Monday, October 31, 2011

The complete River Song stories timeline

Right, I know I'm sticking my neck out there, but here it is: the River Song timeline as we know it.(Warning: large file)

I know, Rory isn't there. I may add him later. Also The Eleventh Hour doesn't feature River Song, but I somehow feel it should be here. (Perhaps it should be called "Steven Moffat series 4-6 stories timeline" instead.)

And apologies for the poor graphics...

Saturday, October 08, 2011

And this is where it begins...

... (Madame Kovarian, Closing Time)

You don't often see that a finale can be described by this, but this is Steven Moffat's non-time-travel but still timey-wimey way of ending a series exactly where it starts! He does love these things, even in Coupling the techniques of showing different time perspectives, telling story in wrong order etc have been used. But back to here...

Doctor Who Episode 6.13: The Wedding of River Song

It must be a difficult task to hide away the big resolution for an entire 13 episodes - it literally started in the first few minutes of episode 1 and did not get resolved until the last few minutes of episode 13 - only Moffat would have even attempted that, and I think he did that pretty well. I didn't guess it (before seeing the "previously..." part), and probably not many did. Part of it is because both inside and outside the whoinverse, it was stated many times that it "really" is the doctor and he "really" is dead  (e.g. by Canton, by Moffat himself). In an interesting way they are not "lying" because the whole point of the resolution is to make the rest of the universe believe the doctor is really dead. You may say "how can you expect people to be so easily fooled into this", but look at the Internet: half of the "fans" cannot get their heads around to understand the idea that the fixed point was always the Teselecta's "death", not the Doctor's, and still refuse to believe it even after it has been pointed out.

Overall it is quite a good series finale. I won't say it is "surprisingly simple" (as said in another review) though. Yes, there is no actual time travel, just an aborted timeline, but the way the story was told (interleaving the original timeline and the aborted timeline) appeared to have confused some viewers. There's even people bothered enough to say they don't understand the complex storylines and complained to the BBC. Seriously though I think they maybe should give up and watch Eastenders. However I think it is fair to say that the heavy series arc will drive casual viewers away, which is unfortunate.

"Haven't you figured out that one yet?" - the Doctor, Let's Kill Hitler

As expected, not all open questions were answered. Some of the questions that were not much discussed, but I particularly wanted to see them answered, but I suspect they won't be, are:

1. Why is the spaceship in "The Lodger" exactly a Silence spaceship? You are not telling me this is just coincidence, are you? Is it really an attempt by someone to build a time machine, and if so, why? And what about the tunnels around the entire Earth thing, is it related?

2. Why/how did the Silence blow up the TARDIS, and more importantly,why that particular point in time and space (as the Doctor himself asked)? Why at Amy's garden, just before her wedding?

3. What's written on the cot? If it is the Doctor's or River's name, how on earth can the Doctor deduce anything from it? (If it really is the doctor's cot, it would make no sense for River's name to be on it - I suspect there is some further timey-wimey stuff going on...) And by the way why was he so gleeful (though that scene is amusing to watch) - he should have half-guessed it long time ago?

"It's more than just a secret" - Madame de Pompadour, The Girl in the Fireplace

Doctor's name is now officially not just a secret but serves a significant plot purpose in Series 7 or after. In Forest of the Dead the Doctor said River knew his name, that "there is only one time I could" (tell anyone his name). Lots of speculation suggested this would be his marriage, but as we have just seen, it is not. So when will it be? Presumably The Fall of the Eleventh, but what happens then, why would that be the only time to tell his name? And River will be around when that happens?

"My time is running out..." - the Doctor, Closing Time

Maybe not for him yet, but it is for Doctor Who Confidential. At least they have a good last contribution, showing the entire River Song timeline from her perspective. But otherwise the programme has recently started to show irrelevant pointless stuff - like putting Karen Gillan in a car (why not do it in Top Gear?!) So in a way, it makes sense to cut the programme. But like many "fans" I sometimes fear that the end is about to come. I always have the thought that, "they won't cut the main show directly, first they will start with the spin-offs, then they will mess with the scheduling until no one watches it". Well we might be seeing the beginning of it here...