"Doctor Who: The Wedding of River Song (#6.13)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Doctor Who" The Wedding of River Song (2011)

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43 out of 72 people found the following review useful:

It doesn't make any sense

Author: sassenachaline from France
22 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I saw this finale episode, I really wonder if Steven Moffat was thinking when he decide "to kill" the Doctor in The Impossible Astronaut.

1- Why the plot is the death of the Doctor in the series 6. Everybody know that's not gonna happen, so we don't care about that for the whole series. And then, we can see that the "fantastic" idea behind the Doctor death was that it was a .... robot. Yes, of course, if you forget that a robot can't START A REGENERATION or move as fast and normal as a really being, well it's a idea. But come on, the kiss is between River Song and a robot.

2- Rory and Amy don't remember each other. Please, after the many "death" of Rory and Amy losing her memories, we have AGAIN that kind of story between them. Why, just why ! It's just too much. Moffat really knows how to kill the interest we have for some characters. By the way, Rory and Amy, they won the award of the careless parents in the universe !

3- River Song. At first, i was thrilled by her story. And now, all I want is her to disappear from the show. I don't care about a Mary Sue who tell out loud that she loves the Doctor more than anyone in the universe. I still don't get why the Doctor decide to marry her. I mean there NO REASON for him to GET MARRIED here. Just WHY !!!

4- The episode is about the fact that time stopped because a fix point doesn't happen. It was a great idea, but the way it was shown, was NOT interesting. It just didn't make anysense! The time stopped BUT people are not, they're just living in a world where all periods of History is mix up. It makes as much sense as the robot Doctor, meaning anysense.

To sum up, the episode bring interesting ideas, but the result doesn't make anysense. It's boring. Take out the music and the great visual and you have nothing interesting to watch.

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45 out of 79 people found the following review useful:

The Old Nick of Time

Author: boblipton from New York City
1 October 2011

Having found himself written into a corner, series runner Steven Moffat has written himself out of it in a workmanlike manner that is at once thrilling -- because he knows how to keep things moving along, fast and furious, with verminous pterodactyls, hungry skulls and weird, weird images -- and in other ways a cheat. It shows up as like those rococo Doctor Who novels of the turn of the millennium, turned out by writers who loved the Doctor for fans who loved him even more: bizarre, tightly plotted ormolu clocks that ticked on the mantel while people argued over weird stuff.

It is in some ways necessary to have these pieces in the background, to give some depth to the show. Otherwise it's just about a mad man in a box running around the universe, fouling up history and keeping Daleks from their day-to-day job of extermination. In other ways, it's a danger as fans demand more and more details to keep up their interest. After a while it's of interest to no one save five guys in a chat room, arguing about the spelling of made-up words. It's certainly not enough to keep a major television series running. These things, after all, do cost money. Balance is needed.

The first attempt to rebalance the universe was what is known as the Cartmel Masterplan. Andrew Cartmel was the script editor of the last few seasons of the classic series, and after more than a quarter of a century, there was little mystery left. Cartmel roughed out some ideas for the background of Doctor Who to restore the mystery. Unhappily, the series ended before he could do much with it, and the Cartmel Masterplan was left for those clockwork novels in the 1990s. They wound up revealing all again, only this time it was different. Then the series was revived, and the first season set up those mysteries, while the next four years revealed them. Again, the answer was different.

Time for another change. Although Moffat has let us see what he is doing, like Penn and Teller doing the cup-and-ball trick, he has, in this last story, set up the Doctor for another turn around the park. Again, no one knows that he exists. Again he is just a madman in a box and again, we are confronted with the basic mystery: "Doctor Who?" In some ways it is unsatisfying, but in others it is just right. Doctor Who has been reinvented so many times without what is called these days a "series reboot." It's needed to keep it fresh and interesting, and I am willing to nod and pretend that the hand is faster than the eye. It's all part of the game. We need to ask "Doctor Who?" and know that the answer we get today is not the answer we will get tomorrow. There is something childish about continuing to play the game... no. Something childlike. Every time they invent the Doctor, we get a chance to look at him with fresh eyes. It's exhilarating. On to the next season!

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22 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Season 6 (part 2): An improvement on the first half but still misses too often and the plotting is messy and silly (SPOILERS)

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
12 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After a distinctly weak first part to the season, I returned for this second half with my hope reduced from "let's do something really interesting for all ages" down to "lets at least not make it all so very silly" and as a result I was just hoping things would be OK. I wasn't encouraged by the daft and pointless nonsense of the first episode (Let's Kill Hitler) – an episode that had so much wrong with it that I could use my entire word limit on it, so I shall not focus on this. Suffice to say though, that this episode sets up a lot of stuff pertinent to the main season narrative arch of the Doctor's "death" as seen in the first episode – so the fact it was so convoluted and silly was a concern.

Happily the next three episodes of the half-season move away from this main plot and give us much more contained and serviceable plot. The boy in a council estate, Amy forced to wait years for the Doctor (again) and the hotel of horrors – all solid episodes that perform on their own and all offer plenty of scares for the younger audience while also having some decent ideas in there for the adults. None of them are perfect episodes though, but they are still pretty good by the standards of the rest of this season.

Of course they do still show the typical weaknesses and short-falls in content and plotting, but it is an odd show with a huge demographic so shared failures and successes are perhaps understandable. After these three we have a silly episode that misuses the Cybermen for no reason and brings back the character of Craig (likewise for no real reason) but it leads us into the season finale. I'm used to big noisy senseless plots that are really easily resolved making up the season finales of the new Doctor Who, so it is not really a surprise to find another one here – it is still disappointing but not surprising.

River Song's Wedding is convoluted and full of action without sense, all of which leads to a conclusion which is as tidy as it is empty. It feels cheap and, as Theo has pointed out, the effects look surprisingly cheap as well. It is a shame because all it did for me was reinforce the idea that the writers were just playing it on the fly and hoping for the best; this season really does feel like the idea started with "hey, let's start the season with the Doctor's death – that'll grab the viewers. Oh and let's do it in the US as well, that'll help marketing" and after that initial idea it was only later that they started to think about how they were going to resolve this. In the end the convoluted and silly plotting just overwhelms any good ideas and interesting aspects it may have had. The positive about the end is that it offers the return of the Doctor as a character spinning through time – not as the centre of the universe. It offers potential in a sort of clean slate, but I suspect I will be talking about "missed potential" again this time next year.

The cast are rather lost in the middle of this. Smith is wasted again and again – he can do the darker, complex stuff but it simply isn't there for him anymore. Previously I have thought Gillan was "OK" but in this second half she shows she has the range of a water pistol. The Girl Who Waited is a great episode that offers her a lot to delivery and a lot of emotion and darkness but she nearly derails the entire episode by her inability to deliver when given the chance – where Smith would benefit from more meat, Gillan really suits the show being as daft and noisy as possible – she is poor here. By contrast that same episode that Darvill is actually pretty good, because he CAN rise to the script – just a shame he is not used this way more often (even the final episode mocks his endless "death/rebirth" nonsense). Kingston is a good actress and she does the best she can but she struggles to marry the playful "hello darling" character with all the endless twisty mess that the writers hand to her – how she must have longed for her ER days back when she read the scripts for these episodes.

All that said, the second part of this season is an improvement on the first – thanks mainly to a solid trio of semi-stand-alone episodes in the middle of it. Sadly the messy plotting and silliness continue to overwhelm the majority. It all still provides decent so-so Saturday night entertainment though (lets not forget this is a show that is scheduled with celebrity dancing, karaoke contests and game shows) but it is frustrating to see it have the ability to do more but fall so short so often. I'll be here for the 7th season but even my low expectations will be lower than normal.

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37 out of 65 people found the following review useful:

The Shredding of Dr.Who

Author: Adrianapolis from California
4 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The mysteries of the universe - is reincarnation possible? Does life exist on other planets? Is there a monster in Loch Ness? What on earth was the finale of 'Dr.Who' Season 6 all about?

Since Steven Moffat replaced Russell T.Davies as show-runner, the quality of the scripts have dropped alarmingly, hence episodes which previously would have been regarded as merely 'okay' - such as 'The Girl Who Waited' and 'The God Complex' - are acclaimed as masterpieces just because Moffat's own efforts have been so pitiful by comparison, and this was no exception. In fact it was so bad at times it made me nostalgic for 'The Horns Of Nimon'! It had all the hallmarks of recent 'Who' - dreadfully dire dialogue, wooden mugging from the leads, and a feeling of 'we know this is no good, but we don't care'.

2010's Weeping Angels two-parter was the last story of his to actually make any kind of sense, all his 'Who' work since has followed the same basic pattern - a convoluted continuity fest that goes nowhere and resolves nothing, almost as though the author was running for a bus when he came up with the plot. The opening appears to have been inspired by 'Monty Python' - cars floating over London on hot-air balloons, a steam train hurtling out of the Gherkin building, a pterodactyl attacking school kids in a park, and Charles Dickens ( Simon Callow ) interviewed on B.B.C.'s 'Breakfast Time'. All these things would be acceptable if the right context had been established beforehand - it was not. We are told that the Doctor's death made this bizarre future - where past, present, and future co-existed - possible. "Something's happened to time!", murmurs Emperor Winston Churchill ( Ian McNeice ), a classic piece of understatement. But how would he know this? Did Moffat send him a copy of the script?

Moffat does not seem to comprehend that science fiction requires stringent logic. If you open a script with a dinner party at a country house in the Edwardian era, say, and a caveman bursts in, holding a ray-gun, you have to explain why. This episode was supposed to have resolved the mystery of the Doctor's death at Lake Silencio. But who were the Silence? Why were they at Nixon's White House? What was the point of the time machines underground? Why did they hate the Doctor enough to kidnap Melody Pond at birth, so as to turn her into a killer for the Doctor? Why go to all that trouble? Hopefully, 'River Song' will make no further appearances in the show. No offence to Alex Kingston, but it was a mistake to have two enigmatic characters in the show. There should be only one - the Doctor.

The death of Nicholas Courtney was shamefully exploited in a scene where the Doctor phones a nursing home only to find out the Brigadier passed away a few months ago. David Tennant might have made this into a moving scene; Smith did not.

Moffat seems to be of the view that 'Dr.Who' viewers are obese, middle-aged men who live with their mothers and who don't question what they watch on television. The closing moments suggest a new 'arc' is planned for next year: "Doctor Who?". Hang on, Moff, you haven't properly finished the last arc yet!


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39 out of 71 people found the following review useful:

Moffat Doesn't Make RTD Look Like Tolstoy But This Is A Deeply Unsatisfying Conclusion

Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
1 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I didn't have high hopes for this episode . In many ways season six of NuWho is the worse season of the resurrection of the show . The second half of the series improved but that didn't make up for the dreadful mess that constituted the first seven episodes culminating in Let's Kill Hitler possibly the nadir of the series return . In a nutshell much of the damage done is caused by the running thread of the Doctor being killed at a certain point in history . Mindfull of the season finale from last year surely this season's finale couldn't possibly be worse ?

Thankfully it's not but is a million miles away from the perfection of Parting Of The Ways . Moffat has chosen to set his story in a multiverse . Such luminaries such as Stephen Hawking , Martin Rees and Steven Weinberg have gone in to depth about the possibilities of an infinite number of universes and dimensions so does this episode touch upon revolutionary scientific reality ? Not really because a " multiverse " is a vague generic term used to simplify some of the more complex ideas involving quantum mechanics . It's similar to Einstein's famous quote that " God doesn't play dice " which people jump upon saying that this proves there is a creator of the universe . The reality is that Einstein didn't believe in God and used the G word in a metaphorical way to simplify something beyond most peoples comprehension . Moffat uses the idea of a multiverse as a narrative tool in which to give us a very easy escape for the Doctor's death which has been building up all season . He could have easily used this in one brief scene where the Doctor spouts " Oh look I've landed in an alternative universe where I get killed but I'm still alive in this universe " . That of course would never do so pads the story out with some zany ideas . Thankfully it's simplistic but remains uninvolving

One wonders if the BBC are losing faith in the show or if much of the budget for TORCHWOOD MIRACLE DAY was taken from this story . The production values are bitterly disappointing . The trains and balloons traveling around the alternative London are amongst the most cheap looking effects the show has produced this century . Likewise the model shot of the train traveling to the pyramids of area 52 which look like what they are - model effects . Regardless of your opinion of how the classic show ( 1963-89 ) holds up against NuWho we can all agree the new show is indeed a new show where the production values are concerned almost on par with a Hollywood blockbuster . The Wedding Of River Song indicates that the production values are disturbingly going backwards

I did have high hopes for season five of NuWho but that ended up as a bitter disappointment . On the whole season six is worse with Matt Smith very badly used , Rory /andor Amy getting killed at the end of an episode where they're magically resurrected and a running theme that twists and turns and ultimately goes nowhere . I for one will continually watch the show but find myself hoping for a traditional adventure with scary monsters invading an outpost and a dark performance from the Doctor . One can't help thinking we will never see something like this from Steven Moffat who's in danger of being the NuWho equivalent of John Nathan Turner

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24 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Doctor Who is just going down

Author: mihaicosmin2007 from Romania
5 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Since the infamous phrase of the 11th doctor "Geronimo" at the end of the 4th season, this show has been in a contentious fall, and I really wonder how much more can it go down.

I also do not understand how this episode could get 8.9 score, because it was just terrible. Absolutely terrible, but it seems a lot of people have some fanatic faith in Doctor Who Basically, lets just talk about the most obvious hole in the plot. It is so damned obvious, I wonder why only a few actually talk about it.

So, for the first part of the episode, we are told what happens if the Doctor does not die at Lake Silencio (nice hint towards Silence): The history all becomes messed up, time stops following, the universe is simply going to die.

Latter on, Moffat decides to completely trash that, and replace the Doctor with a robot doctor...I really, really wonder why nobody said anything about this. This is probably the WORST writing I've ever seen my entire life. Not even Steven Segal movies are that bad. Basically, the writers simply offend the viewers, by throwing them some bad story, and claim it is complicated and all that stuff, when it is not. The writing was bad, and they simply got away with it because of the professionalism of the VFX and Sound teams, which did a great job (that 6 comes from them).

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

**Greatest Line of Dialog in the History of TV**

Author: A_Different_Drummer from North America
20 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is entirely possible that I missed something, but it appears to this reviewer that the other comments fail to mention that this episode contains the greatest single line of dialogue in the history of TV. I do not say this lightly. There is a reason that grown men fumble about in front of mirrors mumbling "To be or Not To Be" hundreds of years after the words were first penned; or prance about pretending to be de Niro in Taxi Driver; or occasionally mistake the lady they are with to be Lauren Bacall, give her a sly wink, and whisper, "Here's looking at you, Kid." The reason is that some lines of dialogue are so precise, they are like bullets that burrow into your brain and stay there permanently. (Like the banter in Cheers between Norm and Cliff, when one goes so far afield after a few beers, that the other pauses and asks in all seriousness, "What colour is the sun in your world?"). OK, forget the plot of this episode for a moment. Let's get into the ever-present now, folks. There is a scene in this episode where parallel-dimension Rory, who never actually told parallel-dimension Amy how he feels because, OMG, she is Amazonian in this world and never seemed to notice him anyway; he is tagging behind her down a long corridor (corridors are a wonderful place for killer dialogue -- see my IMDb review of HERE COMES MR. JORDAN). Next, PD (parallel-dimension) Amy, who has just realized that PD Rory recently risked his life to save hers, and also that the Doctor had "tipped her off" that she should look a second time at this odd young man who dotes on her every word. In the corridor, with no warning, she seems to put the pieces together and this short, precise, laser-like burst of dialogue comes out of nowhere almost as a theatrical "aside": AMY (walking briskly ahead) "You and me, we should get a drink sometime." Rory (trying to catch up, meekly) "Alright." AMY (never breaking stride or looking back) "And married." RORY (without pausing, changing expression, or missing a beat) "Fine." After the episode aired, chat groups were on fire NOT about the finer points of probability, reincarnation, and time travel, but about this, the most astonishing marriage proposal of all time. I took a lot of flak on IMDb for suggesting that America's ELEMENTARY was a fair competitor to Moffat's SHERLOCK (which is too showy and flashy, and the writing is completely unrestrained) but I want to be clear on this -- when it comes to pure writing, Moffat is a God.

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18 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

This one requires some thinking

Author: Zev from Israel
1 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is not a real review of the episode, but an attempt to answer some difficult questions about the sixth season.

I've been watching Doctor Who since the 70s, and thought the new Who was an exciting improvement at first, but has been going downhill quickly with every season, starting with the first season's finale. Seasons 1-2 were slightly flawed but great, 3-4 were terrible with the exception of Moffat's episodes, I am convinced that the terrible season five was mostly Davies leftovers and not Moffat, but season six was ....interesting.

Moffat tried to create something complex and interesting here, and the result is a mixed bag of some sloppy, or emotionally-driven drivel, a whole bunch of fun dialogue and action, and some uniquely interesting but tricky plot developments. Many, but not all questions can be answered if you think about them a bit...OK a lot:


The Tesselecta/Robot getting killed instead of the Doctor is not a cheat for the simple reason that it is what has always happened. Nothing changed with the 'fixed point in time' except our understanding of what took place.

The Doctor had to make it look real though because it changed so many things, some of which we are going to see in the next 'quieter' season. Being this important and famous was simply causing too many bad things to happen to the universe.

Another reason to make it convincing is because The Silence (and therefore the whole gang behind the 'war against the Doctor') was there to ensure it took place and actually happened - remember? Of course not: You forgot as soon as you turned away.

River Song had to be there for several possible reasons:

- Because that was how the fixed point in time happens and if she weren't there it would fall apart. A self-referential argument, I know, but given the repeating theme of the show where humans and their emotions keep changing pivotal events in the show, imagine the murder originally taking place as planned using River, creating a fixed point, except all this time-travel and humanity stuff changed the 'soul' of the event, without them being able to change the event itself!

- Because she has Time Lord genes and powers over time, and just being there contributes to making it a stronger fixed point. I'm not 100% convinced of this argument, but I got the feeling they built the suits weaponry around her special genes also in order to bypass his regeneration abilities. Don't forget they were training her and the suit even with her as a reluctant child.

- If the Doctor sees it's her, he wouldn't run away while the suit kills him.

- She was being framed for the biggest crime. He did have many friends don't forget.

Why was the marriage necessary? The best answer I came up with is to appease River's emotional deadlock and thus get her to finally kill him. It's not like he was pleased to do it. She was behaving like a selfish psychopath and putting herself above the universe, but she did mature and grow out of it after this (remember, we learned about her in reverse), and she was partially motivated by some good. Also, if he hadn't married her, she would only be known as 'the woman who murdered the Doctor', which wouldn't be fair to her because she really didn't want to do it, so he tried to give her an alternative way people would remember her. It was all for her.

The marriage was between her and the Tesselecta, but don't forget the doctor was controlling the Tesselecta at the time. And since the interrupted murder was also of the robot, touching it caused time to continue onwards.

So River going to jail for his murder was a mixed result, part penance for her bad actions in the first part of her life, part necessary so that the Silence would believe he was really dead, and part a guilt trip for the Doctor who then became committed to saving her from then on every time she jumped out of a building.

The Tesselecta must have faked his partial regeneration just like it faked everything else.

The only thing he didn't do right is not to tell Amelie/Rory, at least after it happened. That is cruel.

Other details I did not like:

- People were complaining about Amelie and Rory not caring when their baby got kidnapped, but don't forget that she appeared all grown up immediately afterwards to make them feel better about what happened and reassure them that she survived. I guess they should have put more visible effort into tracking her down though.

- Having sex in a TARDIS causes Time-Lord mutations?!

- Regeneration genes can be transformed and transferred at will into a poison antidote?! What rubbish.

- A psychopath turns into a self-sacrificing good person in 20 seconds by watching someone try to save someone while dying? A bit overly sentimental there I would say...

- Love blows up all of the Cybermen all at once?! Bloody hell... Why didn't they use it before? Silly, silly writing...

- 'Time standing still' is imagined as a whole bunch of different time periods mishmashed together while clocks stop moving and the humans live very obviously time-driven lives. This is the kind of bombastic nonsense that dominated Russell Davies finales. They could have simply explained that time is falling apart, resulting in many timelines getting spliced together during the chaos...or something minimally plausible like that.

In short, a mixed bag of a season. But given the rubbish we got the past few years, I rate it third after seasons 1-2. I'm hopeful for a quieter next season.

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13 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Cheating destiny

Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
10 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As the sixth series of the new Doctor Who comes to its conclusion the big question is: how will The Doctor survive his death; a death that is one of the fixed points in time; an event that cannot be prevented? The episode opens in a strange world where it is the present but Winston Churchill is the Roman Emperor, Charles Dickens is discussing the his new book on television and pterodactyls soar over the skies of London. We soon learn that something is wrong with time; it is always two minutes past five and all of world history is happening at the same time. A series of flashbacks show the Doctor's final days as he searches for information on The Silence and how he survives… only to cause the collapse of time. He must now find a way to restart time and to do this he will have to work with Amy and Rory who in this time don't know him and aren't married and their daughter River Song.

At first I wasn't sure I'd enjoy this episode as it started with some fairly obvious CGI and the world looked just too weird! Thankfully once things had been explained a bit it was possible to accept what was going on. It was great to see Amy and Rory back Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill are great in their roles; it was fun if a little scary to see Amy showing a darker side to her personality than we have seen before. Talking of scares this episode had plenty of moments that might scare younger viewers… and one or two older ones! These were not too scary though; just the level required to be 'fun scary'. As to how the Doctor survived… well that would be spoiling!

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Steven Moffat at his timiest-wimiest

Author: gridoon2016
5 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

More mind-bending craziness from Steven Moffat. It got me smiling at its audacity right from the beginning, which features, among other curious things, Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill, flying cars, and flying pterodactyls! At the end, I had to ask myself: is this a fully satisfying closure to all the mysteries and paradoxes of season 6? No, it is not. And it doesn't quite stand up to intense scrutiny (for one thing, the Doctor who "dies" in "The Impossible Astronaut" is supposed to be around 200 years older). But it IS more satisfying than the closure of the Time Cracks and the Pandorica in the previous season's finale, and the inevitable "resurrection" of the Doctor at the end is enormously crowd-pleasing without being as much of a cheat as that in "The Big Bang". Most, if not all, of the questions about River Song are answered, while other questions remain and new ones are introduced, setting up the seventh season. I'm on board for the roller coaster ride. *** out of 4.

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