Saturday, March 30, 2013

State of Decay

I paid a visit to Sand Hills Country, a lovely spot that time appears to have forgotten.

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The mansion on the hill is in ruins, its roof partially collapsed.

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The covered bridge still stands, but is ancient, potentially unsafe.

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The windows of the ware house are broken, the building open to the air, the "no trespassing" sign a feeble effort to deter the curious.

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The pumps in front of the gasoline station stand as sentries in a war long ended.

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And the tractor stands idle in the field of wheat. All around, the sand creeps in. Entropy is winning.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

How Not to Raise Morale

At work, we have a new uber-boss, and he has a good idea: he'd like to increase staff morale. Unfortunately, his ideas about how to achieve this goal are less good. His first effort was to create (additional) awards, and have managers - who, by and large, are paid no more than the staff - fund these awards.

That idea had a number of practical problems, including running afoul of at least two ethics rules. Thus idea number two: have the managers hold staff meetings for their divisions, at which time one lucky person would get to hold court on a current investigation. It's hard to imagine anyone would have his morale increased by yet another meeting, this time to discuss someone else's case. Good grief.

We're all professionals. What we'd really like is a raise - four and a quarter years and counting - but that's not in the cards. Fine, we accept that. Beyond money, what would be nice is not recognition per se, but being taken seriously as professionals. Unfortunately, in an organization where everyone wants to be a laird and no one wants to be a serf, it's hard to get others to accept one's ideas. Fair enough, professionals sometimes get to suck it up.

But for goodness sake, don't suggest that having more meetings raises morale!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Carnival is in Town

I do love a carnival, and Miss Trilby Minotaur is hosting a small one in Caledon Mayfair!

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It brightens up the stodgy place!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Go to the Mirror, Boy - The Picture of Dorian Gray

The March meeting of the discussion group for The Fantastic in Victorian Literature focused on Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. In the novel, handsome young Dorian has his portrait painted by artist Basil Hallward, who is smitten with Dorian. The painting is a masterpiece, capturing the essence of Dorian's soul. Dorian wishes that he remain eternally youthful. Lord Henry, Dorian's friend, expounds on the pleasures of a hedonistic lifestyle. Dorian soon finds that his wish has come true: that his own sins change the picture while he remains young and innocent looking.

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The gathering was extraordinarily well-attended, with roughly 20 people, including hosts Sir JJ Drinkwater and Dame Kghia Gherardi. Sir JJ remarked that perhaps the book attracted Second Life users because our avatars did not age, no matter how badly anyone behaved. (I'm paraphrasing, but I think I captured the essence.)

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The book is interspersed with Wilde's trademark wit, but tackles themes such as public versus private activities, responsibility for one's actions, and the transforming ability of art.

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Like Dracula and Frankenstein, two earlier books (that were the subjects of the first two meetings of the group), the fantastic elements - a painting that changes instead of its subject, vampires, and creating life through science - are elements used to create a story that is thematically about things that are grounded in human nature.

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Next month we tackle three works by Lord Dunsany: "The Sword of Welleran," "The Fall of Babbulkund" and "The Highwaymen," all collected in the 1908 volume The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Aether Salon - Kinder!

For this month's Salon, two young people, Master Jimmy Branagh of New Babbage and Miss Zaida Gearbox of Steelhead, presented their experiences as children in the Steamlands.

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Jimmy Branagh

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Zaida Gearbox

While the urchin culture in Babbage is somewhat grittier than that of the scamps in Steelhead, Jimmy observed that the urchins have become tamer over the years. He wondered whether this was entirely a good thing.

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The crowd, as can be seen in the pictures, included many young people, though adults were also well-represented.

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The presentations elicited a number of questions from the audience, along with predictable jeers from some of the young people in the crowd. Poor Miss Zaida, in particular, came under some criticism from one of her young friends for dressing nicely. This correspondent observes that she looked like a young lady, and found that quite refreshing.

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The complete transcript may be found at the Aether Salon's aetheric presence.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Life Skills

The other day, I stopped for lunch at the local branch of a well-known sandwich and salad franchise, and ordered a salad. The total came to $10.33. (Don't get me started. This is why I don't eat out much.) When the time came to pay, I handed the cashier a $20 bill. He seemed to indicate that he was concerned about making change for the difference and asked if I had 33 cents in change. I didn't, but offered a dollar bill to avoid him having to give up four ones and a five in change. He said that would be helpful, but then the process ground to a halt. After a while, he confessed sheepishly that math wasn't his strong suit and, somewhat puzzlingly, his cash register was willing to let him enter the amount given but would not tell him the change required. Thus, it fell to me to tell him how much I should get back. (Yes, I gave the correct figure.) (In the end, it turned out he had no $10 bills, so my effort to limit the number of bills he had to give back was for naught.)

Much is made about income inequality and what is seen as a growing gap between the haves and the have-nots. Incomes become more equal during recessions and less equal during boom times - essentially, the wealthy have more assets in volatile categories, such as stocks. Over time, though, at least two under-appreciated phenomena result in greater income inequality. First is the tendency for like-minded people to marry. In a society where women's labor force participation is near that of men, this means couples with two high incomes and couples with two low incomes, thus magnifying the difference in the earning potentials across families. Second, one reason for low earning potential is the lack of basic skills. I don't mean to pick on my young cashier friend, as he's hardly an isolated example. But someone allowed him to graduate from high school (I presume) without being able to subtract small sums in his head. Others can't regularly write a coherent, gramatically-correct English sentence. This limits their earning potential, to put it mildly.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


The predictable result of spending hours in the cold and damp was a fever. For several days I drifted in and out of consciousness. When I was in a more lucid state, Kathy attempted to feed me broth and water. As a slimming plan, it was excellent, but otherwise this diet had little to recommend it.

Eventually the fever broke and, slowly, I began to feel more like myself. I was still very weak, with little energy to leave the house. I hated feeling like an invalid, so I spent my time puttering about, sulking, and generally getting on Kathy's nerves.

In an effort to both cheer me up and get me out from under foot, Kathy said, "What you need, dear sister, is a trip abroad. We should travel to New Babbage."

I sat up on the couch. "New Babbage? Because the air there is exceedingly healthy?" Sarcasm dripped from my voice.

"Scoff if you like. It is true that soot is not in short supply throughout Babbage, and thus may not be a suitable destination for those with weak lungs - your tuberculosis patients, or elderly aunts with asthma. You, on the other hand, are a healthy young lady who needs to regain her strength and, just as importantly, occupy her mind. Strolling about New Babbage is likely to help on both fronts, as we have always found it to be a fascinating place to walk about, and you always seem to be able to find trouble on her streets."

"Hmm, when you put it like that... You might be right. I must protest, however. It's not as though I go looking for trouble. It is true that trouble does seem to have no difficulty finding me." I struggled to my feet, letting a wave of dizziness pass. "You can make the travel arrangements. I'll pack a trunk."

Kathy booked us passage on one of the big passenger airships that plied the Steamlands trade. We were to take the train to Port Caledon in the morning, embark on the airship that evening, and arrive at the main air dock in New Babbage two days later. She wired ahead to Brunel Hall, where we were able to obtain a room for a month. I had to concede that my convalescence had left me terribly bored, and looked forward to seeing what intrigue was currently occurring in Babbage. With some excitement, I retired to my room to pack.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

"Fezzes are cool" - Doctor Who, Series 6

Beware! Thar be spoilers below...

A Christmas Carol

 A lovely Christmas-oriented tale: on their honeymoon, Amy and Rory contact the Doctor when their spaceship is about to crash on a human-occupied planet. Kazran Sardick, the only person who can allow the ship to land safely won't do so because he sees no benefit to himself. The Doctor manipulates the man's past to make him more agreeable to save the ship. In the process, we learn why he is so bitter. The Doctor travels to Sardick's past, where Sardick is a young boy and he and the Doctor encounter a shark that swims in the planet's atmosphere. In order to return the shark to the upper atmosphere where it belongs, young Sardick leads the Doctor to a vault of frozen people, kept as "security" for the elder Sardick's lending business. They thaw a beautiful young woman, Abigail, who sings to the shark to calm it while the Doctor uses Abigail's storage unit to return the shark. Young Sardick falls in love with Abigail, so he and the Doctor return once a year on Christmas Eve to liberate Abigail and travel in the TARDIS. When Sardick is an adult, however, Abigail tells him a secret - we later learn that she is terminally ill and each trip out of the cryogenic chamber has taken a day off her life; she is now down to her last day - and Sardick tells the Doctor that their trips must stop. Although the Doctor has changed Sardick's past, the old man is still bitter because he cannot be with Abigail. The Doctor shows Sardick the plight of the doomed ship (the "ghost of Christmas present"), but that does nothing to soften his heart. Finally, the Doctor brings young Sardick to the present, where young Sardick sees how much his older self has become like his miserly father. This finally changes the present-day Sardick's mind, but by now he has changed so much that he can no longer operate the controls to save the ship. The Doctor instead has Sardick thaw Abigail one last time and uses her singing and a sonic screwdriver to disrupt the atmospheric storm and allow the ship to land safely. Sardick and Abigail take one last carriage ride together.

Despite some plot holes, this was a sweet episode. I loved the way it took Dickens' story in a different direction.

The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon

The season opener starts with a bang: Amy and Rory receive a mysterious summons to Utah. There, they find River Song, who has received a similar summons. The Doctor arrives, but says he is nearly 200 years older than when the trio last saw him. When a figure in a  space suit appears at the edge of the lake, the Doctor walks to meet it and is killed. Yet another figure appears, with another summons. He was instructed to bring a can of gasoline, which the group uses to burn the Doctor's body. They regroup to a diner, where the Doctor walks in, now 200 years younger than the body they just burned. He, too, received a summons. The others do not tell him that they saw the death of his future self.

From there, the story moves back to 1969, on the eve of the moon landing. The TARDIS crew search for a girl who is making frightened calls to President Nixon. They materialize in the Oval Office, and triangulate the girl's calls to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Amy encounters an alien, which she captures on her phone camera, then forgets about as soon as she turns away. In Florida, they discover a space suit and alien technology. They encounter more of the aliens, who are revealed to be the Silent, again forgetting about them as soon as they are out of visual range. The little girl appears in a space suit; Amy tries to shoot her but misses. Later, Amy tells the Doctor she is pregnant.

Three months later, during which time Amy, Rory, and River have been trying to track the Silent, they are chased and apparently killed by the FBI. The Doctor has been captured and held in Area 51. (It's not clear why any of this was necessary for the plot.) They are reunited in the "unbreakable" cell, where the now-invisible TARDIS is located. They track the Silent and, later, insert the taunt that "you should kill us on sight" into the televised message from Apollo 11 so that humanity starts to hunt the Silent.

The young girl from the space suit appears in New York City, dying, before she regenerates like a Time Lord, as the episode comes to a close.

The double episode was a dramatic way to start the new season, and provides a pair of story arcs. The first, completed by mid-season, was that of Amy's pregnancy (though the scanner on the TARDIS oscillates between showing her pregnant or not). The second, of course, is the Doctor's death. Despite those twin story arcs and some scary moments during the episodes, the Silent seem to be rather amorphous villains. We don't know what they want - they seem to be guiding humanity to build a space suit, but this is a space-faring race - or why they have been occupying Earth for so long.

The Curse of the Black Spot

Arrgh! There be pirates! The Doctor responds to a distress signal that lands the TARDIS on a 17th century pirate ship becalmed in an ocean - where a ghostly siren appears to be marking injured crewmen with a black spot on the palm. The marked crewmen later vanish. The Doctor tries to deduce what causes the siren to appear, first hypothesizing that she is drawn to water, then realizing that reflections actually cause her to appear. The captain's son has stowed away on the ship, and clearly suffers from a respiratory disease. Soon he is taken away. When Rory falls into the ocean, the Doctor suggests the siren will get there before they can, and that the "victims" are not dead. The captain, Amy, and the Doctor prick themselves in order to summon the siren, and find themselves transported to an alien ship, invisible and in the same position as the pirate ship. The ship's crew is dead - and the siren is the ship's medical program, keeping the injured humans alive. (Shades of the hologram doctor from Star Trek: The Next Generation!)

Pirates are fun. The episode was clearly designed to be lighthearted and not particularly deep.

The Doctor's Wife

Responding to a distress call from a Time Lord, the Doctor, Amy, and Rory follow a rift to an asteroid outside the universe. They discover people whose lives have been extended because they are made out of the body parts of dead Time Lords. The asteroid itself is sentient, feeding on the energy in a TARDIS. The asteroid transfers the essence of the Doctor's TARDIS into one of the people trapped on the asteroid and, after learning that the Doctor is the last of the Time Lords, steals the TARDIS to return to the universe to seek out other sources of energy. The Doctor, with the help of the humanized TARDIS, builds a new control center from spare parts and returns to his TARDIS, where the asteroid consciousness is terrorizing Amy and Rory. The essence of the TARDIS becomes once again integrated.

The idea of having personifying the TARDIS is a brilliant one, and the dialogue between the Doctor and Idris as the TARDIS is terrific. At one point, he complains that she doesn't always take him where he wants to go; she replies that she always takes him where he needs to go. She reveals that, much as he thinks he chose her when he stole the TARDIS, she believes she chose the Doctor, because she always wanted to travel. And I loved the fact that the TARDIS has trouble with verb tenses – as a creature that lives in all times simultaneously, she can’t quite figure out how to express time linerarly. Brilliant. A very sweet episode.

The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People

Finding themselves on Earth in the 22nd century, the Doctor, Amy, and Rory investigate a monastery now used to pump a valuable acid to the mainland. They discover that the crew uses replicas of themselves, made out of a material called "Flesh," to do the dangerous work, destroying replicas that fall into the acid. These replicas have the memories of the originals. A solar storm makes the doppelgängers  sentient, and the Doctor works to unite the originals and their Flesh counterparts, as each wants to destroy the other. At one point, a doppelgänger of the Doctor appears, each amusing the other no end, while Amy insists that, despite their common memories and appearance, "her" Doctor is the only real one. (Amy does not realize that the two Doctors switched shoes - the only way she could tell them apart - and that the one she trusted was actually the doppelgänger.) Some of the originals and the Flesh reconcile, while others hunt them down. The Flesh Doctor sacrifices himself to allow the rest to escape in the TARDIS. Amy begins to go into labor, despite showing no signs of pregnancy. The Doctor reveals that he has known for some time she is Flesh, and he turns her back into the raw components of Flesh. The real Amy wakes and gives birth.

A Good Man Goes to War

Having revealed in the previous episode that Amy was held captive, the Doctor now discovers that she is being held on an asteroid called Demon's Run (a pun on "demon rum"?) and he assembles an army of his old debtors to help rescue her. Amy gives birth to a child, whom she calls Melody, before the child is taken from her. The assembled army defeats the forces guarding the base quickly - too quickly, as it turns out, because the rescue of Amy and Melody is a trap. Melody, as Amy was in the earlier episode, turns out to be made of the Flesh; the real Melody is still in captivity, and her captor escapes with Melody, taunting the Doctor that he has failed. The Doctor discovers that Melody has Time Lord DNA in her; he surmises that the baby was conceived on the TARDIS and the baby's DNA was influenced by the time vortex. River Song appears, after earlier saying she could not help because she could not influence these events. She reveals that she is the adult Melody Pond - "Pond" turning into "River" and "Melody" into "Song."

Let's Kill Hitler

The title and the ostensible A story are very much a red herring in this episode. Amy and Rory summon the Doctor to Leadworth to find out whether he has found baby Melody. Amy's friend Mels joins them, pulls a gun on the Doctor, and insists they use the TARDIS to travel to 1930s Berlin, where they crash-land in Hitler's office. At the same time, a Teselacta, a shape-changing vehicle with miniaturized humans inside, has come from the future to capture war criminals. Mels is shot and, before dying, regenerates into River Song, though she does not know that name. River/Mels then tries to kill the Doctor several times before succeeding with poisoned lipstick. The Doctor, mortally wounded, has only a half-hour to live, during which time he prevents the Teselacta from killing River/Mels - as "River Song" is a war criminal for…having killed the Doctor. River/Mels uses the TARDIS to rescue Amy and Rory from the Teselacta, returning to find the Doctor near death. He tells River/Mels that he has a message for "River Song," which he delivers before dying. Amy shows River/Mels that she is, in fact, River Song, at which point she uses the regeneration energy from her recent regeneration, as well as her remaining regenerations, to revive the Doctor.

The episode is a bridge between "A Good Man Goes to War," which establishes that Melody Pond will one day be River Song, and the rest of this story arc. The Doctor remains witty even as he is dying, and, though we know he has to be revived somehow - as the audience, Amy, Rory, and River, and now the Doctor, all know that he is supposed to die in Utah in 2011 - that River was the one who resurrected him was surprising.

Night Terrors

Egads. Never have children on a show. The Doctor's psychic paper receives a message from eight-year-old George, asking someone to get rid of the monsters in his bedroom. The TARDIS lands at an apartment complex and the Doctor, Amy, and Rory split up to look for the precise apartment. (Why they could find the right building at the right time but not the specific apartment is a mystery.) Amy and Rory take an elevator that falls and crashes, and they wake up in a strange house. The Doctor, having found George, tells his father that "The monsters are real." Naturally, George turns out to be an empathetic alien, a Tenza, who has taken on the appearance and characteristics that his childless parents desired, and has misinterpreted a conversation that his parents had, believing they want to get rid of him. His fears have become real. The Doctor finally convinces the boy that he has the power to make the monsters go away, but it his father, who assures George that he will always be loved, that saves the day.

Parts of the story are frightening, and the ending is very sweet, but otherwise this seems like a minor diversion in the overall arc of the season.

The Girl Who Waited

The TARDIS stops at the planet Apalapucia for sightseeing, not knowing that a plague affecting beings with two hearts (a script ploy to give Matt Smith some time off) has resulted in a quarantine center being set up. Those quarantined are in a time stream moving faster than reality, so that visitors can spend an afternoon interacting with their loved ones over the course of a lifetime. Amy gets separated from the Doctor and Rory and ends up in quarantine, as the robotic helpers refuse to believe she is not from Apalapucia. (Seems odd, but okay.) As the Doctor can't risk infection, he stays in the TARDIS while Rory searches for Amy. Because of the relative time differential, by the time Rory reaches her 36 years have passed for her. She survives by avoiding the treatment robots. She is bitter about being left behind. For Rory's sake, she agrees to help with the Doctor's plan to bring the time streams together, but only if she can leave on the TARDIS with the younger Amy; otherwise, she'll cease to exist. The Doctor agrees, but it's pretty obvious he is lying. The older Amy reluctantly understands that both Amy's can't co-exist, and that her younger self should be the one who can spend time with Rory.

This is an emotionally challenging and satisfying story. The scenes with the older Amy are heartbreaking. She is bitter about her situation and furious with the Doctor, but realizes she still loves Rory, who loves them both. (As a practical matter, was he really serious about having two wives, one 36 years older than the other? Something tells me this would not end well.) This episode is another illustration that  "fixed" events can in fact be changed, as the younger Amy remembers having the conversation with the older Amy and the older one refusing to help. The Doctor tells Amy that the only person who can change a predestined future is someone as willful as Amy - or, one might think, the Doctor himself, given his apparent destiny shown in "The Impossible Astronaut"?

The God Complex

The TARDIS is pulled into a structure that appears to be a 1980s hotel, though the Doctor identifies it as alien. He, Amy, and Rory meet four people who tell them that a Minotaur-like creature roams the halls, feeding on people, while individual rooms of the hotel contain personalized objects of fear. After several of the group are killed, the Doctor hypothesizes that the beast feeds not on fear but on the faith that an individual has, whether religious (the Muslim woman) or secular (the gambler who believed in luck). He talks to the beast, who is actually a prisoner on a prison ship, being kept alive against his will by feeding on the victims provided to him. He realizes that Amy's faith in the Doctor to get them out of any problem would make her a victim, so he tells her "I'm not a hero. I really am just a madman in a box." When Amy's faith in the Doctor is broken, so is the mechanism that keeps the beast alive. As he dies, he tells the Doctor that "death would be a gift" for anyone infinitely-lived. Realizing that he cannot keep risking Amy and Rory's lives, he drops them on Earth, with a new house and car, and leaves alone.

The episode was a mixed bag. The setup was goofy, the monster was a bit goofy, but there were several nice parts of the episode. The alien Gibbis, from a race of cowards who will surrender to anyone, says "Our anthem is 'Glory to [Insert Name Here].'" Joe tells the Doctor "We're going to die here," to which the Doctor replies, "They didn't mention that in the brochure." Rita responds to the Doctor's assurances that he will get them out by saying, "Why is it up to you to save us? That's quite a God Complex you've got." (And, indeed, he seems to take this to heart at the end.) And what fear was in the Doctor's room? (We never see; he says only "It had to be you." Rose?)

Closing Time

On the day before he is supposed to die, the Doctor revisits Craig, from "The Lodger," for a "social call." He discovers that people have disappeared, and, next thing you know, he has a job in a department store and found a Cybermat - a small mechanical device used by Cybermen - and a teleporter in an elevator. He and Craig stumble across a crashed ship with damaged Cybermen, who are using kidnapped people to convert. The Doctor is captured, and Craig comes to rescue him before Craig is captured as well. When the Cybermen try to convert him, however, the sound of his son's voice ("He prefers to be known as 'Stormageddon'") enables Craig to resist the conversion and defeat the Cybermen.

In the coda to the episode, we see River Song, with her newly-minted Ph.D.. She is visited by the woman with the eyepatch and several of the Silent. Eyepatch woman tells River that she is the one who kidnapped and raised Melody Pond, and that River was always designed to kill the Doctor. One of the Silent brings in the astronaut suit from the first episode of the season.

Though largely a means to set up the next episode, this was a sweet tale, bringing back the jovial Craig and showing the power of a father's love for his child. More good lines, including when the Doctor shows up at Craig's door step: "Social call. Thought I should try one out." Also: "Babies are sweet. People talk to them. That's why I travel with humans." (Ouch!) The shushing gag was very funny. "Don't worry, I have an app for that." And just before the brief cameo by Amy and Rory, who don't see the Doctor, though he sees them, the Doctor says, "It's a coincidence. It's what the universe does for fun." Indeed.

The Wedding of River Song

The last episode of the season brings us back to the lake in Utah, on April 22, 2011. The same setup as in "The Impossible Astronaut," with the Doctor ready to die, the suit opens, and it's… well, we all knew it was River Song, right? But she can't shoot him, and all of time occurs simultaneously at 5:02 p.m. For some reason, that meant that pterodactyls fly above London and Holy Roman Emperor Winston Churchill is in charge. Not sure how that follows, but we're rolling with the punches. The Doctor explains to Churchill that the Silence wants him dead because at a future date  "On the fields of Trenzelor, at the fall of the Eleventh, when no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer a question will be asked—one that must never be answered. And Silence must fall when the question is asked."  Amy Pond shows up to rescue the Doctor from a large number of Silents. She can remember the TARDIS and her previous life only by drawing the things she experienced. They take a train to "Area 52" in Egypt, where a paramilitary group headed by "Captain Williams" (Rory) has a large number of Silents in custody, along with Eyepatch Lady (Madame Kovarian), being guarded by River Song. The Silents break out of their confinement, in order to kill the Doctor. Amy kills Madame Kovarian while River explains that she's been sending out requests for help all throughout time. The Doctor says again that nothing can restore time except his death. He marries River and whispers a secret to her - "my name," he says - and they touch, which brings them back to Utah, where she kills him.

In the coda, River visits Amy, who is disconsolate until River tells him what the Doctor really said to her - "look into my eye" - showing her that he had a plan to cheat death by using the Teselecta robot to look like him and "die" in his stead. Then the Doctor tells Dorium (the blue Sydney Greenstreet character from "A Good Man Goes to War") that his apparent death was designed to make people forget about him, that he had gotten "too big." Dorium implies that the question that must not be answered was "Doctor who?"

Oh dear. What an unfortunate mess of an episode. From the obvious ploy (miniature people inside a ship that can take on anyone's appearance - and showing up in the pre-credits sequence, no less - telegraphs the ending) to cringe-inducing lines (calling River Song "stupid" as she's trying to save the Doctor to the literal nature of the title. Sigh. The Silents weren't particularly menacing, even if they did kill a number of soldiers (though even that doesn't count, as that reality ceased to exist), nor was Eyepatch Lady. But the biggest problem with the episode was that it created an irresistible setup - the Doctor had to die at precisely that spot at that time, or Bad Things would happen to the universe - and then reneged on the premise by using something that looked like the Doctor but wasn't the Doctor. The premise wasn't that a Doctor lookalike had to die, it had to be the Doctor, and he didn't die, so… my head hurts.