Doctor Who: The Name of the Doctor (7.2.8)

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The Doctor has a secret he will take to the grave. It is discovered.

A stunning season finale that makes sense of this message, and explains the impossibility of Clara, wrapped up in a dark, complex, emotionally intelligent, and moving episode by Steven Moffat. It also features running glimpses of all the previous Doctors – William Hartnell in colour! – and some of their voices as part of the Doctor’s timeline. And if that’s not all you could wish for, it reveals another Doctor we’ve never seen before. This episode is about echoes in time, space, and the lives of these fascinating characters. Clara is the girl from Asylum of the Daleks, as we know when she tells Artie and Angie, “This time I will be souffle girl…a souffle is not a souffle, a souffle is the recipe.”

You know it’s going to get complicated when the opening scene is Gallifrey in the distant past, and William Hartnell’s Doctor is prevented from nicking a faulty Tardis by Clara. How did she get there? Well, it starts in 1893 London when Madame Vastra and Jenny receive the above message from a murderer. A dream conference call, with Trax, Clara, and River attending in spirit, literally in River’s case, is attacked by the white-faced,vampiric Whispermen, led by the Great Intelligence in the guise of Dr Simeon. They kill Jenny’s sleeping body, and take them to the Fields of Trenzalore, where Trax employs his medical skills to revive Jenny. River and Clara, lead the Doctor to them via a telepathic link with the Tardis.

Trenzalore is not a place the Tardis wishes to visit, since it’s a huge graveyard, site of the Doctor’s last battle and his final death. No wonder she refuses to land, and the Doctor has to make her fall to earth instead. Neither is the Doctor chuffed at the prospect – for a time traveller, it’s a place to be avoided at all costs – but he must rescue his friends.

Pursued by the Whispermen, they enter his tomb – the huge, grotesque ruin of the Tardis in the future – through a secret door in River’s gravestone. It has no business being there, but River knows about it, as she seems to know about so much. She prompts Clara with the information, apparently invisible to the Doctor, though he knows she’s there all along.

They’re re-united with Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax outside the control room of the Tardis/Tomb, where they are captured by the Great Intelligence. He wants to open the door, the key to which is the Doctor’s name, and he echoes Dorian the Blue Bloke when he asks, “Doctor Who? Doctor Who?” He tells his Whispermen to stop the hearts of the Doctor’s friends unless he gets an answer. River says the word that opens the door, but we don’t hear it.

There’s no body inside, just a column of raw pulsing energy where the central column of the Tardis would be. Because time travel causes damage, this is “the scar tissue of my journey through the universe, my path through time and space.” It is the Doctor’s time stream, peopled by all his past and future regenerations, singing with their voices.

The supreme prize for the Great Intelligence, who walks into it so he can destroy the Doctor’s work and happiness. (Cue more Doctors). As Madame Vastra says, “Simeon is attacking his entire timeline. He’s dying all at once. Dear Goddess, the universe without the Doctor! There will be be consequences.” And there are: Jenny is once more dead, Strax has reverted to being her enemy, before dying himself, and the stars are going out in a nod to Arthur C. Clarke’s story, The Nine Billion Names of God.

Clara steps into the timeline to rescue the Doctor in all of time and space. This is where she becomes the impossible girl, fragmented into echoes of herself, each one unaware of her past lives. While Dr Simeon is destroyed by his experience within the time stream, Clara is left lost and alone when her job is done.

Time now for the Doctor to enter his own stream and call her back with the leaf that brought her parents together in her current existence. Clara and the Doctor are re-united, just in time for her to see a figure with his back turned to them, also the Doctor

Doctor: The name I chose is the Doctor. The name you choose, it’s like a promise you make. He’s the one who broke the promise. He is my secret.
His Secret: What I did, I did without choice, in the name of peace and sanity.
Doctor: But not in the name of the Doctor.

This opens up endless possibilities. Could he be from the Time War, when Gallifrey was destroyed along with the Daleks? Then he turns round, showing himself as a ravaged old man, and the legend unfurls, “Introducing John Hurt as the Doctor.”

Well wham, bang, thank you ma’am, the Moff knows how to end on a cliff-hanger.

I hope you don’t mind the plot summary. So much is happening that I needed to get the bare bones laid out to think about it properly. Part of the reason for writing these reviews is to get my own thoughts about the series in order. I loved the way it brought so many themes together.

I’m glad the relationship between the Doctor and River has been resolved. It was all a little unsatisfactory that she disappeared from the series after their marriage. The Doctor made a copy of her in the Library after her death, and didn’t say goodbye, because “he doesn’t like endings.” He admits he did not visit her because “I thought it would hurt me, and I was right.” River wanted a proper goodbye and she gets one here, along with a good snog, in the Doctor’s promise to “see you around, Professor River Song.” I don’t think her echo will fade away.

There were other touching moments between Madame Vastra and Jenny. Madame Vastra is distraught at Jenny’s two deaths. Her reply to Strax, when he heals her the first time, is telling.

Strax: The heart is a relatively simple thing.
Madame Vastra: I have not found it so.

As for Strax, I laughed out loud at his idea of a good weekend off – having a brawl in a Glasgow pub – and Madame Vastra’s thoughts on the matter: “I wish he’d never discovered that place.”

The Doctor and Clara are now bound by deep ties of gratitude. While she has saved his life in all of time and space, he has rescued her from fragmentation within the time stream. What’s next for them, and will Clara feel the same way about John Hurt if he shows up as the next Doctor?

It’s a long time to November 23rd.

This post has been powered by Irn-Bru, the beverage of champions. It gets you through.

Doctor Who: The Wedding of River Song (6.13)

Doctor Who: Let’s Kill Hitler (6.8)
Doctor Who: Night Terrors (6.9)
Doctor Who: The Girl Who Waited (6.10)
Doctor Who: The God Complex (6.11)
Doctor Who: Closing Time (6.12)
BBC Doctor Who Website

Doctor: All of History is happening at once.
Churchill: What happened to Time?
Doctor: A woman.

The Question.  The Question that must never be answered.  Hidden in plain sight.  The Question you’ve been running from all your life.  Doctor Who.  Doctor WHO.  DOCTOR WHO.
– Dorium Maldovar (the fat, blue bloke)

The Wedding of River Song is a bravura finale by Steven Moffat to a series that sometimes had me completely confused about what was going on.  While I’ve always championed the long and complex story arc, it’s a relief to come to a safe harbour with a happy-ish ending and most of the questions answered.  Better still, the big question – who is Doctor Who? – is left hanging for the next series, freighted with the knowledge that Silence will fall if that question is ever answered.

Moffat brought all his toys into the playroom for this one.  The Daleks get a bit part, Winston reprises his role as PM in the incarnation of a Holy Roman Emperor, a Lizard appears as his doctor (sadly not the beautiful lesbian Lizard with the versatile tongue), the Tessellector provides crucial help, and Dorium gets a pivotal role in telling us the Question.  More importantly, Rory, Amy, and River all play an active part in resolving the story arc.

CGI is used to stunning effect.  I loved the vision of a London where all History is jumbled together.  That opening shot of a steam train appearing from the Gherkin had me hooked.  I’m glad Moffat continued the steampunk theme, with the Cairo Express steaming into a pyramid marked Area 52.  Pressed all the right buttons for me.

In Closing Time, I complained about the Doctor’s apparent acquiescence in his own fate.  In the first part of the finale, he at least wants to know why he must die, terrorizing a Dalek, and questioning the Tessellector to find out the Silence’s weakest link.  Which turns out to be Dorium, a blabberhead if ever I saw one, who he finds with the help of a giant, chess-playing Viking.  A really bad loser.  Live Chess could have commercial possibilities.

Never ask a question to which you don’t already know the answer.  And so the Doctor finds out why the Silence want him dead.

On the Fields of Trentellor, at the Fall of the 11th, when no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer, a question will be asked, a question that must never, ever be answered.

Because then the Silence will fall.  The Doctor takes Dorium’s head to the Tardis, determined to avoid this fate, despite him saying, “Time catches up with us all, Doctor.”  “Well, it has never laid a glove on me.”  It takes the news of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart’s death (“It’s time”) to shake him out of this fight or flight response, and give the blue envelopes to the Tessellector for posting.  A fitting tribute to Nicholas Courtney, and his contribution to Doctor Who.

The Tessellector’s question, “Is there anything else we can do?” is the key to squaring the circle of the Doctor’s absolutely necessary death.  Because, of course, what could better survive a cremation than the Tessellector itself, in the guise of the Doctor.  Here was me, thinking about the Flesh, or some convoluted timey-wimey solution, when it was as simple as this.  Brilliant plotting.  Get people thinking complicated, and pull the rug out from under their feet with simple.  Naturally, this isn’t revealed until the very end.

Amy makes her secret agent entrance – “Pond.  Amy Pond.” – as the Doctor’s rescuer from the Silence.  With her trusted aide, Captain Williams, because she’s forgotten what Rory looks like and only has an unfeasible drawing to give her a clue.  He doesn’t have a clue, either, until the Doctor suggests he ask her for a date.  “She would like to go out with you for texting and scones.”  But Amy does ask Rory out for a drink, later on, after also rescuing him from the Silence.

Guess who’s waiting, back in Area 52?  “Hi honey, I’m home.”  “And what time do you call this?”  Lovely dialogue, with a nod to the fans who are really pissed off with all the romantic stuff, and just want some straightforward adventures in time and space.  They’re voiced by the captive Madame Kovarian.  “All that flirting.  Do I have to watch this?”

Madame Kovarian meets her death as a direct result of Amy refusing to remove her Eye-Drive, through which the Silence are killing the humans who wear them.  Indeed, she pushes it more firmly into place.

Finally, we get to hear some of the repressed anger Amy must feel.  “You took my baby from me and hurt her.  And now she’s all grown up and she’s fine.  I’ll never see my baby again.”  This is despite Madame Kovarian appealing to Amy to act like the Doctor.  To no avail.  “River Song didn’t get it all from you, sweetie.”

The Doctor’s real battle is with River, Amy and Rory.  Time is disintegrating because River loves him too much to allow him to die.  She drains power from the weapons system in the space suit at Lake Silencio, and he lives.  Much to his surprise.  “Hello, sweetie.”  So now it’s always 5:02 pm, rather like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, where it’s always tea time.

The Doctor makes no headway at all, until they show him their “timey-wimey distress beacon,” which has brought messages of help and support from all over time and space.  “I can’t let you die without knowing you are loved.  And none more deeply than me.”  This, and River’s willingness to endure anything for his sake, seem to be the catalysts for him to marry River.  Bow tie as both rings, permission from Amy and Rory as parents.  The marriage brings with it the revelation, for River’s ears only, that the Doctor is inside a Tessellector-shaped Doctor.  “I just told you my name.”  (But the Doctor lies.)  His final plea works, with River knowing he will survive his death.  “Please help me.  There isn’t another way.”  “Then you may kiss the the bride.”

Time restarts with that kiss, River appears to kill the Doctor, and the Doctor appears to die.  All neatly wrapped up.

But there are a few loose ends.  River drops in on her Mum to find her sitting in the garden with a glass of wine.  Amy is mourning her lost innocence, having killed Madame Kovarian in cold blood.  If only she could tell the Doctor…So, secret out to Amy and Rory.  The Doctor returns Dorium to his crypt with the great wi-fi reception, the box door open.  River may be “in prison all her days,” but “her nights? Well, that’s between her and me.”

It ends in a question.  Like a soothsayer, Dorium reminds the Doctor that the Question is in fact the mystery of his own name.  Doctor Who?  The answer to which must never be revealed, and will inevitably be revealed on the Field of Trentellor, at the Fall of the 11th.

Apocalypse merely postponed.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Doctor Who: Closing Time (6.12)

Doctor Who: Let’s Kill Hitler (6.8)
Doctor Who: Night Terrors (6.9)
Doctor Who: The Girl Who Waited (6.10)
Doctor Who: The God Complex (6.11)
BBC Doctor Who Website

Tick, tock, goes the clock,
And what now shall we play?
Tick, tock, goes the clock,
Now summer’s gone away.

Tick, tock, goes the clock,
And all the years they fly,
Tick, tock, and all too soon,
Your love will surely die.

Tick, tock, goes the clock,
He cradled her and rocked her,
Tick, tock, goes the clock,
Till River kills the Doctor.
– Twisted nursery rhyme

I’ve always believed in all of you, all my life.  I’m going to die, Craig, tomorrow.  I’m going to die, but I don’t mind if you just prove me right.
– the Doctor

Closing Time, written by Gareth Roberts, combines an extremely satisfying standalone episode with a continuation of the story arc that adroitly sets the scene for the Doctor’s death at Lake Silencio on April 22, 2011.  At the hands of River Song, a possibility I’d discounted as being so obvious that it had to be a red herring.  We shall see.

The Doctor has known about his death since Let’s Kill Hitler, when he downloaded the records from the Justice Department ship, but nobody else knows he knows.  Which makes it a bit odd that Amy and Rory didn’t seem to worry when the Doctor parked them out of danger in the previous episode.  Particularly since Amy was really gung-ho about saving him, to the point of shooting the figure in the space suit in The Impossible Astronaut.

So when the Doctor shows up to visit Craig (James Corden), it’s the action of a lonely man facing his own death, who has turned away his friends in order to save them from the dangers surrounding him.  He’s on a “bit of a farewell tour,” putting on a brave face with a plan to see the Alignment of Exidor.  It sounds like something you might put on a list headed Things To Do Before I Die.  Visiting Craig seems like a safe bet – he’ll get some companionship and take his mind off tomorrow.  As one of the eye witnesses said, “It was so funny, he seemed so happy but so sad at the same time.”

It turns out not to be a safe bet at all.  Almost immediately, he senses “something’s wrong” from the flickering lights.  By the time his investigations have woken up Craig and Sophie’s new baby, Alfie, he’s enmeshed in Craig’s expectations and his own reluctance to walk away from helping humans.  Brilliant ensemble acting as the Doctor, Craig, and Alfie (aka Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All) work together to fight the menace of the Cybermen.

A beautifully written scenario.  The inept Craig is left for a weekend to cope with Stormy, who thinks of him as Not-Mum rather than Dad.  But he really wants to help the Doctor, based on the entirely erroneous idea that people closest to the Doctor are the safest.  And he wants to make the world safe for young Alfie.

The Doctor tries to get away, fighting his conscience tooth and nail.  “Stop noticing, just go!  I am through with saving them, I’m going away now.”  He tries to fend off Craig’s help and faith but has to give in.

Craig: You always win, you always survive.
Doctor: Those were the days…Alright, those days aren’t quite over yet.  Let’s go and investigate.

Craig is no Doctor, though.  I loved the the way he quite innocently perved up to the sales assistant in the knickers and bra department, and asked if anything strange had been going on.  Having Stormy take part in the action and dialogue, as translated by the Doctor, was an inspired move.  They took the basic idea of the Doctor “speaking Baby” from A Good Man Goes to War and ran with it.  Hugely satisfying moment when Craig overcame his cyber-conditioning in response to hearing Alfie cry, particularly since the Doctor was powerless in that situation.  Being the Doctor’s “companion/partner” in the apparent context of shopping with a baby is also fraught with misunderstanding, a situation not helped by him pretending to come on to Craig, in an effort to distract his attention from a Cyberman when their lift becomes a teleport.

But the Doctor also gets more than he bargained for, hiding from Rory and an obviously famous Amy in the store, signing autographs as the brand face of a new perfume – Petrichor, for the girl who’s tired of waiting.  I think Amy’s pregnant, from the loose blouse she wore.

Through it all, the Doctor is struggling with the foreknowledge of his own death.  The most affecting scene is when he’s alone with Stormy, revealing the feelings behind his apparent cheerfulness and energy.

Stop crying, you’ve got a lot to look forward to, you know.  A normal human life on Earth, mortgage payments, 9-5, a nagging sense of spiritual emptiness.  Save the tears for later, boyo.  That was crabby.  That was old.  But I am old, Stormy.  I am so old.

But Stormy is his salvation, reminding the Doctor of his own dreams, and triggering a protective impulse when the cybermat on the kitchen table comes back to life.  I like those things – metallic trilobites with shark’s teeth.

The Doctor’s chance to unburden himself to Craig is lost when he and Alfie fall asleep exhausted, but at least we know he completely understands his effect on other people.  “I’m a stupid, selfish man, always have been.  I put people in danger.”

When the Cybermen and their ship are blown up by Craig’s love for his son, and Alfie (now his preferred name) is “very proud of his Dad,”  there’s nothing to keep the Doctor.  And yet he stays to get the glass replaced in the kitchen door, and the house cleaned, so that Craig won’t get into trouble with Sophie when she returns.  Although I suspect that Sophie won’t believe Craig’s protestations of a quiet weekend when their son’s first word is “Doctor.”  Half doing something he really wants to do, and half putting off an evil hour.

Craig still doesn’t know the Doctor will die tomorrow, because he’s either been asleep or in the process of becoming a Cyberman.  So the Doctor’s “appointment” in America is just that, and Craig gives him the Stetson he will wear in The Impossible Astronaut.  The Doctor also takes the famous blue envelopes, in which he’ll send invitations to a younger Doctor, River, Amy, and Rory.  And he says goodbye to the 3 children whose eye witness testimony will be read by River Song on the day she becomes a Doctor of Archaeology.

When Madame Kovarian and the Silence appear, it’s obvious that her freedom was always an illusion.  “You never really escaped us, Melody Pond.”  They drug her, and stuff her into the spacesuit, to the accompaniment of that mocking nursery rhyme the dolls sang in Night Terrors.  Then she’s at the bottom of Lake Silencio, waiting to kill the Doctor, the crime for which she will be imprisoned.

I’m confused.  The older Doctor gets the blue envelopes from Craig and sends out his invitations.  He meets Amy, Rory, and River in the diner, and dies in The Impossible Astronaut, killed presumably by River.  When they return to the diner, the younger Doctor, who also received an invitation, shows up.  So begins the second half of season 6.  But if the younger Doctor merely acquiesces in his own fate, as he appears to be doing despite having foreknowledge, then this is a closed loop.  And if River is in the suit, then how can she also be on the beach with the others, unless some timey-wimey stuff is going on?  Or is one of the Rivers, and/or one of the Doctors Flesh?  Obviously the Doctor will live, even if he dies, so there has to be a get-out somewhere.  As for River, I’ve thought all along that she doesn’t kill the Doctor, just because everything points to her.  It’s too obvious.  I’m also wondering about the implications of this verse in the nursery rhyme.  Since the Doctor only ever cradled and rocked the Flesh Melody at Demon’s Run, what can this mean?  Does it have something to do with Amy’s pregnancy (as I surmise)?

Tick, tock, goes the clock,
He cradled her and rocked her,
Tick, tock, goes the clock,
Till River kills the Doctor.

All these questions, and many more, will be answered in the next episode.  I bloody well hope so.

Now then, the fish fingers have been defrosting since I started writing this post, and there’s a tin of custard ready and waiting…

Doctor Who: Let’s Kill Hitler (6.8)

As a prologue to the second half of Series 6, here’s a Guardian blog that recaps what’s happened so far, and the unanswered questions from the first half.

What do you do when you can’t get the Doctor on the phone?  Send him a crop circle, one weird enough to make the front page of the Leadworth Chronicle, created by Mini rather than with ropes and boards.  Splendid opening scene to Let’s Kill Hitler, trumped by Mels’ arrival in a stolen red sports car, drawing a line through Amy and Rory’s Doctor design.  Say who?  Mels?  Oh, Amy and Rory’s best childhood mate, to whom Amy’s told everything she knows about the Doctor.

She’s a bad girl is Mels, as demonstrated by flashbacks from their childhood, which also show that Rory has never loved anyone but Amy since he was in short trousers.  I think we knew that already.  Nice reference to Back to the Future when Mels (in Marty McFly mode) has to get Amy to realise that Rory is head over heels in love with her.  “The penny’s in the air…the penny drops.”

When the police pursue Mels, the obvious thing is to escape in the Tardis.  Where?  “You’ve got a time machine.  I’ve got a gun.  What the hell.  Let’s kill Hitler.”  I suspect that Steven Moffat came up with the title first, and built the story round that catchy hook, with Hitler as a convenient plot device to further the real business of the episode.

Which is of course to find Melody, Amy and Rory’s baby, who later becomes River Song.  As a result of Mels shooting the Tardis – I still haven’t worked out why – they crash land in Hitler’s Chancellery office in 1938.  Just in time to knock out the Justice Department robot time ship disguised as a Nazi, which is there to intervene at the end of Hitler’s timeline and give him hell.  Cock-up on the scheduling front, because they’re 7 years too early.  The ship’s control room bears a striking resemblance to that of the Enterprise in Star Trek, and they’re all miniaturized like the crew in Fantastic Voyage.  They’ve even got robot antibodies, looking like metal jellyfish, to destroy unauthorized personnel.

Hitler’s grateful to the Doctor.  “Thank you, whoever you are.  I think you have just saved my life.”  “Believe me, it was an accident.”  When the robot revives, Hitler shoots at it, misses, and hits Mels instead, so Rory puts him where he can’t do any more damage.  “Right. Putting Hitler in the cupboard.”  And there, for all practical purposes, is the end of Hitler in the storyline.

But Mels is part Timelord, having absorbed the energies from the Tardis when she was conceived.  As we saw when she broke out of her spacesuit in The Impossible Astronaut, and later regenerated as child in New York at the end of The Day of the Moon.  So now she regenerates again, this time as the bodacious River Song, who I am so glad to see again.  River as a teenager is even more outrageous than her older self – I keep playing that bit over and over again.

But before regenerating, she reveals herself as Rory and Amy’s daughter.  And she also reveals her fascination with the Doctor.  “When I was little I was going to marry you.”  Unfortunately, the Justice Department ship/Nazi robot recognizes her as the woman who killed the Doctor on 22 April, 2011 at 5:02 pm in Utah.

Still thinking of herself as Mels, and still brainwashed, she kills him with a poisoned kiss.  “Am I yours, sweetie?”  “Only River Song gets to call me that.”  And then she jumps out of the window to enjoy the Third Reich.  Amy and Rory follow her on a clothes shopping trip, which involves holding up a restaurant full of people and telling them to take their clothes off.

The Doctor, meanwhile, is dying and unable to regenerate.  He calls up the voice interface in the Tardis, rejecting holograms of himself (doesn’t like himself), followed by Rose, Martha, and Donna (“there must be someone left in the universe I haven’t screwed up yet”), before settling on the young Amelia Pond.  He finally gets the response – “fish fingers and custard” – that allows him to use the remaining 31 minutes of his life.

Amy and Rory have been zapped by the miniaturization ray wielded by a robot Amy, and find themselves at the mercy of antibodies in the time ship.  “OK.  I’m trapped inside the giant robot replica of my wife.  I’m really trying not to see this as a metaphor.”  Brilliant writing.  Rescued by the crew, using bracelets that tell the antibodies you’re not food, they watch as robot Amy confronts Mels in the restaurant.  “You killed the Doctor on the orders of the movement known as The Silence and Academy of Question.”

Then the Doctor shows up – in top hat and tails.  “Doctor, you’re dying and you stopped to change.”  He is allowed to question robot Amy.  The Silence aren’t a species, but a religious order or movement, who believe that silence will fall when the first and oldest question in the universe is asked.  The question itself is unknown.  Just as well, really.  Reminds me of Arthur C. Clarke’s story, The Nine Billion Names of God.

With the Doctor almost dead, the time ship fulfills its function of punishing criminals who don’t get caught in their lifetimes, by “giving them hell.”  Mels burns.  But Amy comes to the rescue, using the sonic screwdriver to disable all the protective bracelets so the crew have to beam out of the ship, leaving her and Rory as supper for the antibodies.  Mels is now free to go into the Tardis, which teaches her how to fly it, so she can get Rory and Amy out of the time ship.  “The Doctor says I am a child of the Tardis.  What does that mean?”

The Doctor’s still dying, though, and he has a last message for Mels.  “Find River Song and tell her something from me.”  We don’t hear his actual words, but it’s pretty obvious that he’s telling Mels, through this message to River, that he loves her.  Mels replies, “Well, I’m sure she knows.”  But of course she doesn’t, until real Amy instructs robot Amy to show her River Song.

Now Mels knows she’s River Song.

“Is he worth it?” she asks.  “Yes, yes he is,” says Amy, and River breathes all her Timelord energy into the Doctor to save his life with one kiss.  “Hello sweetie.”  Lovely moment.

The Doctor, Amy, and Rory leave her in the tender care of the Sisters of the Infinite Schism to recover, and to live her life without foreknowledge.  River has used up all her regenerations.  “She will be amazing,” the Doctor says, as he leaves her the blue diary she always carries, tied up in a red ribbon, still unwritten.

River enrolls at Luna University in 5123 to study Archaeology.  The professor asks why that subject.  “I’m looking for a good man,” she says, with the diary in her hand.

I loved the Doctors verdict on their first meeting, in which River first killed him then saved his life.  “As first dates go, I’d say that was mixed signals.”

So we know what happened to Melody.  But if she doesn’t kill the Doctor, then what is she in prison for?  He won’t tell.  And he knows about his forthcoming death in 2011 because he’s seen the Justice Department record on the Tardis console.  But Amy and Rory don’t know that he knows.

Then there’s the Silence and that terrible first question in the universe.  A great start to the second half of Series 6.