TV Reviews: Twatty Who – A Good Man Goes to War

The unrestrained Id of a fan is aimed at the worst episodes of Doctor Who, This time its ‘A Good Man goes to War’.

About DiamandaHagan

Screams from the Netherworld of fandom. Diamanda Hagan, reviews movies and rants about them online.


  1. I have wondered what your thoughts of Vastra and Jenny were. Out of mild curiosity.

    But that is minor, I always enjoy your Doc Who reviews and its great to see another one.

  2. I hear that Jack Harkness was actually supposed to appear in original versions of this episode, but Barrowman was too busy filming Miracle Day. Yet another reason to dislike Miracle Day I suppose…

  3. I thought the reason they went on the adventure with the Flesh was because the Doctor already knew the Amy with them was duplicate and was gathering information on the Flesh when it first existed so that he could use that information to find Amy. In that instance the only connecting thread to the stories were the TaRDiS crew.

  4. I was a bit scatterbrained when I first saw A Good Man Goes To War, but the second that reveal was made, my brain just screamed Twilight, and I could never look at Doctor Who the same way again.

  5. And it’s another episode of “Hagan won’t shut the hell up about The Man Who Never Would.”

    • Yes, how dare she be upset that one of her favorite characters is made to look like an enormous hypocrite on a regular basis? The nerve.

      • I’m not sure how long of a fan she’s been if she didn’t already KNOW that he’s been a massive hypocrite for DECADES.

        • Not really. I’ve watched since the Fourth Doctor all the till the seventh and he was never portrayed as hypocritical as he was in that moment. Previous incarnations would freely admit that they would, if circumstances required it.

  6. Obviously River stays in the jail for 3 hots and a cot. …Not an English cot. A bed. …A grown-person bed.

  7. I kind of fell off the New Who wagon right around this point… (and I’n not blaming Moffat, except that I’m blaming Moffat). This storyline just raises way too many questions and then none of them are properly resolved! Like:

    1. Amy and Rory do encourage the doctor to find baby Melody, but after a while they just seem to give up on the idea. It’s been a while since I’ve seen these episodes, but I don’t remember any specific scene where they discuss the futility of continuing the search and decide to stop.

    2. There aren’t very many scenes where we get to see Amy, Rory and River trying to reconnect as a family (it’s shown very briefly that they’re having dinner together in a later episode). There’s so much wasted story potential there. (Once Upon A Time handled a similar storyline so much better– it can be done.)

    3. River gives this whole speech about how the Doctor is becoming too harsh and warlike, which has zero consequences in the narrative.

    4. In the follow-up episode, it’s revealed that River was raised with Amy and Rory to ensure that they got together so she could be born and to gain access to the Doctor… And we’re supposed to believe that Amy and Rory never noticed that River was similar to their childhood friend? Really? Even between regenerations, the Doctor always has some of the same characteristics.

    5. How did River get all of the benefits of being a Time Lord with no negative consequences? When Rose cracked open the heart of the Tardis, she gained god-like power, but it took a serious toll on her and she would have died if Nine hadn’t intervened. Why wasn’t River similarly affected? (Other than by the power of plot convenience.)

    There are more but I can’t even think of them right now.

    • 5 – Travelling in the Tardis somehow made Amy and Rory produce a Timelord baby. While not affecting their own DNA, just that in their sperm/ova. Because Moffat.

      What that means for Jo’s kids, I have no idea. I can’t remember any other companions stated to have children.

    • 1-Once they found out the end result was the kid growing up into being River, they had no real choice. Paradoxes and all that, they knew and had lived through the final result so her taking that path was required for their lives to work as they had. (The same thing would come up in ROry and Amy’s final episode.)

      2-It IS wasted potential, but it is heavily implied they have a fair bit of time together off-screen. Similar to many of the Doctor’s name dropped adventures with River that were also off camera (or just in the dvd bonus shorts.)

      3- The doctor spent the next season erasing his identity and trying to become more of an unknown again as a result of having gotten too big aqnd egotistical.

      4-Why would the girl they grew up with that they knew from a young age (with a different skin tone and hair color) remind them at all of the woman they barely knew that had changed a great deal after “Let’s Kill Hitler”? Even folks that are around to see the doctor regenerate have a hard time with him being a new guy, and thats without having known the previous one your entire lives. Its not an assumption anyone would ever make. If you spent years with Doctor 11, and then spent a day or two with 12, you can pick up on the similariites if he’s constantly stating that he’s the same guy and you’re actively looking for those shared characteristics, but its an entirely different person in looks, and attitude. If you didn’t know a Doctor was himself, youd never assume he was the same guy.

      5 and 5A- Amy was kidnapped and genetically manipulated and tested on. Presumably most of the time lord side effect bonuses were encouraged and forced, rather than being purely a natural process of being in the Tardis. The tardis did provide exposure to the time vortex which gave it a kick start, (the same way it affected actual Gallifrains over generations) but didn’t by itself do the whole job. It was pretty well established the baddies would go to some great lengths to get some time lord dna.

      • 5 being a Silence plot could work… it just seems overly complicated and like it wouldn’t actually add anything to their scheme.

        “Kidnap pregnant woman. Steal baby. Grow baby into an assassin. Send back in time to grow up with companions. Hope this means she meets the Doctor in order to kill him.” Yeah, their plan is already needlessly complex, so maybe they did add “make half-Timelord, because shut up” part of it. For how much Moffat loves fore-shadowing, I think we would have seen the Melody character back in Season 5 if it was intended, though.

      • It’s not that these issues aren’t resolved. It’s the fact that they are resolved off-screen. Amy and Rory begging for the doctor to break the rules to see their daughter or trying to reconnect with River as an adult. These are dramatic events and could’ve have been there own episodes or arcs.

        The Doctor erases records of himself but Daleks conveniently regain their knowledge so he can use his reputation to stall the Daleks in Time of the Doctor.

  8. So you’ve decided to stop calling it Twatty New Who?

    I ask because I’m more interested in Old Who stuff. The new show just kinda lost me for various reasons–some of which more my fault than the show–like getting motion sickness from too much camera movement.

  9. River makes me so angry.

    When she first showed up she seemed potentially interesting at least.

    River song is now the example I use if someone asks me “what is a mary sue”. Because more then any teenager’s fanfic, it’s ridiculous to have a character who is half human half who is married to one main character and related to the other two, and is weirdly able to just do things they never should be able to. Oh and her entire existence revolves around the doctor even her birth so A+ there.

  10. Giovanni Romanelli

    Come on Diamanda, the “man who never would” is the 10th doctor, not the 11h, 3rd, 6th or any other. We get it, you don’t like him, that’s okay, but seriously, when are you going to get over it, it’s getting boring…

    • Every incarnation of the Doctor is merely aspects of the same person, thus saying that he “never would” when he has several times over is a lie. In fact he’s done that and worse AS 10 so calling out somebody else for doing it makes him a giant hypocrite. Speaking for myself, I can understand why she’d be upset by a character she’s fond of being made to act like a giant hypocrite.

      • Yes except in that specific Instance, 10 was saying he wouldn’t kill a defenseless man in cold blood, not that he wouldn’t kill anyone period. The guy was literally on his knees waiting to be killed. The Doctor might be many things, but he’s not an executioner.

  11. This episode summarizes well what drives me crazy about NuWho in general: All of the portentous, prophetic nonsense, the overwrought emotional stuff, the random weird stuff thrown in for no particular reason except that a writer thought it sounded cool, and the need to wrap everything up so quickly that there’s no room to breathe. That and turning the Doctor into some sort of superhero/messiah figure who just waltzes into the midst of mortal enemies and they just stare at him slackjawed as he mugs for the camera. Instead of, you know, killing him.

    I miss the comparative simplicity of the old series where an eccentric old man and his companions explore strange and random places and get into life-threatening hijinks and lots of extras die horribly.

    • And he resolves the situations with actual cleverness, instead of pull something out his ass. Don’t forget that.

      I kinda miss the days when the Sonic Screwdriver wasn’t a magic wand.

  12. Great episode. One of the best on Nu Who.

  13. Boy, I love Twatty Who reviews. I hope you will continue make them after blip closed.

  14. 1) I disliked much of the Russell T. Era and was really glad when he {and Tennant} left BUT Moffatt is even worse!
    MUCH Worse!
    It’s got to the point where I’m continuing to watch Dr Who in nothing more than a vain hope that one day it will return to it’s former glory while being constantly furious at what Moffatt is doing to it!

    They can give us an American Dr, A Russian Dr, A French Doctor, A Black or Asian Dr BUT if they EVER give us a Female Dr that’s it – I’ll quit watching the show that day! {No Joanna Lumley doesn’t count!}.

    That wasn’t The Master – It was The Rani taking the Mick! The Dr believing her is stupid beyond belief!

    2) Looms were an atrocious idea and a complete ret-con – Susan Foreman IS the Dr’s Granddaughter!

    3) I loathe River Song with a passion! I seem to be in a minority of one in hating Silence in the Library!
    I am surprised however that you picked out this episode to attack Moffatt as he’s committed far worse sins in others!

  15. Is there anything in New Who you don’t hate?

  16. In my head canon, Rory dresses that way when shit is serious, not because The Doctor told him it would be scary. I mean they established that Rory does remember his two thousand year vigil, having him be a badass when his protective feelings are triggered and all that bubbles to the surface could have been an interesting character thread. But nope, random ahead full.

    I think the thing you showed at the beginning is the best summation of all of the Moffat-eras problems. It takes a bow before its earned applause. Don’t misunderstand, I still like Moffat over RTD, and think Series 5 is still the high water mark of New Who.

  17. I thoroughly enjoy your Who reviews. There is one episode that I’d like you to review, please. Its 42. For some reason, despite the real-time dilemma and danger in that episode, I found it BORING and headache inducing. There was something about it that made it so, but I can’t figure out what it was. Also, I never saw it on television and it was almost always not on after its initial airing.

  18. I still don’t get why Diamanda clings so tightly to the concept of Looms. The whole thing was just a plot device created for the Virgin New Adventures. In fact the only other place outside of the Virgin New Adventures where Looms are referenced is the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures book series. I wonder if Diamanda is aware that Big Finish is currently in the process of creating audio adaptations of the Virgin New Adventures series which contain major plot alterations to make it fit in better with New Who. They’ll likely be completely ignoring Looms as they continue to adapt the series.

Leave a Reply