River Song is Melody Pond??? Whaaaaaat?

Through the course of watching episodes of Doctor Who, there have been many surprises that caught me totally off guard, such as Rory’s first “death”, Rose’s “Bad Wolf” powers, or Donna’s character development in “Turn Left”; however, nothing prepared me for the reveal that River Song was actually Amy and Rory’s daughter. I actually screamed at my television as the realization and the implications of this realization hit me. I was deeply impressed with the writing, although it was a little bit deus ex machina style of conflict resolution. Overall, it was one of the most surprising things that was revealed in the show in my opinion.

River Song was a character that I didn’t really like very much when the Doctor first meets her. She’s kind of a know it all, I know something you don’t know type of person, which was narratively off putting for me. As she began to appear more and more frequently, I began to like her a little bit more (but I still didn’t really like her). She represented a sort of narrative “screw you” to the audience, as she already knew everything that lay ahead of the Doctor. However, once “The Impossible Astronaut” and “Day of the Moon” came around, I began to suspect that this teasing was finally going to come to a head soon. When it was revealed that she was Amy and Rory’s daughter later on, it all finally made sense. Because of the paradoxical nature of River Song, she had to withhold all of this information. When I realized the implications, I was even more caught off guard. She was the girl in the space suit that killed the Doctor, she was stolen by a cult, the Doctor was Rory and Amy’s son in law!

Ultimately, this was one of my favorite reveals in a show famous for them. I was originally off put by the build up (it did feel like it took forever!) but it only made the payoff that much better. River Song is narratively one of the most interesting characters; it seems as if she is somehow woven into almost every major storyline, from David Tennant all the way to Peter Capaldi. I still don’t love her as a character, but what the writers have done with her character demonstrates a true display of how interesting narrative arcs should be done.

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Who turned out the lights?

There is something about the episodes “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead” that gets me every time I watch it. They have always been one of my favorite story arcs in the whole series of Doctor Who ever since I first watched it. Upon revisiting this double feature episode I have noticed some interesting things when it comes to diversity. This episode or episodes have got quite a bit of diversity among them. There is the diversity of race with Other Dave, Anit, and Dr. Moon. There is the diversity of intelligence with The Doctor and River being at the top and Evangelista being at the bottom. It also has the diversity of gender with having both men and women being in positions of power.

The enemy in this episode, the Vashta Nerada, are, in my opinion, some of the most inventive creatures in Doctor Who. They are the reason we all, at some level, are afraid of the dark. They are not in every shadow of darkness but in any shadow of darkness. They feed on the flesh and can rip it away from the bone in less than a second. This is truly a terrifying monster. I can only imagine a 7-year-old watching these episodes and having their fear of the dark being enhanced even more. They are an infestation and as humans, we all seem to have fears of infestations whether it is termites or fruit flies or some flesh-eating virus.

We learn so much about The Doctor in this episode. We learn about his future quite a bit. Professor River Song is introduced. She is from the Doctors future. After watching the rest of her storyline throughout the next few seasons all of the references that she tries to clue The Doctor into are awesome for those viewing. Knowing the fate of Professor River Song does quite a bit for the viewer when watching the later seasons because we know that she will not die in any of the episodes. Thier relationship is my favorite of any in the entire show of Doctor Who. She is the one person that, in my opinion, truly understands The Doctor. She is part Time Lord. She gave up all her remaining regenerations to save the Doctor in a later episode. They are truly meant for each other.

Overall viewing these episodes has reminded me exactly why I love this show so much. The relationships make it for me. This lonely Time Lord finally has met his match. Unfortunately, they never meet in the right order. The curse of the time traveling couple.

Re-connecting with The Doctor

I started watching Doctor Who when I was in the ninth grade. I think I had seen a video on youtube or something and wondered if I would like it. So, I gave it a chance. I was hooked. I watched all 6 seasons that were on Netflix at the time in I think 3 weeks or a month.

In the first season, I got through the first episode, which, in my opinion, is not a great episode to start people out on. I then proceeded to watch episode two, skip episode three, and finish the first season. I liked the ninth doctor, but I wasn’t extremely amazed by him. On to season two. Loved the tenth doctor from the first episode and that fondness grew more throughout the seasons. I can not say enough good things about David Tennant as the doctor. Anyway, season five comes along with a new doctor. Once you have a doctor you are so fond of it is hard to accept such a big change right away. I liked the eleventh doctor but I didn’t love him yet. Season five was fine. It brought back some favorite characters of mine such like River Song. Season 6 bumped eleven up a bit more on my doctor greatness scale.

This is when I had to make a big decision in my life. Would I start to pay for each episode of Doctor Who? I didn’t have BBC America so I would have to pay each week on iTunes or Amazon if I wanted to keep up on my favorite show at the time. I bit the bullet and decided that I was indeed going to start buying each episode in order to watch Doctor Who. Season seven was amazing. This is when Matt Smith took his metaphorical seat next to David Tennant. They were equal in my eyes, both playing The Doctor fantastically, but fantastically in different ways. Then Tennant came back with the 50th-anniversary episode. That was awesome. Unfortunately, after the 2013 Christmas special, Doctor Who an I started to have issues.

Season eight came out with the 12th doctor played by Peter Capaldi. I do not know what it was, but I could not watch him. I gave him a chance, two seasons in fact. Nothing grew on me. I didn’t like his roughness. I didn’t like his attitude. I didn’t like him. There were moments when Twelve was awesome but they drifted away as fast as they came. I stopped watching after season 8 and have not really looked back until this class.

Let me tell you, I am loving revisiting this great show. I thought I knew the ins about outs of all of these episodes. I didn’t. I forgot a lot of what I watched. I am excited to see how the rest of the show looks as I go through it a second time.

Feminism’s Issues With River Song

Warning:

 River-Song-Spoilers

River Song first appeared on Doctor Who in 2008 in the episode “Silence in the Library”.  From the very beginning we realize that River Song has known the Doctor for a long time, and has gotten quite close with him, even though this is his first time meeting her.  It’s not too long after that we learn that River Song is the Doctor’s wife.  Fast forward a few seasons and a new Doctor and River Song’s backstory becomes even more complicated.  Before she even knows who the Doctor is she’s been trained to kill him.  Before that she’s in a different body and posing as her parents’ best friend back in high school.  And before even that, she isn’t River Song at all, but Melody Pond.  

You’d think such a complicated backstory would lead to a thoroughly complex character who’s interesting and emotive, and you’d be right… for the most part.  River Song is an extremely interesting character with several different storylines and plot points.  She’s strong and as intelligent, if not more intelligent and witty as the the Doctor.   She’s incredibly fierce, but not lacking in emotion either.  

Honestly, I could go on for hours about how great River Song is and delve for eternity into her backstory and timeline.  There’s just one thing about River that makes some feminist fans shake their heads.  And that is; why River Song is in Doctor Who at all.  Her appearance in “Silence in the Library” only creates more questions about the Doctor and who he really is.  In “The Impossible Astronaut” she’s there to kill the Doctor.  Her big role in “Let’s Kill Hitler” was to poison the Doctor then revive him again.  It might start to become clear: she’s there for the Doctor.  

Unlike the Doctor’s companions, River Song’s entire life revolves around and leads up to the Doctor.  She’s there to be the Doctor’s wife.  She’s there to kill the Doctor.  She’s there to save the Doctor.  She’s never in an episode where the Doctor’s fate or love interest isn’t her.  And that’s a problem.  No matter how complex her storyline is, or how interesting she is, we can’t ignore the fact that her sole purpose on the show is to be there as a plotpoint for the Doctor.  

I love River Song’s character.  I think she’s an absolutely brilliant character.  But what I, and many other feminist viewers of the show want is for River Song to be there for herself, not just so that the Doctor has someone to save, kill, or kiss him.  River Song’s already complicated backstory is a perfect opportunity to include plot points where River is there for herself.   

River Song

I have always felt an attachment to River Song. Everything about her is enticing to me. From her hair to her eyes, her smile, and most of all her personality. River’s personality is in my mind the most spunky, entertaining character I have seen in a long time on the show, besides Jack Harkness. I absolutely love how she harnesses every situation she encounters and influences them in the direction she would like them to go in. She always has this charisma about her that makes her a very good leader. I am also intrigued by the way she interacts with the Doctor and how they are meeting each other in the reverse direction. Every time River wants the Doctor to show up somewhere, she will leave him a message saying, “Hello Sweetie” and he just shows up where she needs him. The first time that the Doctor met River, she knew everything about him and he had no idea who he was. We just watched the episode “Let’s Kill Hitler”, and River met the Doctor for the first time. This idea is still hard to grasp because that means that that moment was the last time that the doctor will ever see River, but we know that River kills the Doctor at some point in her life. The amount of sheer thought that goes into creating these episodes. I have trouble wrapping my head around the idea that the Doctor, Amy, and Rory all knew River long before they knew who she was. River must have known that they would soon find out who she really was, but she had to keep it a secret of who she was so they would not be freaked out before the time was right. I cannot wait until the entire story is revealed to viewers.