Article 18: A Good Man Goes to War

Posted by: Dr. Geek

Article 18: A Good Man Goes to War
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Hi everyone… the latest episode of our podcast is up. We discuss A Good Man Goes to War.

I hope everyone enjoys it.

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About the Author

Dr. Geek holds two doctorate degrees and is an archaeologist and an attorney who has done extensive research on myths and their impact on modern archaeology and modern storytelling. He appreciates the history and mythology woven together in the Doctor Who shows.


  1. Harvey  June 26, 2011

    Great episode, and great podcast – of course. Just a few questions:

    1.) Why couldn’t River be available until the end of the Battle of Demon’s Run? It was not like she was interfering with her own timestream. The baby there was always the Flesh Baby.
    2.) How could the Flesh Baby control its body better than any other ‘ganger?
    3.) If the Doctor killed in the series opener was the Flesh Doctor, does that mean that the Flesh Baby can come back too?
    4.) If the astronaut was River, what did it matter that she was bio-engineered to be a weapon against the Doctor when all she did was shoot him with a ray gun? Couldn’t anybody shoot the Doctor with a ray gun? If the astronaut wasn’t River, why did River miss so many times when she tried to shoot it?
    5.) Why would the weapon raised to kill the Doctor be abandoned, lost, and left to wander the streets once she completed her mission? Couldn’t she grow to be as grave a threat as the vanquished Time Lord?
    6.) Why didn’t the TARDIS stabilize Amy’s ‘ganger like it did the others? And didn’t the fact that the Doctor merced her, as well as destroyed a Cyberman base just to prove a point, prove that he is indeed evil? Notwithstanding the multiple genocides the Doctor is responsible for (Daleks, Silents, Daleks, Gallifreyans, Racnoss, Daleks, Vervoids, etc.) isn’t the war waged against him just?
    7.) If it is so easy to clone (Doctor’s Daughter) / mutate (A Good Man Goes to War) / flesh copy (Almost Human) / grow from cells (Journey’s End) a Time Lord, why doesn’t the Doctor populate a planet with his duplicates and ‘gangers? The Sontarans provide an example of how this is possible.

    I could go on, but in short, I appreciate both the show and the hard work you guys put in in commenting on it.

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  2. Dr. Geek  June 26, 2011

    Thank you so much for your kind words. Thank you so much for listening and commenting!

    I agree, River’s ablity to shoot seems to be inconsistent. Of course maybe the suit was able to repair the damage?

    Not sure the war is just because The Doctor’s actions so far have appeared just in their own way. That said through, good points. Here is hoping answers will be coming in September

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  3. Hart Deer  June 26, 2011

    Harvey, I think:

    1a. She wasn’t the flesh baby until Rory intercepted the eye patch woman.

    1b. The Battle of Demon’s Run may be one of those “fixed” things like Rose’s father’s death or Pompei or the Martian astronaut chick dying. In which case, River displayed great wisdom in waiting in out.

    2. The writers had already established with Amy that there’s a way to trick someone into a flesh body that they can’t tell from a real body. Remember that when the Doctor went back in time to the acid factory, it was to see the START of the Flesh People’s history. Apparently the technology, and control of it, became more sophisticated over time.

    3a. Flesh Baby and Flesh Amy were not separate entities (whereas Flesh Doctor and his friends were actually different, distinct people from their originals). Flesh Baby and Flesh Amy were traps for the their original’s consciousnesses. Amy and the babies’ minds left their original bodies, visited their flesh avatars, and then returns home to their original bodies after the avatars were undone.

    3b. I don’t think the Doctor who got shot was the flesh double, because it would have rendered the exposition given by the secret agent to be a pretty cheap and callow plot device. I’d prefer to think it really was the authentic, original Doctor who got shot by the astronaut, and well… you know how I think he’ll get out of it…

    4a. I think the astronaut was River, and older River fired shots that she missed on purpose out of frustration.

    4b. No, I don’t think “anybody” could shoot the Doctor with a ray gun. Ignore the movie.

    4c. The Doctor walked up to the Astronaut and voluntarily allowed himself to be killed. It’s not indicative of the Astronaut’s kickassery at all. It’s like, if I walked up to Wanderlei Silva and asked him to punch me in the head and he did it, you couldn’t tell anything about Wanderlei Silva’s fighting ability.

    4d. There’s no telling what the Astronaut could actually do as an agent trained to kill the Doctor. It’s not raw firing power– it’s craftiness, understanding of space/time, and the sort of cleverness that the Doctor himself employs. Think about it like a CIA agent. All a CIA agent has is a gun, just like you or I can have. Yet, because of high skills and a vast support network, a CIA agent can get past the Shah’s security and assassinate him, whereas it’s very unlikely that you or I could do the same.

    5. Perhaps either she had to be abandoned and learn to survive to make her a hard enough weapon, or perhaps something went wrong with her kidnappers’ plans… This is an opportunity for good writing to give us an interesting reveal!

    6a. Again, the ganger technology employed against Amy is far more futuristic and advanced than what was in the factory.

    6b. The Doctor didn’t kill anyone by “narcing” Amy’s ganger. Again, Amy’s ganger is different than the gangers in the factory. Amy’s ganger was not a separate person from the original Amy– Amy’s ganger was just a prison for the original Amy’s mind. When Amy’s ganger was undone, Amy’s mind simply returned to her original body. Nobody was actually killed.

    6c. Gosh yes, I think the war against the Doctor is justified. And that’s why it’s an awesome and perfect plot point. Go Moffat go!! From this point forward, the Doctor’s character could actually be grow in a new, meaningful, and satisfying way… and that’s hard to do with a character that’s been around almost 50 years!

    7. It may be easy to make clones of the Doctor, but the Doctor doesn’t WANT those clones around. Remember that a Timelord’s body is a miracle and has to be burned when he final-dies because even the smallest piece of a Timelord is so valuable it can spark an intergalactic war.

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