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A Good Man Goes to War (TV story)

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A Good Man Goes to War was the seventh episode in the sixth series of Doctor Who and the last episode of the spring half of the series. It was the first episode of a two-part story, followed by Let's Kill Hitler. It revealed the identity of River Song, naming her as Melody Pond, the daughter of Amy Pond and Rory Williams. The midseries finale also introduced the Headless Monks, a militaristic faction of the Silence, and formally introduced the ubiquitous "Eye Patch Lady" as the malevolent Madame Kovarian. Further notable moments were the reappearances of several of the Doctor's allies, enemies, and neutral acquaintances - and the introduction of several previously unseen friends. One of these individuals, Dorium Maldovar, would make a costly mistake that reduced him to a mere head. It also showed the extent to which the Doctor had become feared and the lengths to which those who feared him were willing to go to be rid of him.

Synopsis Edit

On the asteroid Demon's Run, Amy Pond has given birth. But the villainous Madame Kovarian and the religious order of the silence are waiting to make a collection that tears Amy's world apart. Across the galaxy, the Eleventh Doctor and Rory Williams are assembling an army to fight the battle that lies ahead, whilst in Stormcage, River Song prepares to escape for what may be the last time. For this is the battle of Demon's Run. On this day, the Doctor will rise higher than ever and fall so much further, and finally, this is the day he discovers who River Song is...

Plot Edit

On the Demon's Run base, Amy calms her infant daughter, Melody Pond, as Cleric guards and Madame Kovarian look on. Amy tells Melody of her father. Though he looks young, he has lived for hundreds of years and he is coming for them, so their captors had better beware as not even an army would stop him. Kovarian takes Melody from Amy and puts her in a cot to be taken away. Amy gives Melody a kiss and continues talking about her father; though he has a name, the people of Earth know him better by a different title: the Last Centurion.

Rory Messenger
"Would you like me to repeat the question?"

Twenty thousand light years away, on the flagship of the Twelfth Cyber Legion, Cybermen detect an intruder working his way to their command center, wreaking havoc with a sonic screwdriver. They try sealing him off, but every attempt fails. They prepare to confront him, weapons raised as the door opens to reveal Rory. Fearless, Rory tells the Cybermen that he has a message from the Eleventh Doctor and a question from himself: "Where is my wife?" The Cybermen don't answer, prompting Rory to explain that they hear everything in the quadrant; he will leave in peace if they tell him what he wants to know. The Cyber-Leader demands the Doctor's message and gets it: the rest of the ships explode outside the window. Message delivered, Rory asks if he needs to repeat his question. The Cyber-Leader doesn't say anything else.

On Demon's Run, the Clerics have been on Yellow Alert over three weeks. The Fat One and the Thin One discuss the Doctor and how he scolded the Atraxi after scaring them off a planet. The Thin One reminds the Fat One that they're being paid to fight the Doctor. Praising costs more. A Cleric named Lorna overhears them, smiles, and continues to sew on her break. This is seen by two guards in the control room, who are practising telling psychic paper from actual identification.

The Thin One and the Fat One talk about the Headless Monks they are sharing the base with, pondering if they are truly headless. Lorna overhears them and explains. They believe "the domain of faith is the heart and the domain of doubt is the head", hence the name "headless." The Fat One leaves with the monks to complete a conversion tutorial. The Thin One deduces that Lorna has met the Doctor; he is right. Lorna met him when she was a little girl in the Gamma Forests, something that made her join the Clerics, despite her planet being "heaven neutral", as the Doctor's time there was the only exciting thing that happened. When asked what he's like, Lorna mentions the Doctor said "Run" a lot.

Elsewhere, the Fat One is taken to the Headless Monks' headquarters and told he has been selected for conversion to their faith and must make a donation. The Monks advance on him with an empty box. In the meantime, the Thin One asks Lorna why she thinks the Doctor isn't at Demons Run yet. She guesses it's because he can be anywhere in time and space.

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Jenny Flint, Madame Vastra's maid.
BroadcastCorpAdded by BroadcastCorp

London, 1888: a woman returns home and informs her carriage driver she won't be needing him again that night. She enters and greets her maid Jenny, telling her to send a telegram to Scotland Yard informing them Jack the Ripper is dead. When asked how she found him, the woman reveals herself to be a Silurian named Vastra, saying, "Stringy, but tasty". Jenny then takes her to the drawing room, where the TARDIS has materialised. Vastra knows the time has come to repay an old debt to the Doctor and tells Jenny to pack.

In the 41st century Battle of Zaruthstra, Commander Harcourt heads to a medical tent to inform Madame President Eleanor that they must leave a child behind as the enemy is closing in and the nurse has yet to arrive. Just then a Sontaran named Strax enters and does a medical scan on the boy, telling him that he will soon be well. Upon leaving with his work done, Strax is questioned by Harcourt about why a Sontaran is serving as a nurse; it's a penance to restore the glory of Strax's lost clone batch. Upon seeing the TARDIS arrive, Strax sees his penance is over, telling Harcourt to get some rest.

In the Stormcage Containment Facility, a tipsy River Song returns from one of her "outings" with the Doctor and sets off the alarm. Calling the guards to tell them that she is returning to her cell, River notices someone in Roman garb in the shadows; it's Rory. After confirming she knows who he is, River quickly looks in her diary to know why he's there: Demons Run. Rory explains the situation, asking River to come help with the others the Doctor is recruiting. River explains that the Battle of Demons Run is when the Doctor will finally know who she is and that she cannot be there until the very end. It is also the day the Doctor rises higher than before, but falls lower than that.

Elsewhere, at the Maldovarium, Dorium Maldovar is closing down his bar in a hurry, out of fear of something. He is caught by Colonel Manton and Madame Kovarian, who ask him what he knows; they have been on Yellow Alert for a month and the Doctor hasn't done anything. Dorium explains that there are numerous people throughout time and space that owe the Doctor a debt for helping them; he's gathering an army. Dorium explains the stories about the Doctor are true and not myths. Seeing they are getting nowhere, Kovarian and Manton leave. Dorium prepares to follow suit, but finds the TARDIS has landed in the backroom of his bar.

Colonel-manton
Manton speaks at the rally.
CortionAdded by Cortion

At Demon's Run, Colonel Manton speaks to the assembled Clerics and Monks about the Doctor. They are told not believe any of the stories they've heard about him; the Doctor is neither a goblin, trickster, god, nor devil, but a living, breathing man. He then tells the Clerics that they are going to fix that.

Amy watches from above, in her cell. Lorna enters, apologising and offering a prayer leaf with Melody's name sewn on it in the language of her people. Amy becomes annoyed with Lorna, asking for her gun if she keeps talking. Her focus then goes back to how the Clerics react to the Doctor. Lorna explains that he's seen as a "dark legend", earning a scoff from Amy, who asks if she's met him. To her surprise, Amy learns Lorna met the Doctor as little girl as well. Seeing that Lorna is genuinely being compassionate towards her, Amy accepts the gift, but warns Lorna that the Doctor is coming and that she needs to be on the right side.

Lorna hurries to the speech, arriving as Manton says he has received divine permission to lower the hoods of the Headless Monks. He reveals knots of skin in place of a neck and head, making the Thin One horrified about what happened to the Fat One. However, as Manton explains what the lack of heads gives the monks, the third one lowers his own hood to reveal himself to be the Doctor. Everyone is shocked while Amy and Lorna smile. The Doctor invites the Clerics to point their weapons at him if it helps them relax.

In the control room above the hangar, Vastra and Jenny hold two technicians at sword point, much to their horror. Vastra encourages them to resist being held hostage as she's hungry for "ape". Jenny then politely asks them which button controls the lights. In the hangar, Colonel Manton tells the Doctor that he will be taken into custody. However, the Doctor mumbles, "3 minutes 40 seconds", before yelling for Amy to get her coat. The lights go out as he puts his hood back up.

When the light come back on, the Doctor has disappeared from the stage. His voice echoes through the room, informing them that he is amongst the monks. The Clerics begin panicking and wondering which of the monks is the Doctor. One of the Clerics shoots a Monk, who turns out to be headless. This causes the monks to begin killing the Clerics and vise versa. Lorna spots a monk using a sonic screwdriver on a door across the hangar and follows it out. Madame Kovarian also leaves with two Clerics.

In the control room, Vastra comments on the Doctor's brilliance, accidentally insulting Jenny. Apologising, she quickly knocks out one of the hostage Clerics with her tongue to prevent him from tripping a lockdown button.

Back in the hangar, Manton regains control, ordering the Clerics not to fire. He removes his weapon pack and drops his gun as a show of good faith, urging the Clerics to do the same. However, as soon as they're all disarmed, an army of Silurians and Judoon materialise. Commander Strax holds Manton at gunpoint, claiming the base. Manton says his fleet will come to help if Demon's Run goes down.

However, the Doctor announces from the speakers that their communications relay can't work if it's taken out, explaining that they've got incoming. Danny Boy radios the Doctor and is order to "give 'em hell". Outside the base, a group of Dalek-upgraded Spitfires attack and disable their communications. Upon hearing that they've succeeded, Manton is at a loss for words.

Elsewhere, Kovarian gets to her ship with Melody in a portable cot. She orders her aides back to the hangar, saying the Doctor must think he is winning "until the trap closes." Unbeknownst to them, Lorna is listening. She runs off. Rory appears and confronts Kovarian. She taunts him, asking how he will take her ship. Henry Avery and his son Toby exit the ship with a captured crewman, declaring, "The ship is ours, milady".

Kovarian and Manton are brought to the Doctor, who has joined Vastra and Jenny in the control room. He then laughs, saying it took him "3 minutes 42 seconds" to take the base. Strax tells Manton to order his troops to retreat, but the Doctor decides to punish Manton by having him be famous for instead saying, "Run away". Explaining why, the Doctor says it's a warning for those who try to get to him through the people he loves. Manton refuses until Kovarian tells him to do so.

In her cell, Amy hears someone trying to get in and realises it's Rory, who asks her to wait as he unlocks the door with the sonic and he enters with the baby in his arms. They reunite tearfully as the Doctor enters, trying to excuse himself as it's an emotional moment. However, Rory orders him in. The Doctor talks to Melody, claiming that he can speak baby. Madame Vastra enters, telling the Doctor the Clerics are leaving without any bloodshed. When she gloats that the Doctor has never risen higher, Rory remembers River's warning.

The group, minus Dorium and Vastra, gather in the hangar, preparing to leave the base, but the Doctor does not want to leave until he figures out why the base was used in the first place. There is a debate as to why Melody is crying. The Doctor emerges from the TARDIS with a cot, saying the baby is sleepy. Rory and Amy try to come to terms with what has happened and why Amy was kidnapped; the Doctor knew, but didn't tell Rory in case they were listening in on them. Vastra calls the Doctor to the control room. Before he leaves, Amy implores him to tell them something about their baby. The Doctor says the cot he's letting Melody use was once his.

Rory-army
The Doctor's Army prepares to fight.
BroadcastCorpAdded by BroadcastCorp

In the control room, Dorium hacks into Kovarian's files and finds scans of Melody's DNA, which contain traces of Time Lord DNA. Vastra wonders where Melody was conceived, knowing that Time Lords became what they were through exposure to the time vortex and the Untempered Schism. The Doctor remembers that the first time Amy and Rory were together on the TARDIS in this version of reality was on their wedding night. Vastra deduces that Kovarian wants a part-Time Lord to turn her into a weapon. Dorium fears that victory came too easily and something is wrong; Vastra agrees. The two hurry back to the hangar. The Doctor, scowling, stays, remembering the little girl from 1969 America and the super-human strength with which she escaped from the astronaut suit. Kovarian appears on a view screen in the control room. When he asks what the baby is for, Kovarian says Melody is hope in their endless, bitter war against the Doctor.

In the hangar, Lorna is captured by Strax, who found her eavesdropping. She warns them of Kovarian's trap, but they refuse to believe her, given her uniform; she only joined the Clerics to meet the Doctor, a "great warrior." When Amy tells her the Doctor is not a warrior, Lorna confusedly asks why he is called "the Doctor." The lights in the hangar switch off and Strax scans the area, confirming there are no life forms on the base apart from them and the Silurians. Lorna tells him the monks aren't alive, so they don't register. Elsewhere, the monks kill the Silurians. As Vastra and Dorium join the others, a force field surrounds the TARDIS and the hangar doors lock. Dorium identifies the Monks' chant as their attack prayer and steps forward, hoping to negotiate with them, but is beheaded. His body joins the Monks as they advance on the group. Rory ushers Amy and Melody to safety before joining the others as the real battle begins.

Doctor eleven
The Doctor is horrified to learn why Melody was kidnapped.
DarrendwAdded by Darrendw

In the control room, the Doctor angrily tells Kovarian that a child is not a weapon and he will never let her near Melody again after she lost her in the battle. Kovarian gleefully informs him that fooling him once was a joy, but fooling him twice in the same way is a privilege. Realising that Kovarian has made a Ganger of Melody, the Doctor rushes off to warn Amy.

Rory, Vastra, Jenny, Strax and Lorna battle the Headless Monks while Amy waits, holding a crying baby. As the monks are slain, they manage to give blows to Strax and Lorna that leaves them on the verge of death. As the fighting continues, Melody, looking over her mother's shoulder, sees a slot open in mid-air through which Kovarian whispers, "Wakey wakey". Melody dissolves into Flesh and Amy screams for Rory.

The Doctor arrives at the battle as it ends. A sullen Rory informs him they know Melody was Flesh. The Headless Monks have been defeated, but Lorna and Strax are fatally wounded. Rory goes to help Strax, who dies happy as it was in battle. The Doctor tries to comfort Amy, but she backs away from him. Vastra brings the Doctor to Lorna. She says they met once and she fears he does not remember her; the Doctor quells her fears, saying he remembers everyone and that he knows they ran together. She soon dies.

As the Doctor considers giving up, River Song appears. He angrily confronts her, demanding to know why she did not come when he asked as he's always been there for her. River replies that she could not have prevented the battle. The Doctor tells her that he didn't want this, but River says it's exactly like the Doctor; his legendary adventures have made others frightened of him. She asks him if this is how he pictured things turning out when he first took off to see the universe, explaining that the word "Doctor" comes from him. However, the Gamma Forests translates "Doctor" as "Mighty Warrior", reflecting how he defeats foes and the reason Lorna sought him out.

The Doctor, tired of her riddles, demands to know who she is. She runs to his cot and directs his attention to it, asking him if he can read what's down there. Once he does, his expression changes from anger to joy. He asks River several incomplete questions, all of which are answered, "Yes", even those that obviously seem to be about their relationship. He bids Vastra and Jenny goodbye, orders River to get them all home safely, and takes off in the TARDIS despite Amy's protests.

Amy-learns-who-river-is
Amy and Rory learn River is their daughter
BroadcastCorpAdded by BroadcastCorp

Amy points a gun at River and asks what she told the Doctor. River calmly hands Amy the prayer leaf Lorna sewed for her, which lies in the cot. It is Melody's name in the language of the people of the Gamma Forests. They don't have a word for "Pond," since the only water in the forest is the river. Amy and Rory watch as the TARDIS translator kicks in, and the stitching on the prayer leaf changes to words they can read: River Song. Overwhelmed with emotion, River confirms she is their daughter. They can only look on in shock.

Cast Edit

Crew Edit

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics

Movement

Casting

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects

Sound







Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.
          

No Ood actually appear in this episode, but they receive a creator credit.


References Edit

Anatomy and physiology Edit

  • The Doctor, having discovered Melody's Time Lord DNA, recounts Amy worrying that her baby would have a timehead while trying to make sense of it all, leading Vastra to note that only he would ignore the instincts of a mother.

Individuals Edit

  • The Fat One asks the monks if they have Lent.
  • Vastra's driver is named Parker.

The Doctor Edit

Species Edit

Weapons Edit

Technology Edit

  • Psychic paper projects fractal lines that distinguish its mental illusions from tangible images printed on actual paper.

Story notes Edit

  • This episode was originally entitled Demons Run.[1] It was changed to A Good Man Goes to War, although His Darkest Hour had also been considered as a title.[2]
  • A Good Man Goes to War, as noted by Steven Moffat, aside from being episode 7 of this series, is also the 777th episode of Doctor Who. Moffat stated there were no "seven puns" in the episode as the coincidence was only observed after it was shot.
  • The end credits list Russell T Davies as creating the Ood and Judoon. However, no Ood appear in the episode. In REF: The Brilliant Book 2012 it is stated that we would have seen Ood Sigma assist the Doctor's Army, but the scene was cut.
  • Malcolm Hulke is credited as the creator of the Silurians in the end credits. Strangely, this did not occur in The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood nor The Pandorica Opens.
  • The idea that the word "doctor" derives from the Doctor was first advanced by Steven Moffat in a Usenet post in 1995.[3]
  • Dan Starkey appears as the Sontaran Commander Strax. He earlier played Commander Skorr in The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky and Commander Jask in The End of Time. Neve McIntosh also played Silurian sisters Alaya and Restac in The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood.
  • According to Steven Moffat, he was unable to include Jack Harkness in the Doctor's army because John Barrowman was busy filming Torchwood: Miracle Day.[4]
  • The TARDIS console room does not appear in this episode. This is the first time this has occurred since Planet of the Dead, over two years earlier. It is the first episode of the Eleventh Doctor era to not have a scene set in the TARDIS.
  • The Series 1 & 2 variation of Doctors theme (The Doctor's Theme) plays for six seconds when the Doctor and Vastra are talking about a Time Lord being used as a weapon.
  • A variation of All The Strange, Strange Creatures plays right before the scene mentioned above.
  • This is the first story to include River where the phrase "Hello Sweetie" isn't heard.
  • Vastra's first exchange of dialogue - "Thank you, Parker, I won't be needing you again tonight", to which an unseen carriage driver replies "Yes, m'lady" - is a reference to Lady Penelope in the Gerry Anderson TV series Thunderbirds, who often exchanged similar words with her manservant, also named Parker. A 2004 live-action version of Thunderbirds featured Sophia Myles of Moffat's TV: The Girl in the Fireplace as Lady Penelope, and Ron Cook, who played Mr Magpie in TV: The Idiot's Lantern, as Parker.
  • This episode features a unique sound mix on the opening theme music, which features the sound of the TARDIS. No Series 6 episode before or after featured this version of the theme.
  • The title of this episode is much more ambiguous than one would think, partly because of the Doctor's own admission that he is not necessarily a "good man" because he "has so many" rules, and also because of Amy's opening narration, which misled the viewer into thinking she was talking about the Doctor rather than Rory. These two instances lend weight to the idea that the "good man" of the title may refer to Rory rather than the Doctor.
  • Alex Kingston's character is revealed to be Melody Pond. In 2009-2010, Kingston played a character in Law and Order: SVU named Miranda Pond.
  • As the last episode of the first half of Series 6, there is no "NEXT TIME" trailer at the end of the episode, instead a message saying that "Doctor Who will return in Let's Kill Hitler".
  • This episode solves the fan debate as to whether or not The Doctor was speaking Gallifreyan and it was being translated.

Ratings Edit

  • 7.57 million (31.0% market share)

Myths Edit

  • Karen Gillan is leaving the series and Amy Pond will be killed off at the climax to the spring half of the series.[5] This was proven false.
  • River Song will die.[6] This was proven false even before broadcast owing to the fact River's death was shown in the 2008 episode TV: Forest of the Dead.
  • We will learn of the identity of River Song.[7] This was proven true; she was revealed as the daughter of Amy Pond and Rory Williams.
  • River Song has been recently rumoured to be Amy's daughter as well as the Doctor's wife.[8] This was proven true; she was revealed to be Amy's daughter, and later revealed to marry the Doctor.
  • We will find out whom River Song killed. Steven Moffat has said "a good man will die – a good man, and a hero to many."[9] This was later proven false and the answer was not confirmed until later in the season.
  • The Cybermen will be newly designed Cybermen.[10] The design was largely the same, with the most significant change being the removal of the Cybus Industries logo. The 2012 edition of The Doctor Who Brilliant Book claims that these are the original Mondasian Cybermen who, for reasons left unexplained, have assimilated the designs of the Cybus Cybermen. The Cybermen did not change designs until TV: Nightmare in Silver.
  • The Cybermen will be planning to trap and capture the Doctor, before freezing him.[11] This was proven false.
  • The character named Jenny would be the Doctor's daughter in her second incarnation.[12] This was proven false.
  • Had John Barrowman reprised his role as Captain Jack Harkness in this story, he would have fallen victim to the Headless Monks and received a beheading. His head would live on by itself and eventually become the Face of Boe. This remains unconfirmed.
  • The Gallifreyan writing on the Doctor's cot bears his name. This remains unconfirmed, however in the final scene when River reveals her identity, she tells Amy to look at the Gallifreyan writing when she asked River what she told the Doctor, suggesting that it's indeed River's name on the cot.

Filming locations Edit

to be added

Production errors Edit

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • The credits mention that Russell T Davies created the Judoon and the Ood. The only Series 6 episode that features an Ood is The Doctor's Wife. A scene featuring an Ood was filmed for the episode, but cut, and the credit was left unchanged by accident.
  • The word "Override" is incorrectly spelt "Overide" on the label for the button which controls the door lock, which two tied up soldiers attempt to press before one is stung by Vastra (the same error occurs on a graphic in World War Three). Spellings can change over time.
  • The Cyber-Leader's mouth glows blue when it isn't speaking when Rory was on the Twelfth Legion's Cybership (this also happened in The Pandorica Opens).
  • When the Doctor is revealed in a cape of the Headless Monks, the two guards beside Madame Kovarian point their guns at him. In the next shot where the army points their guns at the Doctor, the two guards repeat their actions.
  • Rory places the tip of his sword against Madame Kovarian's shoulder as she is about to board her shuttle, in the next shot, Rory is seen holding the sword away from her.
  • Gallifreyan can not be translated, so why can everyone on Gallifrey speak English (as seen in every televised story set on Gallifrey)

Continuity Edit

Home video releases Edit

Series-6-part-1-dvd-cover
Series 6, part 1 DVD cover
Mini-mitchAdded by Mini-mitch

This story was released as Series 6 Part 1 with The Impossible Astronaut, Day of the Moon, The Curse of the Black Spot, The Doctor's Wife, The Rebel Flesh and The Almost People on 11th July 2011.

The episode was later released in the complete series 6, which included the first and second half of the series, was released on DVD and Blu Ray on the 21 November 2011.

External links Edit

Footnotes Edit

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