Reviews Doctor Who “The Pandorica Opens” and “The Big Bang”

This is completely way late, but that’s okay. On Doctor Who, I can just time-travel and put up this post.

Doctor Who Pandorica Opens

Van Gogh paints the looming disaster which could end Amy's fairytale.

Season 5 was indeed a fairytale. Amelia Pond was the little girl who created a fairytale around her. Of course, she had a universe changing crack in her wall which really helped her out there. Amy had her magical wizard and her trickster all wrapped up in one: the Doctor. She is the little girl who’s imaginary friend was real. Amy’s the one with the magical ring.

In a sense, “The Pandorica Opens” and “The Big Bang” are two very different episodes. “The Pandorica Opens” is worrisome, dark, and indeed reminded me very much of other new Doctor Who finales. Whereas, “The Big Bang” had a lighter tone, even if the universe was ending for most of it.

Amy and the Doctor in Doctor Who Pandorica Opens

Amy confronts the Doctor about the ring, the memto of her forgotten past.

In “The Pandorica Opens,” we find out the Daleks, Cybermen, and other Doctor Who baddies have teamed up together to stop the Doctor from tearing up the universe. To stop the cracks which are following him everywhere. Of course, we viewers know that the Doctor’s not making them, but he’s somewhat suspiciously not chasing after the cracks to fix them. The villain team-up is rather ridiculous and a little far-fetched.

I love River here. She’s great with her graffiti, hallucinogenic lipstick, and her teasing the Doctor with her little blue book of his history. River’s so magnanimous. And as this review points out, she is Amy’s fairy godmother. (Especially since it’s conjectured that River’s the Doctor’s or the wizard’s wife.)

The villain cabal build a fairytale from the contents of Amy’s room. Her stories about Roman soldiers, the book about the Pandorica, and at the very essence, the stories she told herself about her Raggedy Doctor. There is no substance behind the “history” that the Doctor, Amy, and River are experiencing. I think it’s very interesting that River, her fairy godmother and the woman who believes in Amy’s own skills seemingly more than the Doctor does, is the one to discover the irregularity.

River Song in Doctor Who Pandorica Opens

The fairy godmother discovers that they're all in Amy's fairytale.

I love Rory with his big heart overcoming the programing of being made of plastic. He is indeed a Tin Man with the Doctor as the Wizard who gives him back his heart. Of course, what you realized in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is that while the Tin Man may not have a beating heart, he does have the emotions — the empathy and love — that we humans associate with the heart.

Rory killing Amy was extremely well done. As a man of plastic, he cannot overcome his base programming, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love her and wants to save her. Luckily for him, the Doctor helps him out there by putting Amy into the Pandorica: sealing and healing her for centuries. Rory becomes the lone Sentry who guards his beloved. You can tell just how single-minded Rory is since he didn’t bother to change out of his Roman Centurion uniform until the Blitzkrieg. Amy’s tears when she thought he’d died (again) were very touching.

The Doctor’s behavior was even more erratic in these episodes than the ones earlier. He’s still keeping his secrets. The Doctor is a liar, just as his enemies accuse him of. He lies with omissions and half-truths. The Doctor keeps telling everyone to trust him and that he’ll keep them alive. But that doesn’t always work.

I love Amy hooking up with her younger self. The actor playing young Amelia is incredibly talented, which is always a pleasant surprise when watching child actors. Though the Doctor Who-verse casting directors have done really well with casting child actors. I love Amy and Amelia’s silent trust of each other. I’m not entirely sure that Amelia didn’t catch on. However, I didn’t quite believe that any adult would leave a child behind in a museum. I suppose one can fanwank it away with how everyone in Amelia’s life is being slowly erased.

Things don’t start really going downhill until River is trapped and put on repeat in the TARDIS. Which means the fairy godmother’s been removed and only the Wizard’s magic remains. And it seems like when River reappears, they start kicking butt again. I didn’t find River killing the Dalek who “killed” the Doctor as dramatic as the text wanted me to. The Doctor’s practically made it his life’s mission to commit genocide against the Daleks. (Though usually they die off-screen or in less of a confrontation manner.)

River in Doctor Who Big Bang

River shoots the Dalek, dead. That's no magic wand.

My biggest disappointment with “The Big Bang” was just how quickly I figured out that they were going to use the TARDIS to stop the cracks from erasing the universe. It was obvious. And I grew a little tired of the “oh, no, what ever are we going to do?” when the solution was right there. I actually think that perhaps the Doctor knew it would erase him from the universe, and he bid his time in order to come up with a different solution.

I love the fairytale he told Amelia as she slept. The fairytale about his life. I think Stephen Moffat did a good job at truncating the Doctor’s trip through his past to stop at the beginning of Season 5, instead of recycling a bunch of clips. I also love Amelia as the girl who recreates the universe. She tells her own story, and suddenly, everyone who’s been missing appears. However, I wish they would’ve given her mother a name.

Woohoo, finally there’s a married companion. I’m so happy that Amy’s story doesn’t end at her wedding day. (Unlike Donna and Martha, notably, and also the typical fairytale plot which ends in a marriage. At least the ones surrounding heroines.) I love her fairy godmother’s appearance with the empty blue book.

Amy, Rory, and her parents in Doctor Who Big Bang

Amy stands up demanding the Raggedy Doctor, her imaginary friend, to appear. Everyone else thinks she's crazy.

And when the Doctor appeared, I’m so glad that he didn’t upstage Amy’s big day. Mr. and Mrs. Amy Pond are just adorable. Rory’s eager love for Amy works so well with a newlywed bliss.

Amy and the Doctor in Doctor Who Big Bang

Amy confronts the Wizard. The Doctor she always believed in.

I can’t wait for their adventures next season. I’ve always enjoyed a TARDIS with 2+ companions, and I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing just who River Song is. I’m also curious to see if Amy will still be the girl building a fairytale world around her. Plus, there’s the whole lingering issue of where those cracks came from.

Rory, Amy, and the Doctor as the wedding party.

Amy is just so adorable in this photo. Presenting: Mr. and Mrs. Pond and the Doctor.

About Erica

Erica McGillivray spends too much contemplating the socioeconomic importance of the bananaphone. Ring, ring, ring. Bananaphone. She loves bunnies, soap opera plots in comic books, and dreams of flying in the stars. Erica works for Moz in inbound marketing, which means sometimes, she'll talk about that.
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