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A Good Man Goes to War was the seventh episode and mid-series finale of series 6 of Doctor Who.

It was the last episode of the spring half of the sixth series. It was, in a sense, the first episode of a two-part story, followed by Let's Kill Hitler. It revealed the identity of River Song, naming her as Melody Pond, the daughter of Amy Pond and Rory Williams. The midseries finale also introduced the Headless Monks, a militaristic faction of the Silence, and formally introduced the ubiquitous "Eye Patch Lady" as the malevolent Madame Kovarian. It also showed the extent to which the Doctor had become feared and the lengths to which those who feared him were willing to go to be rid of him. Equally so, it revealed how easily the Doctor could assemble a small army and counter an enemy's force, and the severity of his anger when someone he deeply cared about was tormented to the point that irreversible damage was done to their life.

Further notable moments were the reappearances of several of the Doctor's allies, enemies, and neutral acquaintances - and the introduction of several previously unseen friends. Three individuals who debuted in this story would later become known as the Paternoster Gang as they continued to make appearances as a collective: Madame Vastra, her lover Jenny Flint, and the Sontaran Strax, the last of which died in this episode, but had his death reversed in the mini-episode The Battle of Demons Run: Two Days Later.

This story marked the first time that the BBC Wales series had not broadcast an uninterrupted thirteen-episode run for a series of Doctor Who. As a result of its status as a midseries finale, the length and allotted run time of the episode was extended to 50 minutes. The episode was also given an ending that would allow for a reasonable time skip to take place in-universe, where the Doctor sets off on his own in search of Melody Pond. However, viewers can still watch Series 6 in full without any difference in the story arc progression. The major plots introduced at the beginning of this series were continued in the latter half of the broadcast and tied up in a standalone finale.

The practice of splitting apart a 13-episode series would be repeated with Series 7, which contained further experiments with the series format. It was comprised of two different character-related story arcs that were contained in the first and second parts of Series 7, and premiered new episodes across two years, incorporating a Christmas special in between the break that bridged the two halves of the series. The singular run format, reduced to 12 episodes rather than 13, would return when the Twelfth Doctor's era began.

It wouldn't be revealed until The Time of the Doctor that Madame Kovarian had not been truly villainous; the "war" she spoke of wasn't simply the Doctor's enemies trying to kill him like normal, the Kovarian Chapter of the Papal Mainframe was trying to kill him before he could even take part in the Siege of Trenzalore in his personal future. She believed that if the Doctor were to die before the Siege, the Time Lords would not be released from their pocket universe, thus preventing the Time War from starting anew.

Despite the beheading of Dorium Maldovar in this episode, he would return in The Wedding of River Song as a still-living head. In that case, it was revealed that Dorium possessed vital information about what Madame Kovarian and her followers were up to with Melody Pond that he didn't share with the Doctor at Demons Run. Dorium would defend himself as it being "a busy day and I got beheaded" for his reasons for not sharing what he knew at the time.


On the asteroid Demon's Run, Amy Pond has given birth. But the villainous Madame Kovarian and the religious order of the silence are waiting to make a collection that tears Amy's world apart. Across the galaxy, the Eleventh Doctor and Rory Williams are assembling an army to fight the battle that lies ahead, whilst in Stormcage, River Song prepares to escape for what may be the last time. For this is the battle of Demon's Run. On this day, the Doctor will rise higher than ever and fall so much further, and finally, this is the day he discovers who River Song is...


Melody Infant

Amy's baby, Melody Pond.

On the Demon's Run base, Amy calms her infant daughter, Melody Pond, as Cleric guards and Madame Kovarian look on. It has been some time since she gave birth to her child, and now Melody is ready to be raised by a parent. However, Amy has been denied the privilege of caring for her own baby. Kovarian has plans to enact another kind of parenthood for Melody Pond. She gives Amy two minutes to say goodbye to her child before approaching her with two armed guards. Amy tells Melody of her father. Though he looks young, he has lived for hundreds of years and he is coming for them, so their captors had better beware as not even an army would stop him.

When Amy's time with Melody is up, Kovarian ruthlessly advances with her arms outstretched to obtain Melody by force if she has to. Crying, Amy begs Kovarian to leave the baby alone. She removes the child from her mother's arms and puts her in a cot to be taken away. A young female soldier reluctantly watches Amy's heartbroken reaction, and two cloaked figures from an upper balcony step forward to watch Melody being brought into Kovarian's care.

Before her baby is completely separated from her, Amy gives Melody a kiss and continues talking about her father; though he has a name, the people of Earth know him better by a different title: the Last Centurion.

Twenty thousand light years away, on the flagship of the Twelfth Cyber Legion, Cybermen detect an intruder working his way to their command centre, wreaking havoc with a sonic screwdriver. They try sealing him off, but every attempt fails. They prepare to confront him, weapons raised as the door opens to reveal Rory. Fearless, Rory tells the Cybermen that he has a message from the Doctor and a question from himself: "Where is my wife?" The Cybermen don't answer, prompting Rory to explain that they hear everything in the quadrant; he will leave in peace if they tell him what he wants to know. The Cyber-Leader demands the message from him and gets it: the rest of the ships explode outside the window. Message delivered, Rory asks if he needs to repeat his question.

On Demon's Run, the Fat One and the Thin One discuss the Doctor and how he scolded the Atraxi after scaring them off a planet. The Thin One reminds the Fat One that they're being paid to fight the Doctor. Praising costs more. A Cleric named Lorna overhears them, smiles, and continues to sew on her break.

This is seen on a security monitor by two guards in the control room, Dominicus and Lucas, who are practising how to tell the difference between psychic paper from actual identification. Lucas incorrectly chooses the psychic paper, and Dominicus reminds him he has to look for the psychic fractals to recognise which ID is real. However, Dominicus is too bored to care because the Clerics have been on Yellow Alert for over three weeks.

The Thin One and the Fat One talk about the Headless Monks they are sharing the base with, pondering if they are truly headless. Lorna overhears them and explains. They believe "the domain of faith is the heart and the domain of doubt is the head", hence the name "headless". The two men introduce themselves by their nicknames and reveal that they are married. Lorna asks if they have real names, but the Fat One rattles off a large number of labels that make them too easy to identify regardless of who they are. Three Headless Monks show up and leer in the direction of The Fat One. He leaves with the monks to complete a conversion tutorial.

The Thin One deduces that Lorna has had an "encounter" with the Doctor; he is right. Lorna met him when she was a little girl in the Gamma Forests, something that made her join the Clerics, despite her planet being "heaven neutral", as the Doctor's time there was the only exciting thing that happened. When asked what he's like, Lorna mentions the Doctor said "Run" a lot.

Elsewhere, the Fat One is taken to the Headless Monks' headquarters and told by an automated voice that they hold a tradition for visiting armies of other faiths to offer individuals for conversion to the order. He has been selected for conversion to their faith and must make a donation. The Monks advance on him with an empty box. The Fat One figures out that this "donation" is more malicious than he made it out to be and the Monks have the intent of bagging his head. In the meantime, the Thin One closes an inspection hatch in a manner resembling a metaphorical guillotine drop, unaware of his husband's fate. He asks Lorna why she thinks the Doctor isn't at Demons Run yet. She guesses it's because he can be anywhere in time and space.

London, 1888: a woman returns home and informs her carriage driver she won't be needing him again that night. She enters and greets her maid Jenny, telling her to send a telegram to Scotland Yard informing them Jack the Ripper is dead. When asked how she found him, the woman reveals herself to be a Silurian named Vastra, saying, "Stringy, but tasty". Jenny then takes her to the drawing room, where the TARDIS has materialised. Vastra knows the time has come to repay an old debt to the Doctor and tells Jenny to pack.

In the Battle of Zaruthstra in 4037, Commander Harcourt heads to a medical tent to inform Madame President Eleanor that they must leave a child behind as the enemy is closing in and the nurse has yet to arrive. Just then a Sontaran named Strax enters and does a medical scan on the boy, telling him that he will soon be well. Upon leaving with his work done, Strax is questioned by Harcourt about why a Sontaran is serving as a nurse; it's a penance to restore the glory of Strax's lost clone batch. Upon seeing the TARDIS arrive, Strax sees his penance is over, telling Harcourt to get some rest.

River tells Rory she can't help the Doctor

River tells Rory she cannot interfere with what the Doctor is about to do.

In the Stormcage Containment Facility, a tipsy River Song returns from one of her "outings" with the Doctor and sets off the alarm. Calling the guards to tell them that she is returning to her cell, River notices someone in Roman garb in the shadows; it's Rory. After confirming she knows who he is, River quickly looks in her diary to know why he's there: Demons Run. Rory explains the situation, asking River to come help with the others the Doctor is recruiting. River explains that the Battle of Demons Run is when the Doctor will finally know who she is and that she cannot be there until the very end. It is also the day the Doctor rises higher than ever before, but falls so much further.

Elsewhere, at the Maldovarium, Dorium Maldovar is closing down his bar in a hurry, out of fear of something. He is caught by Colonel Manton and Madame Kovarian, who ask him what he knows; they have been on Yellow Alert for three weeks and the Doctor hasn't done anything. Dorium explains that there are numerous people throughout time and space that owe the Doctor a debt for helping them; he's gathering an army. Dorium explains that the stories about the Doctor are true and not just myths. Seeing they are getting nowhere, Kovarian and Manton leave. Dorium prepares to follow suit, but finds the TARDIS has landed in the backroom of his bar. As the Doctor's silhouette bears down on him, he pleads, "No. No, no, please. Not me. You don't need me. Why would you need me? I'm old, I'm fat, I'm blue. You can't need me!"

At Demon's Run, Colonel Manton speaks to the assembled Clerics and Monks about the Doctor. They are told not believe any of the stories they've heard about him; the Doctor is neither a goblin, trickster, god, nor devil, but a living, breathing man. He then tells the Clerics that they are going to fix that.

Amy watches from above, in her cell. Lorna enters, apologising and offering a prayer leaf with Melody's name sewn on it in the language of her people. Amy becomes annoyed with Lorna, asking for her gun if she keeps talking. Her focus then goes back to how the Clerics react to the Doctor. Lorna explains that he's seen as a "dark legend", earning a scoff from Amy, who asks if she's met him. To her surprise, Amy learns that Lorna met the Doctor as little girl as well. Seeing that Lorna is genuinely being compassionate towards her, Amy accepts the gift, but warns Lorna that the Doctor is coming and that she needs to be on the right side.

Doctor reveals his disguise

The Doctor reveals his disguise.

Lorna hurries to the speech, arriving as Manton says he has received divine permission to lower the hoods of the Headless Monks. He reveals knots of skin in place of a neck and head, making the Thin One horrified about what happened to the Fat One. However, as Manton explains what the lack of heads gives the monks, the third one lowers his own hood to reveal himself to be the Doctor. Everyone is shocked while Amy and Lorna smile. The Doctor invites the Clerics to point their weapons at him if it helps them relax.

In the control room above the hangar, Vastra and Jenny hold two technicians at sword point, much to their horror. Vastra encourages them to resist being held hostage as she's hungry for "ape". Jenny then politely asks them which button controls the lights. In the hangar, Colonel Manton tells the Doctor that he will be taken into custody. However, the Doctor mumbles, "3 minutes 40 seconds", before yelling for Amy to get her coat. The lights go out as he puts his hood back up.

When the lights come back on, the Doctor has disappeared from the stage. His voice echoes through the room, informing them that he is amongst the monks. The Clerics begin panicking and wondering which of the monks is the Doctor. One of the Clerics shoots a monk, who turns out to be a real one. This causes the monks to begin killing the Clerics and vice versa. Lorna spots a monk using a sonic screwdriver on a door across the hangar and follows it out. Madame Kovarian also leaves with two Clerics.

In the control room, Vastra comments on the Doctor's brilliance, accidentally insulting Jenny. Apologising, she quickly knocks out one of the hostage Clerics with her tongue to prevent him from tripping a lockdown button.

Back in the hangar, Manton regains control, ordering the Clerics not to fire. He removes his weapon pack and drops his gun as a show of good faith, urging the Clerics to do the same. However, as soon as they're all disarmed, an army of Silurians and Judoon materialise. Commander Strax holds Manton at gunpoint, claiming the base. Manton says his fleet will come to help if Demon's Run goes down.

However, the Doctor announces from the speakers that their communications relay can't work if it's taken out, explaining that they've got incoming. Danny Boy radios the Doctor and is ordered to "give 'em hell". Outside the base, a group of Dalek-upgraded Spitfires (curtesy of Churchill) attack and disable their communications. The base shakes, with Amy laughing. Upon hearing that they've succeeded, Manton is at a loss for words. The Doctor smiles.

Elsewhere, Kovarian gets to her ship with Melody in a portable cot. She orders her aides back to the hangar, saying the Doctor must think he is winning "until the trap closes". Unbeknownst to them, Lorna is listening. She runs off. Rory appears and confronts Kovarian. She taunts him, asking how he will take her ship, when she has a crew of 20 men waiting in it. Rory smirks. Henry Avery and his son Toby exit the ship with a captured crewman; Henry points his blunderbuss at her, declaring, "The ship is ours, milady".

Doctor Outraged

A very angry Doctor punishes Manton.

Kovarian and Manton are brought to the Doctor, who has joined Vastra and Jenny in the control room. He then laughs, saying it took him "3 minutes 42 seconds" to take the base. Strax tells Manton to order his troops to retreat, but the Doctor decides to punish Manton by having him be famous for instead saying, "Run away". He intends to slap Manton with the label for life so that everywhere he goes, he'll be called that name, and children who find his house will laugh outside his door knowing it belongs to "Colonel Runaway". Explaining why, the Doctor says it's a warning for those who try to get to him through the people he loves. The Doctor bellows with anger as he says this, becoming so enraged that he notices it is a new sensation and doesn't know what is going to happen next. Manton refuses to retreat until Kovarian tells him to do so, harshly applying the Doctor's humiliating nickname: "Give the order, Colonel Runaway."

In her cell, Amy hears someone trying to get in and realises it's Rory, who asks her to wait as he unlocks the door with the sonic and he enters with the baby in his arms. They reunite tearfully as the Doctor enters, trying to excuse himself as it's an emotional moment. However, Rory orders him in. The Doctor talks to Melody, claiming that he can speak baby. Madame Vastra enters, telling the Doctor that the Clerics are leaving without any bloodshed. When she gloats that the Doctor has never risen higher, Rory remembers River's warning.

The group, minus Dorium and Vastra, gather in the hangar, preparing to leave the base, but the Doctor does not want to leave until he figures out why the base was used in the first place. There is a debate as to why Melody is crying. The Doctor emerges from the TARDIS with a cot, saying the baby is sleepy. Rory and Amy try to come to terms with what has happened and why Amy was kidnapped; the Doctor knew, but didn't tell Rory in case they were listening in on them. Vastra calls the Doctor to the control room. Before he leaves, Amy implores him to tell them something about their baby. The Doctor says the cot he's letting Melody use was once his.

In the control room, Dorium hacks into Kovarian's files and finds scans of Melody's DNA, which contain traces of Time Lord DNA. Vastra wonders where Melody was conceived, knowing that Time Lords became what they were through exposure to the time vortex and the Untempered Schism. At first, the Doctor does not want to think about the event in question and goes off on an awkwardly spun tangent to avoid the touchy subject. However, his avoidance of the question leads him straight to the answer.

Figuring out his huge blunder, he stops dead in the middle of his yammering, leaving Vastra to prompt him to finish his sentence and Dorium inquiring, "Mmm...?". The Doctor remembers that the first time Amy and Rory were together on the TARDIS in this version of reality was on their wedding night. Knowing he left the couple alone and this is his fault, the Doctor gawks with his mouth agape and a giant blank stare. Vastra deduces that Kovarian wants a part-Time Lord to turn her into a weapon. Dorium fears that victory came too easily and something is wrong; Vastra agrees. The two hurry back to the hangar. The Doctor, scowling, stays, remembering the little girl from 1969 America and the super-human strength with which she escaped from the astronaut suit. Kovarian appears on a view screen in the control room. When he asks what the baby is for, Kovarian says Melody is hope in their endless, bitter war against the Doctor.

In the hangar, Lorna is captured by Strax, who found her eavesdropping. She warns them of Kovarian's trap, but they refuse to believe her, given her uniform; she only joined the Clerics to meet the Doctor, a "great warrior". When Amy tells her the Doctor is not a warrior, Lorna confusedly asks why he is called "the Doctor". The lights in the hangar switch off and Strax scans the area, confirming there are no life forms on the base apart from them and the Silurians. Lorna tells him the monks aren't alive, so they don't register. Elsewhere, the monks kill the Silurians.

Rory ushers Amy and Melody to safety before joining the others as the real battle begins. As Vastra and Dorium join the others, a force field surrounds the TARDIS and the hangar doors lock. Dorium identifies the Monks' chant as their attack prayer and steps forward, hoping to negotiate with them as their old friend and business partner, but Rory warns him that he just sold them out to the Doctor. Dorium foolishly walks up to the Monks as their swords are blazing with electricity, and Vastra desperately warns him to come back. A loud, swishing metallic slice connects in the darkness and a thump is heard: Dorium has been beheaded. His body joins the Monks as they advance on the group.

The Doctor's allies prepare for battle. Vastra tells the group to protect Amy's child at all costs. Rory unsheathes his sword and draws a gun, taking the lead position. Strax, Lorna, Vastra, and Jenny train their own guns on the Monks.

In the control room, the Doctor angrily tells Kovarian that a child is not a weapon. Kovarian gives the Doctor a cruel reply that Melody can be and will be. The Doctor fiercely states to her hologram that he will never let her near Melody again after she lost her in the battle. Kovarian gleefully informs him that fooling him once was a joy, but fooling him twice in the same way is a privilege. She ends her message with a very hateful tone and a cold-hearted glare.

The Doctor remembers the moment he learned Amy Pond had been replaced with a Flesh duplicate, and immediately connects the dots. Realising that Kovarian has made a Ganger of Melody, the Doctor rushes off to warn Amy. Rory, Vastra, Jenny, Strax and Lorna battle the Headless Monks while Amy waits, holding a crying baby. As the monks are slain, they manage to inflict devastating blows to Strax and Lorna that leave each of them on the verge of death.

As the fighting continues, Melody, looking over her mother's shoulder, sees a slot open in mid-air with Kovarian looking through. Madame Kovarian tells Melody to wake up, "Wakey, Wakey", and suddenly, Melody dissolves into Flesh and Amy tearfully screams for Rory.

The Doctor arrives at the battle as it ends. A sullen Rory informs him they know Melody was Flesh. The Headless Monks have been defeated, but Lorna and Strax are fatally wounded. Rory goes to help Strax, who isn't enjoying dying in combat as much as he thought he would. Rory encourages Strax, telling him that he is a warrior but the Sontaran disdainfully replies "Rory, I'm a nurse". The Doctor tries to comfort Amy but she backs away from him, thinking he knew Melody was Flesh all along like he did her. Vastra assures Amy that he genuinely did not know but she is still angry with him. Vastra brings the Doctor to Lorna. She says they met once and she fears he does not remember her; the Doctor quells her fears, saying he remembers everyone and that he knows they ran together. She soon dies. The Doctor is profoundly saddened to see Lorna pass away in front of him. After asking Vastra who she was, Vastra replies that Lorna was very brave. The Doctor agrees that everyone who dies for him is always brave. Vastra wonders if the Doctor is going to pursue the Silence in search of the real Melody. She believes with great certainty that Melody was taken to Earth, where the Silence would raise her in a proper environment. However, to her surprise, the Doctor declares, "Yes, they did. And it's already too late." Sickened by his failure, the Doctor walks away without another word. Vastra protests that he never gives up, but the Doctor retorts, "Yeah, and don't you sometimes wish I did?"

As the Doctor considers quitting his pursuit of the Silence, River Song appears. He angrily confronts her, demanding to know why she did not come when he asked as he's always been there for her. River replies that she could not have prevented the battle. The Doctor tells her that he didn't want this, but River says it's exactly like the Doctor; his legendary adventures have made others frightened of him. She asks him if this is how he pictured things turning out when he first took off to see the universe, explaining that the word "Doctor" comes from him. However, the Gamma Forests translates "Doctor" as "Mighty Warrior", reflecting how he defeats foes and the reason Lorna sought him out.

The Doctor, tired of her riddles, demands to know who she is. She runs to his cot and directs his attention to it, asking him if he can read what's down there. Once he does, his expression changes from anger to joy. He asks River several incomplete questions, all of which are answered, "Yes", even those that obviously seem to be about their relationship. He tells Amy and Rory that he knows where their daughter is and vows on his life that she will be safe. He bids Vastra and Jenny goodbye, orders River to get them all home safely, and takes off in the TARDIS despite Amy's protests.


Amy and Rory learn River is their daughter.

Amy points a gun at River and asks what she told the Doctor. River simply explains that the TARDIS translation circuit takes awhile to translate the written word and directs Amy to Melody's prayer leaf which is still indecipherable to Amy. River explains that in the Gamma Forests they don't have a word for "Pond," since "the only water in the forest is the river". She tells them "The Doctor will find your daughter and he will care for her whatever it takes. And I know that." As Amy and Rory watch, Melody's name on the prayer leaf is translated: River Song. "It's me. I'm Melody. I'm your daughter," River tells her shocked parents.


Uncredited cast[]


General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics



General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.

No Ood actually appear in this episode, but they receive a creator credit.  Jay Harley was credited under their deadname as assistant director.


Anatomy and physiology[]

  • The Doctor, having discovered Melody's Time Lord DNA, recounts Amy worrying that her baby would have a timehead while trying to make sense of it all, leading Vastra to note that only he would ignore the instincts of a mother.


  • The Fat One asks the monks if they have Lent.
  • Vastra's driver is named Parker.

The Doctor[]




  • Psychic paper projects fractal lines that distinguish its mental illusions from tangible images printed on actual paper.


Story notes[]

  • River states she cannot be at Demons Run until the very end. This would be explained as her avoiding a paradox or the Blinovitch Limitation Effect. However, the River that said this looked in her diary first, suggesting that she simply knew she wouldn't be there until the end as she was a later version of River Song.
  • In Confidential, Alex Kingston explains the entire set was shocked when she revealed River's true identity.
  • This episode was originally entitled Demons Run.[4] It was changed to A Good Man Goes to War, although His Darkest Hour and An Angel Goes to War had also been considered as titles.[5] Demons Run was the episode's German title.
  • As noted by Steven Moffat, aside from being episode 7 of this series, this is also the 777th episode of Doctor Who. Moffat stated there were no "seven puns" in the episode as the coincidence was only observed after it was shot.
  • The end credits list Russell T Davies as creating the Ood and Judoon. However, no Ood appear in the episode. In The Brilliant Book 2012 it is stated that we would have seen Ood Sigma assist the Doctor's Army, but the scene was cut.
  • Malcolm Hulke is credited as the creator of the Silurians in the end credits. Strangely, this did not occur in The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood nor The Pandorica Opens.
  • The idea that the word "doctor" derives from the Doctor was first advanced by Steven Moffat in a Rec.arts.drwho post in 1995.[6]
  • According to Steven Moffat, he wanted to include Jack Harkness in the Doctor's army, but could not because John Barrowman was busy filming Torchwood: Miracle Day in America.[7] Moffat said that it was just as well, since he would have had to make the episode about not only Jack returning, but getting used to the Eleventh Doctor.
  • The TARDIS console room does not appear in this episode. This is the first time this has occurred since Planet of the Dead, over two years earlier. It is the first episode of the Eleventh Doctor era to not have a scene set in the TARDIS.
  • The Series 1 & 2 variation of Doctors theme (The Doctor's Theme) plays for six seconds when the Doctor and Vastra are talking about a Time Lord being used as a weapon.
  • A variation of All The Strange, Strange Creatures plays right before the scene mentioned above.
  • This is the first story to include River where the phrase "Hello Sweetie" isn't heard.
  • This episode features a unique sound mix on the opening theme music, which features the sound of the TARDIS. No Series 6 episode before or after featured this version of the theme.
  • It is left to the viewers' interpretation as to the identity of the titular "good man", partly because of the Doctor's own admission that he is not necessarily a "good man" because he "has so many" rules; the ambiguity is further reinforced by Amy's opening narration, which misled the viewer into thinking she was talking about the Doctor rather than Rory. These two instances lend weight to the idea that the "good man" of the title may refer to Rory rather than the Doctor.
  • Alex Kingston's character is revealed to be Melody Pond. In 2009-2010, Kingston played a character in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit named Miranda Pond.
  • As the last episode of the first half of Series 6, there is no "NEXT TIME" trailer at the end of the episode, instead a message saying that "Doctor Who will return in Let's Kill Hitler".
  • This episode solves the fan debate as to whether or not the Doctor was speaking Gallifreyan and it was being translated.
  • Nearly twenty months after this episode was broadcast, in March 2013, the BBC released the online minisode The Battle of Demons Run: Two Days Later which served as both a coda to A Good Man Goes to War and as a prequel to the 2012 Christmas special The Snowmen.
  • Originally, it was Rory who prevented Kovarian's departure. This was given to Captain Henry Avery and his son Toby.
  • Concerned about the episode's surprise leaking out, Steven Moffat devised several false endings to the script, one of which, a putative revelation about the Doctor's true name, was even used for the readthrough. Matt Smith and Alex Kingston had already been alerted to the adventure's real climax, however, and Moffat privately explained the truth to a suspicious Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill immediately after the readthrough ended.
  • The episode comprised Block Four of season six, officially labelled “Block Four-A”.
  • The script specified that Vastra was from the same “gene code” as Alaya, who was also played by Neve McIntosh.
  • Although Madame Kovarian had appeared throughout the first half of season six, this was the first episode Frances Barber filmed. Her cameo appearances in the earlier episodes were filmed during production of this one.
  • The Cybermen costumes had been altered to remove the Cybus Industries ‘C’ logo from the chestplate.
  • Captain Henry Avery and Toby's cameo was the first material to be shot, during production of The Curse of the Black Spot.
  • Julian Simpson was brought aboard to oversee a variety of new and alternative shots for the Battle of Demons Run. Peter Hoar was unhappy that he was not involved with this work, and he came to feel that internal politics were to blame.
  • Paul Kasey's appearance as Ood Sigma was edited out. He was to fight for the Doctor by singing a melody which forced the Headless Monks into prayer. Despite the cut, Russell T Davies would nonetheless receive a credit as the Ood's creator.
  • The episode's idea stemmed from Steven Moffat wondering if the Doctor, who was typically a pacifist, could be provoked enough to assemble an army.
  • The room Amy is being held in was previously The Oval Office in The Impossbible Astronaut/Day of the Moon, part of the abandoned spaceship in The Curse of the Black Spot and a chamber in The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People.
  • The coridoor in Demons Run was previously used for the TARDIS in The Doctor's Wife.
  • Steven Moffat had planned the revelation about River Song "for a long time"; when creating Amy, he chose "Pond" for her last name to create a link. He intended for the "answer to be as complicated as the question".
  • The various sets seen at the beginning of the episode were challenging for the production team.
  • Demon's Run was filmed in a military base and hangar in Cardiff. Steam was added to the set to give it a more spaceship-like feel.
  • The army of clerics was made larger with visual effects.
  • Baby Melody Pond was played by twins, a common practice used in filming so that one twin can rest while the other is on set. The twins were three months old. Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill were both nervous about holding the infants, but they felt it added to their acting.
  • Karen Gillan stated the episode showed a different side of Amy and thought female viewers would sympathise with her.
  • The Headless Monks were played by stuntmen, and so the actors were free to improvise on their choreography when fighting them.
  • For the scene in which the hoods of the Headless Monks are pulled back, a shoulderpiece was created for actors who were shorter than the ones who normally portrayed the monks.
  • Hugh Bonneville, Karen Gillan and Alex Kingston would later co-star in Steven Moffat's 2024 series Douglas Is Cancelled.


  • 7.51 million (31.0% market share; UK final)[8]


  • Karen Gillan is leaving the series and Amy Pond will be killed off at the climax to the spring half of the series.[9] This was proven false.
  • River Song will die.[10] This was proven false even before broadcast owing to the fact River's death was depicted in the 2008 episode TV: Forest of the Dead.
  • We will learn of the identity of River Song.[11] This was proven true; she was revealed as the daughter of Amy Pond and Rory Williams.
  • River Song has been recently rumoured to be Amy's daughter as well as the Doctor's wife.[12] This was proven true; she was revealed to be Amy's daughter, and later revealed to marry the Doctor.
  • We will find out whom River Song killed. Steven Moffat has said "a good man will die – a good man, and a hero to many."[13] This was later proven false and the answer was not confirmed until later in the season.
  • The Cybermen will be newly designed Cybermen.[14] The design was largely the same, with the most significant change being the removal of the Cybus Industries logo. The 2012 edition of The Doctor Who Brilliant Book claims that these are the original Mondasian Cybermen who, for reasons left unexplained, have assimilated the designs of the Cybus Cybermen. The Cybermen did not change designs until TV: Nightmare in Silver.
  • The Cybermen will be planning to trap and capture the Doctor, before freezing him.[15] This was proven false.
  • The character named Jenny would be the Doctor's daughter in her second incarnation.[16] This was proven false.
  • Had John Barrowman reprised his role as Captain Jack Harkness in this story, he would have fallen victim to the Headless Monks and received a beheading. His head would live on by itself and eventually become the Face of Boe. This remains unconfirmed.
  • The Gallifreyan writing on the Doctor's cot bears his name. Whatever is written on the cot is not confirmed. A false ending for the episode, written by Moffat explicitly to keep the real ending a secret from as many people as possible, including cast and crew, does have River revealing that the cot shows the Doctor's real name. However, this version of the scene was never intended for broadcast, nor was it even filmed.

Filming locations[]

to be added

Production errors[]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • The credits mention that Russell T Davies created the Judoon and the Ood despite no Ood appearing in the episode. A scene featuring an Ood was filmed for the episode, but cut, and the credit was left unchanged by accident.
  • The word "Override" is incorrectly spelt "Overide" on the label for the button which controls the door lock, which two tied up soldiers attempt to press before one is stung by Vastra. Spellings can change over time.
  • The Cyber-Leader's mouth glows blue when it isn't speaking when Rory is on the Twelfth Legion's Cybership.
  • When the Doctor is revealed in a robe of the Headless Monks, the two guards beside Madame Kovarian point their guns at him. In the next shot where the army points their guns at the Doctor, the two guards repeat their actions.
  • Rory places the tip of his sword against Madame Kovarian's shoulder as she is about to board her shuttle, in the next shot, Rory is seen holding the sword away from her.


Home video releases[]


Series 6, part 1 DVD cover

DVD & Blu-ray releases[]

  • A Good Man Goes to War was released in Series 6 Part One on DVD and Blu-Ray in region 1/A on 19 July 2011, in region 2/B on 11 July 2011 and in region 4/B on 4 August 2011. It is a collection of the first seven episodes.
  • The episode was later released in the Complete Sixth Series boxset on both DVD and Blu-ray, in region 1/A on 22 November 2011, in region 2/B on 21 November 2011 and in region 4/B on 1 December 2011.

Digital releases[]

  • In the United Kingdom, this story is available on BBC iPlayer.

External links[]