Doctor Who - "The Wedding of River Song"

Whelp, that's another series over and done with for Doctor Who and while I land firmly in the 'bored with Alex Kingston/River Song/Melody Pond' camp (mostly because of Kingston's performance lacking any consistency or likability) I do have to say that it was pretty darn good.

The Doctor has decided that running away is enough and it's time to die, but instead of picking up where we left off last episode we're treated to a fantastical story told by a bearded Soothsayer/The Doctor to Caesar/Churchill in a reality where dinosaurs are alive, the Roman Empire hasn't reformed into the Catholic Church and is instead also the British Empire.  It's a world that's a compete mess and apparently a world where time never changes because it's dying.

The story was pretty darn good, there were plot holes, fallible events and huge leaps of faith/logic to deal with; but by the end of it it hung together pretty well.  The Doctor Who finales historically have been a mixed bag, under Rusty they were emotional triumphs that were let down by his inability to write science fiction without resorting to Deus Ex Machina to resolve everything (or in one case, a wonderful coffee shop conversation, surrounded by a terrible flying John Simm, and followed by an overly long death that felt 50% Opera swansong and 50% RTD swansong.  

This one was one of the better ones, there was a lot to follow and a lot to get your head around but it made sense, it was clever and it wiped clean a lot of the "damage" Rusty had caused over the time he was in charge of Doctor Who.  I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but Moffat's work has gradually been cleaning away the dramatic changes Rusty put into place when he regenerated the series.  The Daleks have returned to a more familiar form (as opposed to the loose analogs for religion they became) - even if they do now look like iPods and now The Doctor is due to return to the shadows and become a figure of mystery again - much like he was in the original series, where he could wander about and people often thought he was a harmless traveler.  That's pretty good, and all you have to do now Mr Moffat, is bring back the Time Lords, thank you very much.

I would be amiss if I didn't at least touch on the hanging threads left to tease future events.  In essence we've been told that the Eleventh Doctor will die (and regenerate) at Tranzalor - however it's worded as the 'fall of eleven' so there's still a little room for wiggle room - mind you it's not worth bothering too much about how it'll pan out, the Internet has created such a forum for speculation that it's impossible for any writer to surprise viewers when dropping hints like that.  People are very wise to foreshadowing unless it's done in a subtle fashion (see Arrested Development's second season and The Wire for the definition of subtle foreshadowing).  Moffat took a pop at this during the episode with a fun jibe about the speculation around River Song.

I do hope that this means the end of River Song in the series, as I have written before many times - I just don't like the character, she's rubbish - and I'm concerned about what it means for Amy and Rory going ahead (Amy's in essence a killer, that's something The Doctor doesn't tolerate in companions - even if it "hasn't happened" because it took place in an alternative time stream.

I think I'm very contented with "The Wedding of River Song", it was a well crafted piece that hung together brilliantly.  It was fast paced, exciting and faintly ridiculous - but it makes sense when you look at the overall picture, there wasn't a big button labelled 'reset to normal' here, instead there was a brilliant man coming up with a brilliant plan for his own survival - saving the universe and himself at the same time.  It's... to quote Ace... "Well devious".


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