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The mother of all sci-fi shows

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2011-06-06 Times.jpg

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Doctor Who BBC One, Saturday ★★★★★


There were monsters, of course there were monsters, friends and fiends, but we grown-ups wanted answers from the mid-season finale of Doctor Who. Who, really, had got Amy Pond pregnant and who, really, was the flirtatious River Song. Oh, how the writer Steven Moffat toyed with us! Amy — for the first time one of the Doctor's female companions screamed during labour rather than from terror — held her new daughter and spoke encouragingly to her of her mythic father, a man who has lived for centuries and was known to the world as, phew, "the last centurion" (aka Amy's husband, Rory Williams). She named the baby Melody Pond. Again: Melody Pond. Did you guess? Or did you, like me, have to wait for River Song's big reveal at the end? Melody Pond was a Gallifreyan synonym for River Song. In other words, for the past two seasons Karen Gillan, 23, has been playing 48-year-old Alex Kingston's mother.

The planning that must have gone into completing that mind-bending story arc would have left me in awe of Moffat's talent, even if he had not, over his three self-penned episodes this season, written I, some of Doctor Who's cleverest, scariest and most confident editions. Having given us Apollo 11, Richard Nixon and the Doctor's death at the beginning of the season, on Saturday he threw in Cybermen, headless monks answerable to a "Papal Mainframe", and the worrying thought that in some parts of the Universe the term "Doctor" has come to mean "mighty warrior". Whereas Moffat's predecessor, Russell T. Davies, bigged up the Doctor as a Christ-like saviour, Moffat suggests that he is nearer the Jesus of the Book of Revelation, a militant who rules through fear. Yet the dialogue remained nimble and funny and dancingly rendered by the highly impressive ensemble. My only quibble is that having brought back cliffhangers to the series, Moffat ended this run with the merest of cheerios and an assurance that things would turn out fine for Amy and her missing babe. Mind you, the final caption made me sit up. The Doctor will be back in the autumn in Let's Kill Hitler.


Caption: The identity of Amy Pond's baby was revealed

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  • APA 6th ed.: Billen, Andrew (2011-06-06). The mother of all sci-fi shows. The Times p. 16.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Billen, Andrew. "The mother of all sci-fi shows." The Times [add city] 2011-06-06, 16. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Billen, Andrew. "The mother of all sci-fi shows." The Times, edition, sec., 2011-06-06
  • Turabian: Billen, Andrew. "The mother of all sci-fi shows." The Times, 2011-06-06, section, 16 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=The mother of all sci-fi shows | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/The_mother_of_all_sci-fi_shows | work=The Times | pages=16 | date=2011-06-06 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=16 December 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=The mother of all sci-fi shows | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/The_mother_of_all_sci-fi_shows | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=16 December 2019}}</ref>