|Silence! (Silents?) Timey-wimey! River Song getting hitched! “The Wedding of River Song” had it all, including a moving tribute to the Brig. But did the various parts mesh together into a satisfying whole, or did the Three Who Rule think otherwise? The sudden demise of Doctor Who Confidential was also hashed over in great detail, with some division on the reasons and consequences of losing a window into the behind the scenes goings-on of our favorite television program. Stats, toys, t-shirts, expensive scale models of Matt Smith….and baseless Cybermat Roomba speculation round out this, the last Radio Free Skaro dealing with new Who until December 25th.|
– The Wedding of…River Song!
My main thought of the episode was “Only Matt Smith…” only Matt Smith’s doctor could have pulled off both the seriousness and the absolute frivolity that the doctor went through in this episode. Only Matt Smith could have done serious scenes only to go back and add a twist that completely throws the previous event out the window. (i.e. the Teselecta/Gideon van de Leur, asking if they can help, only come back later and add him popping back in.)
Re “why couldn’t the Doctor tell them it was a robot duplicate of him, and thus avert the whole series arc?”, the Doctor wouldn’t even have been aware of the Justice Department, and along with it the Teselecta, without the events of Let’s Kill Hitler, which was entirely dependent on (and indeed pivotal to) the series arc.
Averting those events would result in him having survived by using a robot duplicate he would no longer have ever had any knowledge of. So it couldn’t happen without a causation paradox (and we already saw, in the form of this last episode, just what the universe makes of those when it’s at a fixed point).
I think I’m with you guys this didn’t have that “Blow Me Away” quality the better Moffat episodes have had. However, I don’t have a problem accepting the Tesselecta could simulate a regeneration light show. I mean it could grow a motorbike and then ride on it. No problem accepting that part, just overall needed more “punch” I guess.
Jeremy Webb, FWIW, did some decent work here. But I can’t help comparing how he handles the Silence here with how Toby Haynes realized them in the opening two-parter. I was left wanting a bit more out of them, cool as they are.
As for why he fakes his own death and doesn’t tell anyone in TIA, note until the very end of TWORS he isn’t planning on letting anyone in on his plan, not even River. He only tells her to get her to go along with it and then he tells her, right in front Amy and Rory, not to tell anyone the secret (as specifically don’t tell them.) The Doctor doesn’t want them to think he’s okay.
lol @ “headless blue guy” comment on the podcast.
The only thing left of him was his head!
A bit disappointed that the Teselecta was the solution (especially as the starting flashback made it quite obvious). I don’t have a problem with the mechanics though as all we really need is for The Doctor to be seen to die at Lake Silencio. He was seen to die by both his friends and enemies and it will be recorded as such. As far as we know, this is what always happened.
The main questions I was left with were..
If, as River says, Amy didn’t really kill Madame Kovarian as it was only in a redundant timeline (if you can call it that when there’s no time) does it mean that she’s going to be coming back later?
Even more importantly, if the timeline was redundant and void, does it mean that the wedding is as well? Can you be married if the ceremony was in a timeline which never happened?
I can see a narrative point in The Doctor and River’s touching cancelling the differential to reinstate the original timeline but does it still hold true when he’s inside the Teselecta? Essentially the timeline is now being restored by River touching an inanimate object. In that case, the timeline would surely have been reinstated when she wrapped his bowtie around her hand? (I know, very picky!)
All in all a decent episode that only really suffered by being at the end of a very good series with some much better episodes.
I can forgive any issues with the story for the send off they give the Brig, just what Nick Courtney deserved.
The Doctor was always inside the Teselecta on that beach as far as time is concerned and so the temporal polarity thingy is between River and the Teselecta (with the Doctor inside). The reason why it doesn’t kick in when she touches the bow tie is because it isn’t part of the robot but is given to the Doctor by Amy. Probably.
I guess I really like the episode. Really like but not love. It’s just lacking something to really make it stand out, and frankly, the more I think about it the more I start suspecting it’s down to less than exceptional direction. It might be the editing. There were few really interestingly looking scenes and the story didn’t have room to breathe. The action and the world felt small. The Big Bang had a similar setup but managed to feel intimate, a crucial difference. I’ve only seen the wedding episode once though, my opinion may change.
Wow, just the audio clip of the tribute to the Brigadier gave me shivers and wetter eyes. That was a truly beautiful nod.
As far as the overall episode, the “let-down” for me was due to the fact that this was the finale of the season. Knowing that it’s the last and that bows were going to be tied and craziness comes to a head does kind of suck when you know it will be multiple months before it returns, and almost a year before it’s back on for multiple weeks in a row.
Although I said I was “let-down”, it’s only in comparison to previous Moffat-ry. I love/hate how incredibly well-written he can be and how he makes you think of some elaborate plan and then what happens…? He does what he said he would, and uses everything in the previous story-line to his advantage. As you 3 like to say, Doctor Who has relied on “reset buttons” for many episodes, nay, years (RTD). With moffat, at least the “reset” comes with something he introduced to you more than 5 minutes prior to the resolution. A high percentage of us could see the Teselecta bit coming from a mile away, but at least it was for just reasons.
Long opinion made short:
Wonderful bit of Doctor Who, but not the pinnacle of Moffat-ry.
B+ for DW standards, C- for Moffat standards, for once it is the touching momements (see Nicholas Courtney nod) that outshine the timey-wimey bits.
I’ve always thought Matt Smith had something of Michael Palin about him, especially when he’s the hirsute Doctor.
Anyway, something completely different. Now the question has been revealed, Stephen Moffat is planning a whole series of teaser trailers about what the answer is.
Sneak preview here… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=063jQAM6N8I
I actually hate the way that Moffat is changing the TV series into a crappy bunch of pointless riddles. The characters have no motivation. We are told the silence are a huge scary force that want to kill the Doctor (for some reason), but their plan is to kidnap his companions daughter who is a bit timey-wimey, brainwash her and put her in a suit that will kill the Doctor. Idiotic. If you take a step back and look at this season overall you will be astonished that something that tries to be so clever can be so stupid. Lucky they have good special effects, dramatic music and fast editing so that we’re not encouraged to think too hard.