Not with a bang but a whimper …
While I know that it would have been very difficult for Moffat to exceed the thrills and spills of last week’s episode, this week’s just did not provide the same level of satisfaction. We ended with The Doctor trapped in the Pandorica, River Song and the Tardis getting blown to smithereens and Amy Pond lying in Rory’s arms after getting shot. The tension as you can well imagine was rather extreme and we were on track for one of the most intense season finales ever!
The obvious question was could the tension be maintained or would it all fall down around its own weight? Unfortunately – for me – while it started well and ended well, the middle of the episode was anticlimactic to say the least and very disappointing.
In The Beginning
The story starts with the young Amelia Pond … showing her aunt a picture of the moon and stars she is taken outside to look at the night sky and asked to point out the stars which she admits she cannot see. While her aunt talks to the councilor a leaflet is dropped through her door (the reflection of the person dropping the leaflet through looks like The Doctor and the immediate question asked of course is how did he get there if he was trapped in the Pandorica??) to a museum display of ancient antiquities including … the Pandorica! Amelia and her aunt make their way to the museum where Amelia sees a petrified Dalek a Cyberman and other ancient monstrosities that “never existed” and Amelia is informed she should “hang around” … escaping from her Aunt, Amelia waits till the museum is closed and the goes to the Pandorica and touches it. As soon as she touches it, it starts to glow and opens up … inside it we find …
I know the suspense is unbearable isn’t it!
Amy Pond!!! What the? … how did she get there when it was The Doctor that was trapped in the last episode??
Doooo Dooo Dooo
Back in Time
See like I said … it started out quite cool and interesting … but unfortunately it really went downhill from here (although there are some cool bits strewn around).
Almost immediately afterwards we are back in the time when The Doctor was sealed in the Pandorica and Rory is holding Amy’s lifeless body in his hands. The Doctor materializes wearing a fez and carrying a cane and tells Rory that she’s not really dead at all. He hands him his sonic screwdriver and jumps away again and then pops back telling Rory that after he uses it to open the Pandorica and release him, he should put Amy inside and make sure that he puts his screwdriver in her pocket.
Rory goes to the Pandorica, points the screwdriver at it and releases The Doctor – who is rightly surprised … see what I mean? Really anticlimactic.
- What about the Daleks and the Cybermen? If the universe has ended meaning that they never existed, w hy was Rory still there if everyone else was gone …
- How can he just open up this massive prison by simply pointing the screwdriver at it when all last episode The Doctor was questioning the whole thing and didn’t understand that it was even his prison???
The Doctor is surprised at his escape (grrr … me too … I almost would have loved to see a real prison break type sequence vs. this simple thing) … but helps Rory load up Amy into the Pandorica. He informs her that all she needs is a sample of her DNA and she’ll be right as rain again, as the Pandorica ensures that there is no escape (including death) … when Rory asks where she’ll get her own DNA, The Doctor says that will happen 2000 years in the future and until then the Pandorica will keep her in a state of suspended animation. The Doctor takes River’s time jumping device (which to me seems a heck of a lot more efficient and accurate than the Tardis – that’s not right is it? I mean The Tardis was developed by the Time Lords … you’d think they’d do it right!!) and tells Rory that they can jump straight to when Amy wakes up. Rory however asks The Doctor whether or not Amy & the Pandorica will be safer if he stays behind to protect her and The Doctor is forced to reluctantly agree (Remember, this Rory isn’t really human but rather a recreation as part of the trap from the last episode).
All of this is happening at a frantic pace and while its fun to see … it really leaves a huge gaping hole in that – how did The Doctor escape in the first place to start the sequence off? I hate it when they use time travel as a “get out of jail free” (literally in this case) card … there still has to be an initial point where the sequence kicks off and that didn’t happen here.
Back to the Future
The Doctor now appears in the future where Amy and Amelia are both together. Amy has discovered that the protector of the Pandorica – the Centurion – died in the blitz during World War II, but for the past 2000 years he has always been there protecting the Pandorica. (see there are some cool bits and this is one of them) Amy realizes that this is/was Rory and that she has now lost him. The Doctor appears and has a plan to resolve the situation but all of a sudden the petrified Dalek starts to come to life! It seems that the light from the Pandorica has partially restored the Dalek and it is threatening to kill them all!!!
All of a sudden a security guard appears and blasts the Dalek … its Rory … Yeah!!! Rory survived the Blitz after all and has still been there protecting the Pandorica. Big reunion and much smooching ensues (bit of a sucker for that when its warranted) but everyone is happy again. The Doctor runs out of the room with both Amelia’s and Rory and heads up to the roof … but he meets … … The Doctor!!! Shock, horror … The Doctor (#2) is injured (dying) but is able to summon the strength to speak The Doctor (#1) and then he dies. Doctor (#1) continues to head to the roof where (oh yeah, Amelia has disappeared now as reality continues to collapse) he pries off a satellite dish and “listens” to the Sun (or at least what we thought was the sun) … turns out that the “sun” was actually the exploding Tardis which had been exploding throughout all times and all universes. It is only the Tardis that is keeping Earth alive while the rest of the universe is now in darkness (by the way – what about the moon that Amelia saw right in the beginning, shouldn’t that have disappeared also? ). Listening to the Tardis exploding he hears River’s voice in a time loop. The Tardis had put her in a loop to protect her so she had been repeating the same 5- seconds for over 2000 years.
The Doctor uses River’s time travelling device to jump into the Tardis (remember what I said about it seeming to be more efficient? Also, can anyone do this or only The Doctor? Seems like pretty lax security in the Tardis if anyone can access it like this?) and rescues River, jumping her back to the roof of the museum, where he informs her and the others that his plan is to use the Pandorica itself to kick start the universe – basically another Big Bang as The Pandorica has a record of all parts of the Universe in it and just like it was able to revive Amy and the Dalek if it gets a strong enough energy source it can do the same for the universe itself.
The Dalek arrives (hovering) at the edge of the roof and starts to shoot at them … running away, The Doctor is shot by the Dalek (with striking similarity to how David Tennant was shot when rushing to meet Rose in the episode Stolen Earth) and using the time travel devise he jumps back to when he saw himself earlier on the stairs going up to the roof. Now The Doctor (#1) becomes (#2) and this is what Amy and Rory realize. They rush down the stairs to see if he’s still actually alive while River stays behind to deal with the Dalek. The Dalek realizing that he is doomed requests mercy … which River does NOT grant (another cool sequence in my opinion) and then goes to join the others.
The Big Bang
They now discover the Doctor wired into the Pandorica preparing to jump it into the Tardis. River quickly realizes that if the Doctor’s plan is to work, he will need to close all of the cracks in time … leaving himself on the other side and it would be as if he’d never existed. To save the universe, the Doctor must sacrifice himself and the Tardis. Using a memory of the universe stores in the atoms trapped in the Pandorica, he can pilot the box inside the exploding TARDIS and restore the universe. It’s a second big bang and one that will reboot the universe.
Telling Amy that when the universe reboots she will have an opportunity to “wish” herself a perfect life with her parent’s back, The Doctor jumps into the heart of the exploding Tardis with his catchphrase Geronimo!!
Almost immediately he reappears on the deck of the Tardis and believes that he has escaped his impending doom, but unfortunately it is not to be … in a mini flashback sequence, The Doctor travels backwards in time through his own (short) life and we see him trying to reach and speak to Amy on the way. His decision to stop watching the rewind when he first met Amy is a nice touch and the speech that he gives to Amy when she is in bed about the Tardis is excellent. I love the way that they are able to tie this speech into the next sequence which is ….
Really happy that Amy and Rory finally get together after everything that they have been through and when Amy calls for the Tardis – SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW, SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE – really, really good.
Now, while the cracks in time are gone … the strange voice on the Tardis calling for Silence has not been explained and is something we can only hope will be addressed in future episodes. Considering how difficult it is to tie up a whole season and the over-riding plot lines in one episode this was a good episode – unfortunately it just wasn’t as good as the previous one, which is the only reason I am slightly disappointed.