Summary: Will River Song’s attempts to get ahead be her downfall.

Plot: River Song has need of a Doctor a surgeon to be precise to operate on his husband to extract a priceless diamond what she gets is a Doctor who she doesn’t recognize and a headless murderous king out to kill her. Will she and her companion that she doesn’t recognize manage to get away or will they be surrounded by some of the most murderous folk in the universe, or both?

Writing: Moffat loves himself a River Song story and all of the best of his magic comes into play. This episode keeps moving at a blistering pace and never stops the viewer from smiling, except for two moment which are so sentimental that only the most heartless could fail to be moved. Infinitely rewatchable.

Acting: If the makers had realized that Capaldi & Kingston had his much chemistry then Moffat might have changed the ending to ensure they would be paired up again. The supporting comic roles are all played well, special mention to Matt Lucas (Nardo) Rowan Polonski (Fleming) and Greg Davies (King Hydroflax)

Memorable Moments:  Doctor Song to you, Lying down people, Need a mop, Is this what you’re like, Why is everything sexy now? He’s never noticed before, avoid deck seven, shouldn’t do that in a restaurant, hello sweetie, spouse list, last christmas, 24 years.

Doctor Who Flashbacks: The Diary references of course, The library, Stealing a TARDIS (an unearthly child) Storage in the roundels (Castrovalva)

Oddities: You would think that if River Song was going to hire a surgeon she would know what he looks like While it a given that this is the only Capaldi/Kingston pair up as the nights are 24 years where they are doesn’t that leave plenty of time for Trouble to come looking for them there?

Pet Peeves: The provable murder of “multiple innocent life forms” is required to get on board that ship, so how is River there or do I want to know?

Great Quote(s)

Doctor: You’re talking about murdering someone.
River Song: No, I’m not. I’m actually murdering someone


River Song: It’s a time machine. I can take it, do whatever I want for as long as I like and pop it back a second later. He’ll never know it was gone.
Doctor: Yes, he will.
River Song: How?
Doctor: He’ll just know.
River Song: Well, he’s never noticed before.


Doctor: You’re doing it wrong.
River Song: I am certainly not.
Doctor: Not those levers.
River Song: Hush.
Doctor: You probably want to press that button.
River Song: Why? That evacuates the waste tank on deck seven.
Doctor: Does it?
River Song: What is wrong with you?
Doctor: Better avoid deck seven then.


River Song: I don’t suppose you could fetch that over for me, could you?


River Song: When you love the Doctor, it’s like loving the stars themselves. You don’t expect a sunset to admire you back. And if I happen to find myself in danger, let me tell you, the Doctor is not stupid enough, or sentimental enough, and he is certainly not in love enough to find himself standing in it with me!
(She meets the Doctor’s eyes. He smiles and the penny finally drops for her. Long pause.)
Doctor: [as he sees dawn suddenly strike on marble head] Hello, sweetie.


Doctor: So, King Hydroflax?
River Song: Oh, how many times? I married the diamond.
Doctor: So you say.
River Song: Elizabeth the First.
Doctor: Ramone.
River Song: Marilyn Monroe.
Doctor: Stephen Fry.
River Song: Cleopatra!
Doctor: Same thing.


River Song: How long is a night on Darillium?
Doctor: Twenty four years.
River Song: I hate you.
Doctor: No, you don’t.

Final Verdict: 5 stars If I had more starts to give this would get it

Ranking of Season: 1st of 13 Not only was this one of the funniest episodes but it was a welcome relief after the heavy previous episodes despite a slightly heavy ending. Reviews elsewhere might disagree but I don’t watch Doctor Who for high tragic drama, that’s not what it’s for and never has been. This is exactly that the series is meant to be, at least to me.

1st. The Husbands of River Song
2nd. The Girl who Died
3rd. The Witch’s Familiar
4th Hell Bent
5th. Face the Raven
6th Heaven Sent
7th. The Magician’s Apprentice
8th. The Woman who lived
9th. Before the Flood
10th. Under the Lake
11th The Zygon Inversion
12th. The Zygon Invasion
13th Sleep no more

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 1st Without a doubt my Favorite Capaldi episode, in contention for best in the revised series and easily one of my top 10 since I discovered the series in 1976 & started watching regularly in 1981.

1st The Husbands of River Song
2nd. Last Christmas
3rd. The Caretaker
4th. The Girl who Died
5th. The Witch’s Familiar
6th. Hell Bent
7th. Mummy on the Orient Express
8th. Face the Raven
9th. Into the Dalek
10th. Dark Water

The latest in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary: Can the Doctor restart Universe from Scratch

Plot: The entire Universe is gone and the only person who can save it is 12-year-old Amalia Pond, and her new friends, but can Two Amy Ponds, One Plastic centurion, River Song and the doctor restart the universe before it ends

Writing:    One of the real weaknesses of the Moffat era is the constant use of Paradox to resolve issues. However this one is so well done and so much fun and works so well you just let it go and enjoy it.

Acting: Darvill & Kingston steal the show. Caitlin Blackwood would have but she doesn’t have enough screen time. I like Amy’s father and Karen Gillan is a very believable bride

Memorable moments: Rory’s speech to Amy, The Fez, River and the Dalek, the wedding guest.

Oddities: River Song can’t be there until Amy remembers.

Pet Peeves: Remember those about meeting or touching another one of yourself from Maudwin Undead? Nevermind.

Great Quote(s):

RORY: So the universe ended. You missed that, in 102 AD. I suppose this means you and I never get born at all. Twice, in my case. You would have laughed at that. Please laugh. The Doctor said the universe was huge and ridiculous, and sometimes there were miracles. I could do with a ridiculous miracle about now.
(The Doctor pops in from thin air, wearing a red fez and carrying a mop.)
The Doctor: (Appearing out of think hair with a Fez & Mop) Rory! Listen, she’s not dead. Well, she is dead, but it’s not the end of the world. Well, it is the end of the world. Actually, it’s the end of the universe. Oh, no. Hang on. He vanishes.
Rory: Doctor? Doctor!

Doctor: (back with no mop) You need to get me out of the Pandorica.
Rory: But you’re not in the Pandorica.
Doctor: Yes, I am. Well, I’m not now, but I was back then. Well, back now from your point of view, which is back then from my point of view. Time travel, you can’t keep it straight in your head.


Rory: Trust the plastic!


River Song: Right then. I have questions, but number one is this – what in the name of sanity have you got on your head?

The Doctor: It’s a fez. I wear a fez now. Fezzes are cool.


Dalek: Records indicate you will show mercy! You are an associate of the Doctor’s!

River Song: [charges gun] I’m River Song.

River Song: Check your records again.

The Doctor: Hello everyone. I’m Amy’s Imaginary Friend! But I came anyway!

Final Verdict: Five Stars

Ranking in Series 5 to date 1st out of 12 it has simply everything!

1. The Pandorica Opens
2. The Eleventh Hour
3. The Big Bang
4. The Lodger
5. Time of the Angels
6. The Vampires of Venice
7. Amy’s choice
8. Flesh and Stone
9. Cold Blood
10 The Hungry Earth
11. Victory of the Daleks
12. Vincent and the Doctor
13. The Beast Below

Ranking in Matt Smith Era (top 5 out of 10)

1. The Pandorica Opens
2. The Eleventh Hour
3 The Big Bang
4. The Lodger
5. Time of the Angels

The latest in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary:  What is locked away in the Pandorica

Plot: The most dangerous being in the Universe is locked away in the Pandorica, can the Doctor find out its secret ahead of every villain he’s ever fought.

Writing:    This is simply the best Moffat script of the season, he keeps up guessing right up until the end, he deploys characters from throughout the season to connect it, throws in several twists including two beyond anything we would expect and reminds us that when he’s on his game he is simply fantastic.

Acting: Matt Smith, Alex Kingston, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill simply shine

Memorable moments: So many it’s almost impossible to list them all, River and Dorium Maldovar, You didn’t answer your phone,I’m a target, Amy & the Roman, The Doctor Missing something, I am talking, I’m a machine

Oddities: If the empty Cyberhaad can fight how did the sword finish it off?

Pet Peeves: It was a cute stunt but the empty Cyberhead fighting on its own was odd

Great Quote(s): A TON of them

River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.


The Doctor: Okay, need a better look. Gotta draw its fire, give it a proper target.

Amy Pond: How?

The Doctor: Well, you know how sometimes I have really brilliant ideas?

Amy Pond: Yeah…

The Doctor: I’m sorry!(Jumping into the open) Hey look at me, I’m a target!


Legion Commander: So, I return to my command after one week and discover we’ve been playing host to Cleopatra. Who’s in Egypt. And dead.

The Doctor: I’m missing something obvious, Rory! Something big, something right slap in front of me, I can feel it.

Rory Williams: Yeah, I think you probably are.

And of course the greatest one can’t simply just be quoted it has to be seen:

The Doctor: Hello, Stonehenge! Who takes the Pandorica takes the Universe! But, bad news everyone, ’cause guess who! Ha! Except, you lot, you’re all whizzing about, it’s really very distracting. Could you all just stay still a minute because
I am talking!, Now, the question for the hour is, “Who’s got the Pandorica?” Answer: I do. Next question: “Who’s coming to take it from me?”

Come on, look at me! No plan, no backup, no weapons worth a damn, oh, and something else I don’t have: anything to lose! So, if you’re sitting up there in your silly little space ships with all your silly little guns, and you’ve got any plans on taking the Pandorica tonight, just remember who’s standing in your way! Remember every black day I ever stopped you, and then, *and then*, do the smart thing!

Let somebody else try first.

Final Verdict: Five Stars if I had more Stars it would get it.

Ranking in Series 5 to date 1st out of 12 it has simply everything!

1. The Pandorica Opens
2. The Eleventh Hour
3. The Lodger
4. Time of the Angels
5. The Vampires of Venice
6. Amy’s choice
7. Flesh and Stone
8. Cold Blood
9 The Hungry Earth
10. Victory of the Daleks
11. Vincent and the Doctor
12. The Beast Below

Ranking in Matt Smith Era (top 5 out of 10)

1. The Pandorica Opens
2. The Eleventh Hour
3. The Lodger
4. Time of the Angels
5. The Vampires of Venice

The latest in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary:  River Song is back but so are the weeping Angels

Plot: River Song leave a clue for the Doctor in his past to get help to solve a mystery concerning a Weeping Angel.  What is it doing on the planet of the Alfalfa Metraxis?  And what is the secret that the good Doctor Song and their heavily armed clerics keeping from the Time Lord?

Writing:  Steven Moffat combines two of his greatest creations the weeping angels and River Song and the result is simply wonderful, not only is it the best story to this point, excluding the 11th hour, but you can actually sense his pleasure in writing the story as the lines are delivered as if he’s had it in his head for years.

Acting: This is Alex Kingston’s first pairing with Matt Smith as the Doctor ad they simply ooze chemistry, it’s a situation that will continue during her returns.  Kingston Song make you regret that Russell P Davies didn’t choose to have at least one more adventure with her after the silence in the library.

Memorable moments:  the dive into space,   the cliffhanger as the episode ends.

Oddities: There is absolutely no reason the angel needs voice to accomplish its mission it’s the one weak plot device

Pet Peeves:  I’m sorry but while the “you leave the brakes line” is clever, it doesn’t wash.  Did the Master leave his breaks on too?  Did Romana not know the breaks were on?  Or K-9?  Finally Do we really need the gratuitous “law against marrying themselves” bit?

Great Quote(s):  River Song:  He thinks he’s so hot when he does that.

However that quote pales next to this one that simply demands video

The Doctor: Oh, big mistake. Huge. Didn’t anyone every tell you there’s one thing you never put in a trap? If you’re smart, if you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow, there is one thing you never, ever put in a trap.
Angel Bob: And what would that be, sir?
The Doctor: Me!

Final Verdict. Only the Eleventh Hour surpasses it and not by much it’s an episode that keeps you wanting more and as it’s part one of a two-part story your wish will be granted

Five Stars

Ranking in Series 5 to date 2nd out of 4

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. Time of the Angels
3. Victory of the Daleks
4. The Beast Below

Ranking in Matt Smith Era (out of 4)

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. Time of the Angels
3. Victory of the Daleks
4. The Beast Below

Olimometer 2.52

Home stretch can you bring me over the line.


Was not only the best single episode I’ve seen in the series (and I’ve been watching since 1981) but could easily been a season or series finale.

Four comments:

Arthur Darvill is in my opinion the best companion The Doctor has ever had.

Karen Gillian was always a good companion but she and Arther Darvill click. They NEED to be in another series together once they leave this one.

When Catlin Blackwood grows up it will be an incredible loss for the series.

If Alex Kingston was any hotter you could replace the furnace in your house with her.

And Matt Smith continues to out Doctor everyone in sight.

And Stephen Moffat has solved a huge upcoming problem for the series in spectacular fashion.

I don’t care if you have a coupon for a free hour at the Midnight Bunny Ranch in Nevada redeemable only during the show, Sit down and watch tonight’s episode instead.

Update: Seriously how can you not like something like this:

Update: OK it was six thoughts so sue me.

Flesh and Stone starts with a quick resolution to the amazing cliffhanger of Time of the Angels and it has it all. Action, Comedy (some of the funniest moments of the season are here) drama, a touch of sex and of course comfy chairs.

One can’t overstate how well Kingston and Smith work together here, Karen Gillian (remember her) however carries off an important role and everything here works brilliantly.

Be aware that an important plot twist takes place that you might miss if you aren’t careful.

Not counting the premiere this was the best episode of the run to this point.

Rating *****

Last episode Time of the Angels

Next Episode Vampires of Venice

I wasn’t a big fan of Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead when they first came out, There were many better episodes that season.

But with Series 5 behind us the pair of them take on a whole new meaning and Alex Kingston’s performance looks both better and more poignant. Kingston’s River Song has (along with Arthur Darvill’s Rory) have been an incredible addition to the show. Darvill’s character is the geek that so many of us who watch the show are. Song’s character transforms the Doctor into the Geek for us to identify with.

I hope Kingston stays a while, she adds an incredible dimension to the series that we haven’t seen since Romana.

Kingston current performances combined with Stephen Moffat has really raised the series. They are so good they even make two year old episodes better.