Doctor Who: A Good Man Goes To War

I’ve been waiting for this. Matt Smith has gradually won me over as The Doctor, but tonight he solidified his place as MY Doctor, a title previously held by Tom Baker. Smith’s resemblance to Baker—those manic tendencies and off-topic asides—has always been evident, but tonight, witnessing the intensity within him, sealed the deal. Previous “new” Doctors like Nine (Christopher Eccleston) in “Dalek” and Ten (David Tennant) in “Family of Blood” hinted at it, but when Smith ordered “run away” to the General and confronted River Song about her identity, the fire in his eyes affirmed him as The Doctor.

“When you began all those years ago sailing off to see the universe did you ever think you’d become this? The man who could turn an army around at the mention of his name. Doctor. The word for healer and wise man throughout the universe. We get that word from you, you know. But if you carry on the way you are what might that word come to mean?”

From the captivating pre-credit opening – “Shall I repeat the question?” – to the whirlwind of revelations – Flesh-Melody and River – this episode felt a tad erratic yet encapsulated everything that defines Doctor Who‘s greatness. Rory (Arthur Darvill) kicking arse was a delight, showing remarkable character growth. Amy (Karen Gillan) had minimal involvement, cycling through sadness, confusion, and anger, but after her prolonged focus, this shift was refreshing. The guest stars shone, notably Sontaran Commander Strax and Silurian Madame Vastra, evolving into intriguing, fleshed-out characters. Nonetheless, rightfully, the spotlight remained firmly on The Doctor.

Eagerly anticipating the Doctor’s return, having left companions behind, he sets off to rescue baby Melody/River, neatly tying up various season-long plotlines. With no companions in tow, here’s hoping The Doctor unleashes more of that dark side when facing the major adversaries.