Doctor Who

Season 6 Episode 7

A Good Man Goes To War (1)

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Jun 04, 2011 on BBC America

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

out of 10
454 votes
  • A Good Man Goes To War

    A Good Man Goes To War was a perfect and very entertaining episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching because the story was Epic and Amazing. The Doctor calls in all those he's helped or influenced to help rescue Amy and her baby. The story was superbly written and full of character and plot development. It was awesome to learn the truth of The Headless Monks. I also liked seeing familiar alien faces from the past and or future I would suppose. Every thing played out magnificently and it was awesome when the truth about River Song was revealed. I liked how every thing played out and look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • Inadequate setup undermines emotional payoff

    Great premise, but inadequate setup seriously undermines the emotional payoff.

    The entire episode was way too rushed.

    Writers sometimes milk a story too long. Viewers start feeling "Enough already, we got it. Next!"

    But this is the opposite mistake. Failing to milk a premise long enough to make the eventual payoff feel as if was earned and deserved.
  • A good man goes to war? Was it really a war?


    Something about this episode really wound me up! So after the whole 'flesh' incident where upon it was discovered that Amy was one and that she had her baby on a spacecraft where the woman with the strange eye patch was. It is here on this space station (I think...) where there are humans and strange ominous figures called the Headless Monks. What really annoyed me was the bit where Rory speaks to the cybermen and the ships blow up behind him. The entire point of the doctor is he doesn't ever kill that's why children watch it with their parents and adults without children can see what the doctor does without weapons.

    We are then introduced to a lot of characters we do and don't know from previous episodes like the lizard woman (sorry I can't remember the species) who seemed familiar to me but yet I couldn't put my finger on her. A soltaran medic who doesn't have many lines and a fat blue man who I think is connected to the hooded monks so can track them down. River however won't appear until an opportune time later.

    This is all a very muddled and chaotic episode to me and doesn't really have much going for it in my own mind and I have tried to take favor in it I really have. There's always the bit I love however when they all say "We are not fools," before being proven otherwise. The enemy also did not feel like a worthy advisory since they were overpowered in seconds before a counter attack by the monks and Amy's baby has a secret of its own...

    As for a rating I can't give it any higher than a seven at its best and not as low as a five so lets go for the one in between. 6 and I really do hope that after this episode the following will still get me involved as much as previous episodes have done.

  • Not the cliffhanger we wanted, but the road to it is definetely worth it.


    We were promised an action packed mid-season finale with a mindboggling cliffhanger that will hold us in suspense for the following couple of months, when Doctor Who picks ups again. A Good Man Goes To War got half of that right. Literally every second of this episode is used to its full potential, as it stretches out a narrative that could easily fill up a feature length movie. The build up to the Doctor's reveal at Demons Run was great, his assembled army was awesome, and for an episode that introduces at least a dozen new characters, it manages to keep its pace and not fall appart, even though it bursts at the seams. The visuals were stunning and the sets amaizing. The Moff's ingeniuos writing once again shines as he screws with the audience more than once with a couple of red herrings here and there that could very nearly make you fall of your chair. Where the episode ultimately dissapoints though, is the end. Sure, River's big reveal is big and it will have change things forever for Amy, Rory and The Doctor now that they know the truth, but it wasn't what we wanted to see revealed. We wanted to know who River killed, why was she imprisoned, how did she know the Doctor's name and most of all, are they married? With all the hype behind the big reveal, not getting even a mention of those things sure is a letdown. Which, unfortunately, makes the big cliffhanger seem a bit hollow, despite the grand nature of the reveal. Still, it was one hell of a rollecoaster ride to get there, with Matt Smith once again stealing the show with an absolutely brilliant and spot-on perfomance. Looking forward to seeing the wrap-up to Season 6!

  • amy is kid napped. the doctor gets an army to fight the kidnappers and headles monks capturing the base the headless monks start a fight killing lorn injuring comander strax and being defeated as river shows up telling the unpr

    it was brilant.
    my new 2nd favrot episode featuring my new 2nd favrout monster.
    it gives you that fealing like when the master killed the evil time lords.
    "we are not fools" ha more like "we ARE fools"
    these are a list of things witch could make it better.
    1. dalecs
    2 sycorax
    3. rose
    4. donna
    5. martha
    6. captain jack
    7. the reaturn of doctors that are still alive 4 to 10
    8. weaping angels
    9. the time lords reaturn
    and lastly 10. flash backs and flash forwords.
    i know there strang sugestions but the zigons would not be bad at all.
    the following are ones i want to sea 2 3 6 7 8 9 and 10
  • I was right :)


    *written while watching episode*

    I love Rory:). The only reason I can tolerate Amy most of the time is cause of Rory so you can believe I was pissed when the crack 'ate' him.

    It's been awhile since I've watched the episodes before this one so I might be wrong but wasn't Amy's daughter (when she's older) half Time Lord. I thought that was implied in a previous episode. I could be wrong.

    I'm insulted for Jack that the Doctor didn't call on him as one of his "army of allies."

    This Doctors much more violence happy/encouraging than all the others I've seen (which is just new who.)

    "I speak baby" …of course he would because it's half Time Lord!

    eww, a Sontaran lactating ewwww again, mental image :P

    I was right! It is part Time Lord but I wasn't totally sure it was Rory's, I thought maybe they had used the Doctor's dna.

    I didn't even think of Melody being flesh, what a twist:)

    Weird thought, is River Amy and Rory's daughter?

    I was right!!!!!!! AHHH :):):)

  • I really can't believe people like this episode with no back groud what so ever about the Doctors allies or the bad guys or even that River isAmy and Rorydaughter. I thinkSteven Moffat couldn't come up with any shocking so he justjump the shark and


    just made River, Amy and Rory daughter. I was disapointed and they had the cyber men one of the coolest bad guys in the history of doctor who and did nothing with them and what about this so called dark side of the Doctor we was suppose to see well I didn't see it I think the 10th Doctor showed more of a dark side in his years then this Doctor.

  • My new favourite episode


    Blink used to be my favourite episode of doctor who but a good man goes to war is just amazing! There is loads of stuff going on and the episode never gets boring.

    First, you've got the doctor assembling his army to find Amy who is at Demon's run. Madame Kovarian is a bad person who has a deep hatred for the doctor and sets up a trap for him. He must think he's winning but then the trap unfolds.

    The headless monks fight the doctor's freinds and Lorna, commander strax and dorium all get killed by them while Rory, Jenny, vastra and amy all survive. River appears at the end and reveals who she is.

    There were many brilliant scenes like when the doctor first appears in Demon's Run under a headless monk coat. The battle against the headless monks. The doctor talking about how the baby begun and that brilliant part where Rory says "Oh, don't give me those blank looks" to the cybermen. This episode is just so well made and I liked all of the characters. Madame Kovarian is also a very good enemy who is very evil.

    Overall, a good man goes to war is just amazing, epic and now my new favourite episode

  • I adore the new doctor and all the new characters.

    My DVR only recorded 15 minutes of this episode, so I'm looking to view it online, but the 15 minutes I watched were excellent. Some of the best episodes have been in this season. I was so very happy they finally reveal who River Song is, and it fit perfectly with the story. I'm dying to see it from beginning to end now. Can't find when it's going to re-air, though. If anyone knows, could you tell me? The writers on this series are awesome, VERY creative. I'm wondering, though, when Amy became "flesh," I can't recall. Guess I'll have to re-watch all the episodes my DVR DID record.
  • In the mid-season finale the doctor faces his darkest hour, and river song's identity is finally revealed. (warning spoilers ahead)

    This is the best doctor who episode for quite some time. The first half is a bit confusing since the doctor dosen't actually show up until about 20 minutes in but it certainly pays off at the end since we finally get some answers. The revealation that river is amy's daughter is a bit surprising but I guess it kind of makes sense though is she's part time lord how come she didn't regenerate when she died in forest of the dead. It's a shame we'll have to wait a few months for the next episode, it's going to be a long summer.
  • Epic, fresh, unpredictable, geektastic, poignant, satisfying, gripping etc etc

    This is what I like about Doctor Who, when it really does what other shows can't. And when it can take seemingly generic story lines like a kidnapped baby and do something so bonkers with it. What made this episode great too (and also what silences the Moffs' critics) is how elegantly so many loose threads and mysteries came together in a satisfying and unpredictable way. Looking back all the clues were there, it does fit in with all clues and hints laid. Basically it was bloody clever!

    As per, one can moan at a bit of dodgy CGI, and good scenes being rushed, while others you wish would've moved faster. However this time non of that chips a few points offm this episode was too good.

    I'm not too sure on this madame character. If that's all we are to see of her Im thinking Fail. She was great, but so great I was expecting her evilness to be far more delicious. Fail is harsh, I did like her, and her plot thus far was delicious! But upon meeting her I am wishing she had left a far more villainous mark and her motives and the threat she poses made more clear. Time can change that, but it will seem more like repair than a process. but if this is the end of her then they failed to give that character a proper justification the only thing that will make me remember her as a Who villain is how I amused myself by calling her metal Maggie. She is thus far underexploited. I wanted more. Still, there is something in the mystique created by not having got into her head. I still liked her!

    At this point of course I'm totally converted to Amy and Rory. I still love Donna the most, but now I know I will miss Amy and Rory when they do leave the show. And this episodes is their finest work so far, and that's really hard to say considering how great they've been this season.

    Once again Moffat explores facets of the Doctor not exactly unexplored but he certainly makes them seem under-exploited. I dont want to be spoil the story, but Im of course talking about the lecture River gives the doctor, and the Doctor exploration of his anger. It really plays subtly into the notion of this man being far closer to evil - or so easily corrupted than he or we like to think. The fragility of the Doctors morality. And of course the classic sci-fi issue of interference, the 'Prime Directive' and how Doctor Who as a show - or the Doctor himself gives the middle finger to all that. In the way that compared to star Trek if the Doctor was Kirk then Kirk would be Picard and Picard would be a Vulcan. At the end of the day the Doctor would be cooler! This episode is kinda like those trail episodes in Star Trek when the captains come face to face with the consequences of actions they know thye shouldn't take...The Doctor knows he should observe not get involved, but this episode shown that impact in such an epic way that anyone who screams the butterfly effect is seeing the payoff in not being so anal to sci-fi conventions....As I viewer The Moff is playing with my mind. We see the Doctor do 'Bad-ass' then were made to feel guilty! Then were stuck with the question after the Doctors realisations that surely he will change, and what does that mean for the Doctor? Can he change? Is a bad name a price he is willing to pay knowing he is doing right? Loving the speculation!

    It goes without saying Matt and Alex rocked.

    The huge cast was great too. I loved the Silurian and the Sontaron. I want the show to go back and show us how the Doctor met them. As for Dorian (is that how you spell it?) I absolutely bloody him! Dont tell me that's the end of him! He's the Quark of Doctor Who, and that the highest of praise from me! These characters really added to the shows strength in a massive way. It's credit to Moffat that he can cram so many credible lovable and memorable characeters into 1 episode and not have the episode suffer in some other manner for it.

    The story was a bit odd. I liked it, but it was obviously loose and the headless monks tangent was somewhat pointless, but is this laying foundations for the future? I certainly didn't dislike any of it and I like how we are continuing to explore Moffats future humans in space who have become over zealous. It's being built upon here, were basically getting new lore. Which is fine with me!

    Considering how the Moff has proven in this that hes good at the long game, I'm certainly not going to mark this episode down for things left unanswered, unexplored or seemingly randomly introduced. This episode has the potential to be a fountain of future story lines. Things which in the future could bring a whole new meaning and level of appreciation to this episode. Just for that potential this episode is a 10 pointer!
  • Questions answered, Action taken, birth, death, joy, sorrow, kidnapping, lasers, samurai swords, screwdriver activity, and a cliff-hanger (again!). What more could you possibly want!

    It doesn't get much better than this. From the explanation (finally!) of who River Song is, which was nicely obscure enough to keep me guessing till the last moment, to the mismatched group the Doctor pulls together to help him (a familiar and friendly Sontaran, a bunch of sea-devils and a reptilian-mammal, same-sex, katana wielding couple!), even Rory in his legionnaire load-out, it all was perfect!

    The fooling of the doctor by the same method was a lovely touch, and I certainly wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of his retribution when it arrives!

    I was finding it hard to see where they could go next with the Doctor's story in terms of adversaries. We've had him defeat the Daleks in major ways several times, the Cybermen too in a couple of nice encounters, and most of the main traditional players have been kicked into touch. Then came the Master and even the Timelords themselves to defeat. What next I thought, yes, why not bring all the Doctor's established enemies together, united against him, and still he reigns supreme! There surely can't be anything left can there...? of course, silly me, now the Doctor must defeat his own fame! His own name begins to strike terror across the continuum... Nice one! I agree with alexjones555, it is a long wait till September! :D
  • Finally

    I have been down on the doctor for most of this season (and a lot of last) but this episode was great. (its not perfect. . its shocking how easily some people throw them 10s about)

    It was well paced, well scripted and enjoyable. I am enjoying Rory more than amy at this point (although they do seem to have toned down the shouting that she used so often last season) and it is great to see him getting more time to shine. They had a great moment with the doctor showing some genuine anger, but it was rushed a bit and he was back to flighty a little too quickly for my taste. We finally learn who River Song is. (although I am positive I am not the only one who had worked this out from the opening episode) A good end to the first half of the season, leaving you wanting to know more! Just hope the team can keep up the standards a bit in the autumn.
  • The best analogy that I could think of for this episode is of a car. At first, it's pedal-to-the-metal fast, but then it screeches down to lagging crawl, then speeding up briefly only to stop again before running off a cliff.

    This episode finally answers the vexing origin of the character River Song, but before that, I will give my opinion (which's worth is debatable) of the episode.

    I would be compelled to give this episode 6 out of 10 for the sheer disappointment that I felt that so many great creatures were given so little air time, but since they did appear this episode earns 8.5 out of 10. Although the Silurian and Sontaran characters seem to have rich back-stories, the audience is left sadly ignorant (I'm not sure, but they might be characters from the novels). Also, it was nice for the father and son of the "Space Pirates" from the underwhelming siren episode earlier in the series to make a brief return.

    There was a lot of potential for action in this episode; unfortunately we only see brief snippets of some battles that appeared to be incredible and engrossing. The briefness may be due to the time-limit of the episodes or possibly a budgetary issue. Admittedly, the action scenes were short yet still entertaining.

    Back to the creatures; the addition of the Headless Monks to the mythos is welcome, as along with the Silence, they are another threatening and mysterious villains which seem to serve an unseen force greater than themselves, that this series has introduced. Speaking of mysterious, the Eye-Patch Lady's first actual appearance was rather exceptional, as she seems to be a truly menacing person and almost like a Knights Templar (Google it) of the future, who has re-awakened the Doctor's overwhelming guilt that was greatly stirred previously by the Master and Davros.

    Now, to River Song (spoilers, obviously). I really do not like this character. In all of her appearances I found her annoying, and even when she performed awesome feats like slaying a room of Silence and killing a Dalek, I still could not stop hating her. Adding a romantic (and also implicitly erotic) person to the Doctor's history seems to be a distortion of his self-reliant character. Although, I was pleased that the show runners rejected the temptation to leave us hanging by finally revealing her true identity. Rory and Amy discovered that River is the adult-version of their stolen child Melody Pond; that fact shocked me, because that was among the assumptions that I held but did not seriously believe. Due to the romantic (not to mention kinky) relationship that the Doctor and River are implied to have, I do not know whether Amy and Rory would be, let's say, "amused" or horrified that their best friend has or rather will be intimate with their daughter. I am sure that it will be revealed eventually.

    In summary, the episode was certainly thrilling and entertaining, but the complete albeit necessary slowness that the middle had and the cliff-hanger –ish-ness at the end prevents from being great. Nevertheless I look forward to the continuation of the story in God knows how many months.
  • (stunned silence)

    Man-o-man did the idiot that kidnapped Amy mess up this time. Rory is furious and determined to even rip the uiniverse apart to find his wife and child while the Doctor is busy collecting on old debts owed ot him to put together his makeshift army to rescue Amy and Melody Pond. And what does he recruit? Winston's spitfires, the Welsh branch of Silurians, a Sontaran, Dorium, Henry and Toby Avery, Judoon, a lesbian Silurian swordmistress and her human lover.

    And here I thought the Headless Monks were beheaded AFTER their life, but here they are, alive (if you can call that alive)and kicking butt.

    Oh, how I had chills antcipating this for years. "Who is River Song?" Dah-dah dah-dah dah-dah! She's none other than Melody Williams: daughter to Amy and Rory!
  • I really enjoyed this episode and I look forward to the second half of Series 6. "The people of the Gamma Forests don't have a word for Pond, as the only water in the forest is the River."

    This episode was, without a doubt, an amazing and exhilarating mid-season finale. The long wait of 3 years was definitely worth it as we finally found out about River Song's true identity. The ending is absolutely perfect as it keeps you guessing River's possible identities as the big moment draws near. The episode also reveals the identity of the eye-patched lady that made a few brief appearances earlier in the series. It was also great that the episode featured a more recent return of the Doctor's older enemies, such as the Cybermen, the Silurians and the Sontarans. I highly recommend this episode to everyone as it really is an amazing Doctor Who episode.
  • OMG. OMG. OMG. Most. Epic. Episode.

    **epic spoilers**
    What can I say, this was such an amazing episode. When I started watching it, I though something was wrong, and I had somehow missed the beginning. During the first twenty or so minutes, I was really surprised, at how the Doctor so easily defeats the army, just by collecting on his debts. I seriously though it was a big let down. So much hype, for an episode where the Doctor just calls upon his debtors to defeat an army. Then, after the scene where the blue guy (I think his name was Dorium) realises that it was all too easy, and the Gamma Forests girl overhears the eye-patch lady state that it was a trap, things really started going. The Headless Monks attack the guys and lose, but they lose the Sontaran nurse and the Gamma Forest girl. Then the Doctor finally realises that Amy and Rory's daughter - Melody - is a flesh avatar, and goes to warn them, but is too late. Now comes the epicest (is that a word? lol) or most epic part of the whole episode, and probably the whole season. Well, probably more than just the season, as River Song appeared in the episode, I think 'Silence in the Library' which was about 2-3 seasons ago, and everyone has been wondering who she was since then, when we didn't even know who Amy or Rory were. Well, River tells the Doctor who she is, by showing him a word written in Galiifreyan, and he suddenly realises who she is. He then starts talking to her in a completely different tone and flocks to the TARDIS. Now, Amy, wanting to know who she is, threatens her with a gun. And now we see the sentence, which the TARDIS told Rory about 3 episodes back, comes into place: the only water in the forest is the River. And Amy and Rory suddenly find out that River Song is their daughter, Melody Pond. O_O Wow. Wow. Omg. I'm running out of 3-lettered abbreviations,lol. Now, Lets Kill Hitler (in Autumn, lol)
    I give 'A Good Man Goes to War' a 10. I wanted to give it a higher rating, but 10 is the limit =P
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