I can't believe this Season/Series has gone by so quickly - even with that hideous mid-Seasons/Series break, this wave of episodes is ending far too soon.
"The Wedding of River Song"(SPOILER FREE MINI-REVIEW AND PROBABLY MEANDERING THOUGHTS)
The Doctor and River Song challenge the mandates of time and destiny at 5:02 PM, April 22, 2011.
Considering the tenor of many Docbacks across the last few weeks, I'm betting this episode will not be many viewers are expecting.
By this I mean: those searching for resolution to S6's grand mysteries may well find their curiosity partially satiated. But, like myself, a number of WHOvians may also be surprised to learn that "Wedding" is more of a pit-stop than an actual climax or finale. Many "answers" here point toward further questions. Resolutions have important consequences which ripple into the current mythology's future, and so on. We quickly learn that we've yet to see the whole of Steven Moffat's gloriously demented puzzle laid out for us - a gutsy move at this point in the show, and a notion to which it took me a while to adapt.
I think it's very important to mention this because, when I first saw "Wedding," I was underwhelmed and frustrated. But then I started thinking about the matter with a clear head, and realized that…at no point (that I'm aware of, at least)…have The Moff, or BBC, or anyone involved with the show promised the level of resolution I, myself, was craving. That's baggage I brought to the table.
Revisiting "Wedding" again with this filter firmly in place, I found myself enjoying the episode quite a bit. Despite a few annoyingly slapdash moments (there are several references to off-screen events which could've been presented more effectively), "Wedding" is fast, clever, bouncy, whimsical, dopey, and sweet - and offers one of the most kick-ass transitions from "Previously On…" into the episode itself that I've ever seen.
"Wedding" lacks the conceptual/emotional punch of last Season's "The Pandorica Opens" and "The Big Bang" - but I'd argue that it's in no way trying to equal or best either of those installments, nor should it. Because, again, the endgame here is not the "resolution/conclusion" those titles were striving for…rather a transition into the next phase of the show.
Based on the final moments of this story, my strong hunch...about which I may well be proven wrong...is that S7 will utilize more standalone episodes - with a particular event referenced in "Wedding" becoming the crux of a 50th Anniversary blow-out of some sort (will 2013 be promoted with the phrase "Happy WHO Year!")? You'll quickly be able to piece together what I mean when you encounter said references, and I'm pretty sure more than one of you may end up agreeing with my theory.
For my money, DOCTOR WHO is still the best show on television. It flagrantly shuns conventional storytelling conceits in a number of ways, and possesses an alchemistic capacity for transforming potentially hackneyed notions into conceptual gold. It isn't afraid to be a little silly from time to time, but also reciprocates by taking intrinsically goofy concepts and inflating them to operatic and emotionally resonant levels. That's madness…glorious, enviable, compelling madness. As imperfect as it can sometimes be, current DOCTOR WHO is still bold, it is still ballsy, and remains steadfastly determined to keep audiences on their feet.
When shows are structured like current DW, it's hard not to harbor concerns that the current Powers That Be might someday take the same misstep as, say, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and LOST - both of which flagrantly demonstrated that advancing spectacular ideas is far less challenging than growing them to rewarding fruition. But I don't think that'll be the case here. With "The Wedding of River Song," my sense of the matter is that Moffat & Co. have locked a strong "macro" destination firmly into their nav systems. Now all we have to do is sit back, breathe deeply, and let them carry us to their payoff.
Even if doing so may sometimes tax the patience of a schmuck like me...
As mentioned above, this is mini-episode written by Junior School kids and airing Saturday on the (last ever?) DOCTOR WHO CONFIDENTIAL, 8pm (UK) on BBC 3.
I haven't seen it, but recent CONFIDENTIAL reports on the story reveal it that 1) the Doctor's fez apparently makes a return appearance, which is important because fezzes are cool, and 2) the plot has something to do with Albert Einstein.
Don't forget to watch it this weekend (on DOCTOR WHO CONFIDENTIAL's final episode) and comment in the Docback below!
SAVE DOCTOR WHO CONFIDENTIAL ?
The big news of this week was BBC's cancelation of DOCTOR WHO CONFIDENTIAL (see my thoughts on the matter HERE).
To the best of my knowledge, no other series on television is accompanied by a regular "Making of…" addendum - making both DOCTOR WHO and its CONFIDENTIAL counterpart unique features on the television landscape. CONFIDENTIAL is not a perfect show, and I do feel should sometimes tighten its focus a bit, but I firmly believe there should be more programs like it on the air, not fewer.
In a very real sense, early (unedited) DOCTOR WHO CONFIDENTIALs helped me to find the background and clarity of subject matter I needed to form my initial approach/angle for these Docbacks, so I can't escape the feeling that we should try to give 'em something back in a time of obvious need. The best I can conjure at the moment is an online petition set up by the SaveDWC undertaking. At the time of this posting, 19, 500 signatures have already been amassed and it's still going strong.
I realize the notion of a petition does not sit well with everybody - and I noted in bit of divisiveness in Talkbacs accompanying my previous post on the matter. But, in the end, it feels better to try something than to do nothing at all. You can find it HERE.
THE FRIDAY DOCBACKS: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE ?
After this weekend, Friday Docbacks will revert to a "retro" emphasis, detouring whenever new installments of current WHO come around. While a degree of reader attrition is both natural and expected at this time, we hope relatively new Docbackers will consider remaining with us as we once more transition to broader WHO-related subject matter. Even if "classic" WHO isn't your thing, a wide range of DW-related discussion (current DW news, previews of upcoming newWHO, discussions of various video and audio releases, etc.) happens in these Docbacks. We've a fun, interesting, insightful, dynamic, friendly, and all around remarkable group of regulars here - we'd truly love for you to be a part of the festivities.
So, back to our standard MO next Friday (October 7) - with our next contemporary WHO Docback going online the morning Friday December 23 (based on the time-tested assumption that the forthcoming DW Christmas Special will actually air on Christmas Day).
Finally, by popular request, we'll be launching Lockbacks when new installments of Moffat/Gatiss' SHERLOCK arrive next year. So brush up on your Holmes...
The AICN DOCTOR WHO Talkback below - aka "Docback" - is comprised of, and warmly welcomes, participants from across the globe.
Alas, please remember that DOCTOR WHO airs in the U.K. a few hours before it's seen on BBC America here in the States, for example.
While the Docback Code of Conduct (posted below) strongly encourages SPOILER SENSITIVITY at all times, it is quite likely that this Docback will become aSPOILER INTENSIVE ZONElate tomorrow morning U.S. time (Saturday September 10) - when "The Wedding of River Song" airs in the U.K.
If you wish to remain free and clear of "Wedding" spoilers until after you've seen the show for yourself, you should tread cautiously if visiting this page after late tomorrow morning U.S. time.
U.S. VIEWERS (AND VIEWERS FROM OTHER REGIONS): please consider this ample notice and fair warning.
DOCBACK CODE OF CONDUCT
AICN's Friday DOCTOR WHO Talkbacks - aka "Docbacks" - operate on a different set of standards than other AICN Talkbacks. These standards developed quickly and naturally, and we intend to preserve them. Accordingly, please take a moment to note a few guidelines which should help proceedings move along smoothly and pleasantly:
1) a Docback should be about completely open and free discourse regarding all things WHO (with, obviously, some variation on subject matter from time to time - the real world intervenes, discussions of other shows are inevitable, etc.)...
2) matters of SPOILAGE should be handled with thoughtful consideration and sensitivity. Posts containing SPOILERS should clearly state that a SPOILER exists in its topic/headline and should never state the spoiler itself . "** SPOILER ** Regarding Rory" is OK, for example. "** SPOILER ** Battle of Zarathustra" is fine as well. "**SPOILER** Why did everyone die?" Is NOT good.
And, above all...
3) converse, agree, disagree, and question as much as you want - but the freedom to do so is NOT a license to be rude, crass, disrespectful, or uncivilized in any way. Not remaining courteous and civil, as well as TROLLING or undertaking sensational efforts to ignite controversy, will result in banning. Lack of courtesy may receive one (1) warning before a ban is instigated. Obvious Trolling or Spamming will result in summary banning with no warning.
In short, it's easy. Be excellent to each other. Now party on...