amy, as she reattached Kovarians eyeDrive to kill her.

But River is also very much her father's daughter, particularly in the intensity of her love and the lengths she'll go to for the person she loves.

Rory waited 2000 years guarding Amy, and he punched the Doctor for suggesting that Amy wasn't more important than the rest of the universe. River was prepared to let the universe fall apart and time collapse rather than being the woman who killed the Doctor. River also shares some of Rory's nurturing traits - consider how she took Amy under her wing at the Byzantium, looking out for her in a way that the Doctor didn't.
Ashe Armstrong
54. AsheSaoirse
@53 Ursula: And say it with me now: We love Rory.
Joseph Kingsmill
55. JFKingsmill16
@52 Pendard - And yet I accept the paradox from Blink without question but the paradox with the Pandorica just bothers me.

Trust me, I understand that it is a story and it is suppossed to be fun and I should just enjoy the ride. I'd just appriciate a little nod to continuity here and there to at least explain something that goes against fan accepted cannon.

I do know that I am really going to be annoyed when they try to say that the Doctor's last regeneration isn't his 12th. Ofcourse that can now be explained away the River gave him all her remaining regererations.
Ashe Armstrong
56. AsheSaoirse
I thought the 13th was supposed to be his last? Twelve regenerations, thirteen faces?
Joseph Kingsmill
57. JFKingsmill16
@56 - I think how it was towards the end of the old series was that you had your original self and then 12 regenerations. So I guess 13 faces may be conceivable. I've have to research it a bit on the internets
Ashe Armstrong
58. AsheSaoirse
I think Moffat's pulled the plug on a regen limit anyways. We'll see, I guess.
Darice Moore
59. daricemoore
AsheSaoirse @58: since River gave him all her regenerations, does he get some extra ones from that, maybe?
Dave Bell
60. DaveBell
There's several things which could have extended the regeneration limit. We cannot, I think, quite trust our recollections of the past, after the Pandorica. It's essentially a licence to retcon. There are other possibilities.



I don't expect to see much of River Song in the 2012 season. Alex Kingston is committed to shooting Downton Abbey.
Ashe Armstrong
61. AsheSaoirse
@59 & 60: Maybe. I mean, it would at least make sense or at least somewhat make sense that her donation of regens gets passed on to him, thus extending his amount.

As far as the Pandorica goes, that isn't the only reason to stop trusting what we see. Moffat has gone WAY out of his way this season to make sure that a) we know The Doctor lies and thus always be suspicious and b) timey-wimey all up ins e'rythang.

The former is, quite frankly (and for me at least), not very fun and takes too much energy because it's not just that he lies to Amy and Rory, it's that he's lying to the audience too. And this is the Doctor, not a heist movie, so the misdirection just feels completely misspent. Personally, I want to enjoy the Doctor's adventures and I'm perfectly okay if he gives us a wink and a nod occasionally, like he did with young Amelia (grown-ups and "Everything will be fine.").

And leads me to another point, off sides of what was just mentioned: I like shows that make you think. I do. I like the intellectual stuff. Doctor Who, lately, is either doing one of two things or both of these things as the case is with this episode. It's either trying too hard to make us think but overly complicating things or falling back on a reason that doesn't always make sense (Craig defeated the Cybermen with love...goddamn it). And then when you combine the two, you get River, except that all the emotional stuff with her just feels really really REALLY freaking wrong right now. There's so much missing between the two, or at least it feels like it. Others have said that already. It's just really grating on me lately.

Being disappointed in Doctor Who is terribly upsetting. :(
JoeNotCharles
62. Pendard
@AsheSaoirse (#56) & JFKingsmill16 (#57): I think you're right, he gets 13 lives but he can't regenerate at the end of number 13... normally.

They established the limited number of regenerations in a Tom Baker episode, "The Deadly Assassin." It has never been mentioned on the new show, except in the Sarah Jane Adventures episode "Death of the Doctor." The Doctor says he can regerate 507 times in that episode, but it's difficult to tell if he's joking.

However, there have definitely been exceptions to the regeneration limit, starting in "The Deadly Assassin" itself. The Master had used up all his lives in that episode, yet he was still alive. He goes on to have new incarnations as Anthony Ainley and Eric Roberts by stealing bodies. The Time Lords offer him a new set of regenerations in exchange for his cooperation in "The Five Doctors." He tries to steal the rest of the Doctor's lives in the TV movie. In "The Sound of Drums," he says the "resurrected" him for the Time War, and he can apparently regenerate normally again when he changes from Derek Jacobi to John Simms -- his 16th regeneration at least!

As Neil Gaiman said earlier this year, there are laws like gravity and laws like the speed limit. A fixed number of regenerations seems more like the speed limit.

@daricemoore (#59): I don't think River so much gave the Doctor her regenerations as used the energy to heal him instead. If she had given him her regenerations, wouldn't he have had to regenerate to survive the poison?
JoeNotCharles
63. Dr. Thanatos
In the spirit of "hey, folks, it's only a TV show" I envision the Christmas special as holiday dinner at the Who's :

Doctor and River, The and Jenny and little Susan. And of course the in-laws have to show up-----and Doctor and River have apparently gotten busy during the off-season because Cindy Lou Who is there to carve the Roast Beast...
Ashe Armstrong
64. AsheSaoirse
I suppose that would make sense. If he can materialize the TARDIS in shrunken form inside the robot, why not inside a snowflake?
Joseph Kingsmill
65. JFKingsmill16
@62 Pendard - I always believed from what I have seen refered to on the Old Who was that certain things were able to be overcome with help of the Time Lords. Which is why the Three Doctor's and Five Doctor's TV specials were able to happen with out destroyinh the universe because of Time Lord technology. The same has been with the regeneration limit. A regular (without interference) Time Lord's regeneration limit is 12. It stands to reason that of course the Time Lords can increase or decrease this limit.

Moffat KNOWS that all of Doctor Who Fandom believe that there is a 12 regen limit and accept is as cannon. As I said above there are exceptions but they must be worked around. Now, he becomes the showrunner and changes things. 507 times? I have seen every currently available Doctor Who episode at least twice and I have never heard that mentioned. I have heard a 12 regen limit though.

It just feels that he is just thumbing his nose at us.
Ashe Armstrong
66. AsheSaoirse
@65- It was a joking line from Matt Smith's cameo in the two-parter "Death of the Doctor" from the Sarah Jane Adventures last year. Or was earlier this year? Anyways, one of the kids asks him and he says 507.
Joseph Kingsmill
67. JFKingsmill16
@66 - Thanx! Unfortunately I have to go by others since I haven't seen the episode.
Ashe Armstrong
68. AsheSaoirse
@67- No prob. I hunted down the episode when I heard about it.
JoeNotCharles
69. RAY71
I liked “The Wedding of River Song” .

I want to see how next season will deal with the death of the DOCTOR,
And how every alian race that the doctor has battled with and beaten will react to his death.

I want to see the Doctors Daughter step up and do battle with all those who would wage war on the people of earth in all the future timelines.
I want to see TORCHWOOD become the hub for Sung/Doctor intergalactic trading company.

I Liked the part where River tells her mom her days belong to Stormcage but the nights belong to me and the Doctor , Any chance River is going to have the Doctors children?? That would be outstanding. Any chance Amy will get to baby sit her grand kids that would be something to see.

In the the next season if the Doctor wants to stay in the background after becoming to big. He will have do do the following:

1)He will have to fix the commelion circuit on the TARDIS so that it can look like anything on any planet the doctor visits.
2) He will have to change how he looks,I liked the beard when he was Churchill's south sayer in the The Wedding of River Song.
3) He will have to create the time agency.To do battle against all threats to earth and the rest of the galaxy.
4) He will have to set it up in 1783 in England ,the colonies ,India ,China,Russia and several other places.
5) The time agency will be more top secret than TORCHWOOD ever was.
6) Faincing will be through archeological finds.River Sung can hop around through time,all she has to do is burry some treasure in the 10th century then dig it up in the 16th . She can do this over and over again on a thousand different planets .She will be a extriemly wealthy woman.

I look forward to seeing what you come up with in the 7th season.
The Question that the silence do not want answered can be addressed in season 8.
I have been watching DR WHO for over twenty years.Do not let us down .

I look forward to the next season,make it a great one.

Best Regards.
Teresa Jusino
70. TeresaJusino
Ursula @53 - I really love this idea - and I think it's very true. River is definitely Rory's daughter as much as she's Amy's.

They're an inseperable, wonderful team, those two. :)
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
71. AlirozTheConfused
I don't like how the relationship with River Song and The Doctor works. It just bothers me that we're supposed to feel all sorry for him when he doesn't really die; and so sorry for her when she has to kill him (but doesn't).

Look, season, we get it, River kills The Doctor; and you're trying to make us sympathize with her pain and her suffering; as well as his.

But, since this episode had such a heartfelt tribute to the Brigadier; I can't help but love it. I just hate the Doctor so, so much for that. Look, genocide I can take; repeated genocide I can take; convincing people to become dangerous to themselves and die for you I can take; but not visiting your friend?

That. Is. A. Crime.

The Brig waited for you, Doc. He waited for years and you never visited him.

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