*** Warning this post contains spoilers about Let’s Go to War and may refer to previous episodes of Doctor Who. If you haven’t watched the episode or don’t want to be surprised do not read further. ****
You never realize just how long two and a half months really are until you are waiting for Doctor Who to start again. We were last left with the Doctor leaving Demon’s Run on his way to search for and save Melody Pond.
This episode started with Amy and Rory trying to contact the Doctor for an update on his search. Since the Doctor won’t answer his phone the logical conclusion to the Ponds is to create “Leadworth’s Crop Circle” that spells “Doctor”. The Doctor, of course, takes notice and arrives on cue. He hasn’t tracked Melody down but he reminds Amy that Melody will eventually be River Song, so they all know she WILL be found. Then along comes Amy and Rory’s best friend growing up, Mels. Why haven’t we met Mels before? Well, she doesn’t do weddings. Along comes the police because Mel has stolen a car. Since she is desperate and needs a way out she holds the Doctor at gun point and when asked where, and when, she wants to go, she says, “What the hell, let’s kill Hitler.”
There is some back story here showing Amy, Rory and Mels growing up together, particularly that Mels was always getting herself in trouble and Amy was always there waiting for her to be released. Mels grew up hearing all of Amy’s stories about the Doctor and seemed to have an almost obsessive interest in him. It also shows that Mels is actually the reason that Rory and Amy are together. She points out that Rory has had it bad for Amy since they met years before. And to think Amy thought he was gay all these years, because he never showed interest in any female, except the oblivious Amy.
Back inside the TARDIS, Mels has again caused trouble by shooting the main console because the Doctor lied and told her that inside the Tardis they were all in “a state of temporal grace”, a term that goes back long ago in the Doctor Who universe. The Seventh Doctor said the Temporal Grace circuit still needed to be fixed. Toxic gas fills the room and the Doctor has to land immediately, which means crashing basically.
Berlin 1939, there is some sort of robot filled with miniaturized people. We find out later that this robot is a Justice Department vehicle called the Teselecta. The Teselecta can take the form of any person and is completely customizable. After it takes the person’s form, it uses a miniaturization ray and brings the real person on board where they are either killed by the antibodies or provided credentials. In this case it takes the form of a high ranking Nazi officer (who is killed by the antibodies) and heads to Hitler’s office. It tells Hitler that “he has been found guilty and will be punished”. There is then some commotion inside the Teselecta when they realize that they have arrived too early in Hitler’s time stream and need to visit him a few years later. The TARDIS crashes through the wall, knocking over the Teselecta and thwarting the punishment. Hitler thanks the Doctor, Amy, Rory and Mels for saving him, then starts questioning him about the TARDIS. The Teselecta stands up and Hitler draws his sidearm and shoots wildly at the vehicle. Hitler is tackled and shoved in a closet, the Teselecta faints, and we find out that Mels has been shot.
There is nothing any of them can do to save her. The Doctor tells her that he will marry her if she lives and she tells him that he should ask her parents and indicates Amy and Rory. The Doctor points out that Mels is short for Melody and Amy says that she and Rory named their daughter for Mels. The Doctor replies tell them they named their daughter after their daughter. Mels is Melody Pond. Everyone is shocked. Mels regenerates and the face that appears is the very familiar face of River Song.
Inside the Teselecta, they recognize Melody Pond as the worst criminal in history, the woman that kills the Doctor. They decide to change their intended target and follow Melody.
While Melody is running around adoring her new body, everyone else sits in stunned silence at the fact that Mels, is Melody, is River. Melody asks who River Song is and the Doctor replies, “Spoilers”. Then things get interesting. Melody pulls a gun and tries to shoot the Doctor, but the Doctor has already removed the bullets. Then she pulls another gun that the Doctor has already removed the magazine from. See when the Doctor saw that she was regenerating, he knew exactly who she was and exactly what she would try to do. Then she apparently gives up and kisses the Doctor, then head out the window to escape. Almost immediately, we can see that the Doctor is in serious trouble. Melody tells him she has always known that he would never be taken down by a gun, only by the one type of warfare he didn’t understand, romance. Melody escapes, the Ponds follow her, and the Doctor retreats to the TARDIS, giving Amy his Sonic along the way.
River tricks the Nazi guards into shooting her and knocks them all out with a burst of regeneration energy. She takes their guns and heads off on a motorbike into 1930’s Berlin. Amy and Rory steal a motorbike from a Nazi and follow her. That Nazi happens to be the Teselecta and joins the chase.
Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor is dying. He asks for a TARDIS voice interface since he can’t get up. The TARDIS clicks through holograms of Rose, Martha, and Donna, all of which the Doctor refuses because they remind him of his guilt. Then it produces little Amelia Pond. The Doctor begs for some way to fight the poison from the kiss. He is told it is impossible, there is no cure and regeneration has been suspended. He begs for anything that will save him right before he gives up we hear Amelia say “fish fingers and custard”. The doctor is relieved and has the energy to fly off and seemingly save himself.
It seems Melody has held up a very expensive dinner and stolen ALL clothing and accessories from its attendees. Outside, Amy and Rory pull up on the motorbike just as a bunch of people in their underwear are running out the door. Another motorbike stops next to them driven by Amy! Its the Teselecta and it has taken Amy’s form. Amy and Rory are miniaturized and stuck inside the Teselecta with the antibodies ready to attack them. Just in time one of the Teselecta staff shows up, straps a bracelet on them and gives them privileges since they aren’t guilty of anything. They are immediately safe from the antibodies. He takes both of them to the cockpit to watch the scene unfold. The Teselecta walks up to Melody and tells her that she is guilty of killing the Doctor and that she must be punished.
At that moment the Doctor shows up dressed to the nines with a new sonic cane, the Doctor is still very much alive, I think even Melody was surprised by this. The Teselecta points out that he is dying, which he doesn’t refute, only that he isn’t dead YET, so Melody isn’t guilty of anything YET. He makes sure that Amy and Rory are safe by having her signal him with his sonic screwdriver. The Doctor asks the Teselecta what their intentions are with Melody. They tell him that they are a team from the Department of Justice sent to punish criminals who didn’t suffer enough for their crimes. They are sent back to near the end of their targets timeline and ordered to give them Hell, torturing them for their crimes. They once again target Melody but they don’t seem to know the Doctor. Since Amy is family of the convicted she has privileges to the ships records. Amy has them look up his biography, which lists him as dying at Lake Silencio in Utah from the begining of the season. The biography also states that the Silence want him dead. The Silence are not a species, but a religious order and movement. The Silence will fall when the last question is asked. The oldest question in the universe hidden in plain sight. The question is unknown. Thats not useful, so the Doctor focuses his energy on saving Melody who is now receiving her “Hell” and engulfed in flames.
The Doctor tells Amy and Rory to save Melody since she is, after all their daughter. Amy uses the sonic to switch off all of the bracelets of the people on the Teselecta, revoking their privileges. The antibodies immediately attack and the staff retreats. Melody notices that the Doctor still cares and she seems honestly perplexed. He calls for River, and Melody once again asks who River is, stating that she must be a woman. He begs her to save Amy and Rory, her own parents. When all hope is gone for Amy and Rory, the TARDIS appears around them. They are saved, by the Doctor? No, they were saved by Melody. The TARDIS taught River how to fly her. Melody refers to the TARDIS as ‘her’, she seems to KNOW the TARDIS now.
The Doctor, nearly dead, tells Melody to find River and then whispers something to her. Melody seems to think that it would be something River would obviously know already. Then the Doctor dies. Melody asks Amy and Rory, “Who is River Song?” Amy accesses the Teselecta’s databanks one more time. She asks the Teselecta to show them River, who materializes in front of them. Melody looks at herself and changes. She looks back at the Doctor and her hands begin to glow with regeneration energy. She asks Amy and Rory if the Doctor is worth it. Of course they say he is. River lays her hands on the Doctor, he wakes up. She says “Hello sweetie” for the first time and both River and the Doctor are enveloped in a massive ball of regenerative energy.
River groggily wakes wearing hospital garb with Amy sitting next to her. Apparently, River used up all of her remaining regenerations to save the Doctor, and in the process became the River that we all know and love. The Doctor gives her the famous blue journal and leaves her in the very capable hands of the Sisters of the Infinite Schism, apparently the finest hospital in the universe. The Doctor tells Amy that they have to let her go her own way now since they have too much “foreknowledge”. When the Doctor, Amy and Rory reenter the TARDIS, 22/4/2011 appears on the screen, the date the Doctor really dies. Rory recalls River was in prison for murder and now we know it was for the Doctor’s murder. Amy asks how people look for him and he replies Amy should know that by now.
Luna University 5123, River seems to be talking to a guidance counselor at a university declaring her desired major to be archeology. When the counselor asks why, she replies “I’m looking for a good man.”
So, what do you think the Doctor whispered to Melody? I have my suspicion, but I’m curious if others agree.