Reaction to River’s Wedding

First things first – these reaction round-ups are always a fascinating read, but it has come to my attention that certain websites just aren’t bothering anymore.

Instead of reviewing episodes, many websites are writing up synopses or “recaps”; Doctor Who isn’t alone in this, and there is a whole cottage industry online of people writing up summaries rather than sharing their opinion.

The thing is, Doctor Who can be so much more divisive than other shows that this just seems like a wasted effort, and at the very least a missed opportunity.

Fortunately this trend hasn’t materialised at TV Pixie just yet (although you’re unlikely to see any more links to Digital Spy reviews in future…) where some extreme extrapolations have been introduced, including a suggestion for a potential companion of the future…

It was all just so damned, explosively good: despite its Time Bandits silliness and convenient Get Out Of Death Free card. After all, if you’re writing a programme about a time travelling, 1,000 year old alien who ponces around in a 60s era police box, why not pull out all the stops? Hell, why even have stops in the first place? Just give the Doctor a dinosaur to ride, make Jesus his sidekick and have done with it.

Lord and Time Lord!

Meanwhile, GeekSugar is only here for the recaps. They’re gold, it would seem, although we’ll make an exception in this case to concur with the opinion that:

Amy’s slow motion action sequence and line “River Song didn’t get it all from you, sweetie” proves Amy does love her daughter, but just came to terms with the reality quickly, and doesn’t just wait around for others to save her.

Was it too little too late, though, or did this incident do enough?

Elsewhere, Big Shiny Robot had much-deserved praise for the frankly amazing Matt Smith.

Matt Smith has completely worked his way into my heart as the title character. Any lingering love I had for the previous two regenerations has been matched equally by my love for Matt Smith. He’s an incredible actor and always fun to watch (I suppose in the same way the last two were.) In this episode, though, he seemed to age a hundred years right before our eyes. It was remarkable.

As negative reviews go, this next example on The Shropshire Star is more of a rant than a review (and let’s face it, we’ve had a fair few of those on here in our time!) but it is so poorly constructed that the argument that The Wedding of River Song was “badly written” seems like a bad joke.

“…one of the worst, most self-indulgent, illogical, incoherent, annoying and – let’s face it, kids – badly-written 45-minutes of television ever put together.

“…Amy had become some sort of time agenty thing, Rory was – oh, who cares?

“Of course, it all looked rather marvellous, but it was a bit like being presented with an expensive box of chocolates with no actual chocolates in it.”

Although it wasn’t as badly written as the usual effort from so-called “Doctor Who expert” Gavin Fuller, whose Telegraph review I’m not even going to bother quoting from this week.

Doctor Who - The Wedding of River Song

You know, six months on from their introduction and a lot of people seem to have forgotten just how impressive The Silence are. Even The Grand Moff, I would wager, who missed a great opportunity to remind us of their existence in Closing Time as the Doctor descended through the tunnel to the Cyberman ship. Luckily, they were back with far more menace this week, as observed by Crave Online...

The Silence were also put to good use early in sequences with the Doctor and Churchill when even the audience couldn’t see them. The most effective way to convey the threat of that alien race is to continuously place the audience in the Doctor’s shoes by not showing us the Silence. Who knew that black marks on skin could be such a great dramatic tool?

It is only right, too, that the dialogue in The Wedding of River Song should be praised, even if the wedding itself didn’t have any dancing (hardly surprising at that time of night). Fortunately DaemonsTV (a newcomer to our roundups) was on hand to recall this nugget:

In their mixed up world, Amy and Rory still managed to find each other and end up working on the same side of the same team. I laughed uncontrollably when Amy showed the Doctor her sketch of what Rory must look like and explained that she hadn’t been able to find him. Of course, “Captain Williams” was working right beside her and The Doctor’s attempt to play cupid by telling Rory that Amy had told him that “she’d like to go out with you for texting and scones” was wonderfully ridiculous.

One thing that we should probably dwell on for a moment is the actual wedding. What exactly does it mean? Comic Book Resources wonders if it might mean something more than what we saw…

“…he’s married – thereby ending the reverse timeline relationship of River and the Doctor, perhaps? – and, possibly, companionless for the foreseeable future.”

Imagine that… no more River Song?

If that really is the end for the character (we’re doubtful as there is the potential for plenty of timey-wimey out-of-order meetings to be had) we all know that she’ll be popping up in fan fiction for a long time yet, and perhaps even turning up in audio spinoffs in the distant future…

So with healthy audience figures and lots to talk about (see our own review for more) The Wedding of River Song was watched by many, understood by few but seems nevertheless to have been a well-received episode by anyone who put a bit of thought into what they were watching and could remember everything from the first episode of the series six months ago…

Challenging?

You decide!



Christian Cawley

About

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.


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