I haven’t been thrilled with this season of Doctor Who. The conflicts created in each episode are thrown out all too quickly with an excuse regarding time travel (the “timey-wimey” stuff), forgetting to layer some sort of logic in there. It feels a bit like the audience is being cheated.
Unfortunately, so much of the build-up was doused by a very similar faith, trust and pixie dust tactic. River Song’s flirtations with the Doctor turn into a love so desperate, she refuses to let him die when he’s supposed to. This puts time into a suspended reality where pterodactyls coexist with the Holy Roman Emperor Winston Churchill, time is frozen and everything is very steam-punk. Moffat doesn’t really explain how/why it happens, of course, because to him it’s really all just magical nonsense. Very much a “Why? Because I said so” sort of deal. We’re just supposed to believe that all of time is happening at once and this weird universe is how it’s supposed to look.
This plays out once more in the season finale, “The Wedding of River Song.” I’m pretty irritated with the choice to make River Song a young woman so desperately in love that she’s willing to destroy the universe to keep the Doctor alive. Much like how the other characters in the Matt Smith-era are given a lame title that allows the writers to cop out and tell much more than they show (Amy as “the girl who waited,” Rory “the last centurion”), River becomes “the woman who marries the Doctor” and it’s all very anti-climactic and hollow.
Once they’re married, the Doctor lets River know that he’s actually shrunken down inside the Teselecta (the shape shifting robot from “Let’s Kill Hitler”) and that the robot will be killed in his place, leaving him safe. Just like magic.