Doctor Who: Series 5, Episode 12 - The Pandorica Opens

Published June 19, 2010

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Oh, just wow. I don’t know why but I really wasn’t expecting much from this finale. Even more so for this week, as the first of a two-part story is normally ridiculously over the top or really rather slow. For the most part, this series of Doctor Who has appeared to be quite low budget, and I think that lowered my expectations quite a lot.

Well, I think it’s fair to say they saved a whole chunk of the budget for this episode. Roman camps, thousands of starships, Pandorica’s opening, it was all in there.

But I get ahead of myself. Firstly, what a great idea to get everyone back again. The message being passed through the ages really appeals to the time-travel obsessive inside of me. Great to see van Gogh again, even if he wasn’t in a particularly happy state.

River Song was good in this episode. I mentioned that when she made her big comeback earlier in the series, I wasn’t as much of a fan. I found her smug and quite patronising. This time, she didn’t know everything, and aside from pretending to be Cleopatra (which was brilliant), she was just one of the gang. I’m glad they made a point of telling us where in her timeline we were though, because it does get very confusing. Also, as an aside, Stormcage looks awesome. I’d like to see a story in there.

So, the Pandorica is under Stonehenge. The Doctor actually got to sonic Stonehenge! I wonder if this will see an increase in tourism for the attraction. I can imagine some young fans wanting to go and have a look. They had to go deep underground. You’d think Amy would be adverse to going underground having been swallowed up by the earth once before. She wasn’t, though, because she is Amy and she is strong. She even managed to fight off a Cyberman head. How freaking scary was the Cyberman head with all the tendrils trailing off it?

Doctor Who series 5 episode 12

The Doctor hits himself on the head a lot, doesn’t he? It’s actually quite painful to watch him trying to think. It was also quite painful to watch him missing the most obvious. Come on, Doctor, it’s RORY! That whole scene was perfect, though. Genius. The Doctor prodding Rory, and then simply asking him how he was. Loved it. “I died and turned into a Roman. It’s very distracting.”

I didn’t buy the bit where he was talking about miracles, and so although I didn’t figure the twist at the end out, it made sense that all was not as it seemed. Rory hadn’t just magically reappeared. Finally, Amy remembered, but… did she remember too late?

The ending was just incredible. I didn’t see it coming, but as soon as they started declaring the Pandorica as “ready” rather than “open”, it was obvious something was up. It is the Doctor’s worst nightmare. Quite aside from the fact that there’s a crack in the universe and he is most likely the only alien clever enough to solve the whole thing, he’s trapped inside a little box. The only box the Doctor should be trapped inside is the one that takes him to new and exciting places. I can’t imagine how terrifying it is for him to be shut up as a prisoner. An incredible twist, a great use of all the old characters (I am always concerned when the Daleks and Cyberman are about to make a return), and the complete opposite of a disappointment.

The whole point of a two part series finale is to make an impossible situation that needs something special to resolve it in the last few minutes of the second part. I can’t imagine a more impossible situation than this. Let’s hope the second part lives up to it.

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