"I wish I could tell you that you'll be loved. That you'll be safe and cared for and protected. But this isn't the time for lies....."
Poor Amy. The last time she was "pregnant" she was attacked by alien pensioners, watched her husband turn to dust, and was harassed by a smarmy figment of the Doctor's id. And then it all turned out to be a dream of the "psychic pollen" variety. Don't you just hate those?
This time Amy's "real" life was the dream. While a Ganger/flesh avatar was taking her place on board the Tardis, Amy was actually in the clutches of midwife-from-hell Eyepatch Woman, imprisoned on Demon's Run, an asteroid guarded by more of Steven Moffatt's soldier-clerics.
Now a terrified Amy has given birth to her daughter, Melody, knowing that the two of them are just pawns in a cosmic game of cat-and-mouse. Amy's holding out for a hero.....
Rory Williams, the Last Centurion, is on his way to save his new family, facing down Cybermen with a snarl of
"Where. Is. My. Wife?!"
Meanwhile, the Doctor, somewhere in the background, is quietly raising an army to fight the Battle Of Demon's Run.....
This mid-season finale certainly packs a lot into its 50 minutes: a crime-fighting Victorian Silurian and her maid, the Headless Monks, the ( semi-ironic ) return of The Gay Agenda, a Sontaran doing penance as a battlefield nurse, armies of Judoon and Silurians, the Doctor's cot (!) and the revelation of River Song's true identity.
Amongst all this we are again asked to ponder the consequences of the Doctor's actions. Has he ( as in The Waters Of Mars ) gone too far this time? His almost casual tricking and defeat of whole armies is seen as further inspiring his enemies to create even more armies and traps to defeat him. And the effect of the ongoing Doctor Myth is shown to not necessarily be a good thing as, yet again, a human whose life has been touched by the Doc ( newly-introduced character Lorna Bucket ) dies in his name. Matt Smith is, as ever, fantastic in the scenes where he flips from self-righteous rage to disbelief at the effects his extraordinary life has on ordinary people.
Smith also demonstrates his comic side as he finally figures out who River Song really is. He's at his most Troughton-esque as the mighty Time Lord turns into a giddy schoolboy and retreats into his Tardis, to again pursue Melody's kidnappers.
Of course the major revelation of the episode, and the season, is that ( MAJOR SPOILER! )
River Song is Amy's and Rory's child. But, all growed-up like. Melody Pond = River Song.
This does seem quite fitting really, and Alex Kingston's sincere performance goes a long way in selling the concept. To mangle my metaphors ( ouch! ) - now that the cat's out of the bag, it opens a whole new can of worms. How long has River known this? Why does she have to tell them now? And what was that "regeneration" all about?
Maybe we'll find out in the Autumn, when the Doctor returns in Let's Kill Hitler ( coming after all those emotional scenes, that title earned itself a big laugh in this household )
Four And A Half Bow Ties Out Of Five