June 5, 2011

Season Six Sundays: A Good Man Goes to War


One of the challenges of blogging about shows, comics, etc., is the skill in avoiding spoilers - I have no problem seeking spoilers out for myself if I choose to after the fact, but I don't like inadvertently spoiling for others. I think there's a skill to be developed in talking about a work that cleverly avoids spoilers.

For A Good Man Goes To War, it's extremely critical because not only are certain plot points resolved, but several others are reinvigorated and/or potentially lead to further complications later this year. This is the kind of episode where most of the enjoyment comes not just from the big reveal as much as "how do they get there".

And yes, my friends, they get there.

Steven Moffatt's script cleverly integrates some aspects from past Who (both classic and modern) with some decidedly smart twists. For example, there's the classic Robert Holmes double-act between two minor characters very early in the episode, and there are some great moments of irony (the good kind) as the episode progresses. Once we learn what's happened - and secrets are revealed - you will be left with a kind of frustration....the frustration that comes from needing to wait until autumn to see how the story progresses.

It's also good in that several things are left relatively unexplained. I'm reminded of a recent Facebook post which suggested a let's-explain-the-Time-War-style crossover movie. For me, at the very least, I like the fact that with Doctor Who, the greatest stories are those that happen in the imagination, and those "gaps" might be best left alone.

My only disappointment, quite frankly, is in the "split season" this year. On the one hand, I quite enjoy the fact that Who is taking some creative narrative chances, becoming a more integrated narrative like Lost than in the past. However, this half season did feel a little rushed - I thought that last week's episode needed a little more time to breathe towards the end. It's a mixed bag, but I would rather the show take those kind of chances than, say, rant like certain disgruntled ex-Who novel writers who fannishly hold onto the idea that their Who is the only Who.

(Yes, you know who I'm talking about. No, I'm not going to link to his blog. I'm no troll feeder)

Finally, for those of you who read and/or lurk on this blog - how do you feel about how I've handled spoilers? I'm curious about feedback, and I don't think I've always been as clever/diligent in the past. Please feel free to leave a comment. At the very least, it will make me feel more loved.

And now, the wait begins until episode 8. Cue heavy sigh.

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