What is Steven Moffat smoking?
In an episode that brought us cannibal skulls, people being killed by eye patches and Winston Churchill as the Holy Roman Emperor, disembodied talking heads was actually pretty sane, if only because I’ve seen it in Futurama. Even by the Moff’s trippy standards, this was far out.
“The Wedding of River Song” answered a lot of questions and left others unanswered; as is the way with the season finales since 2005 (the concept didn’t really exist in the era of the First Seven). We finally found out the truth about River Song and the whole thing with “The Impossible Astronaut” (got to say this: the Moff does simple but great get out stuff, even if this sort of thing has been done before in Who). Then we got stuff unanswered about the “Fall of the Eleventh” and “Silence must fall”… Hey, RTD didn’t answer everything either, like who was that woman in “The End of Time”?
As season finales go, this was a mixed bag. We had a superb performance from Matt Smith, who despite being the youngest man ever to take the helm of the TARDIS (I believe he’s still younger than Davison was in his first season) plays a 1100 year old man with aplomb. The other leads were great and Amy’s particular decision re a certain character was very well-played. The last scene where the first question was asked – a great ending.
However, a lot of this seemed to flow poorly and a case of throwing in creatures just for the sake of it. “The Big Bang” used its menagerie far better and while the Moff clearly loves his alien creatures, you can do the Mos Eisley Cantina one too many times. We didn’t need Winston Churchill either.
I’m not saying this was poor, but it could have been a lot better – only the brilliant ending scene put this into the 8 category.
Finally, I must thank Steven Moffat for mentioning the Brigadier in this story. I know a lot of fans were upset that Nicholas Courtney didn’t get an on-screen tribute caption this season, but I feel that the scene when the Doctor is informed of the Brig’s death (a key turning point in the story) was a wonderful tribute to the man and the character.