I thought Moffat taking over would be good for this show. I loved his episodes in earlier seasons. They were clever and original and scary. And funny. And always intelligible, not stupidly complicated. Now, surprisingly, I find myself missing the campy days of Russel T. Davies. I don't know. It's not really fair because at this point I've been skipping the stuff between the highly-rated episodes. Mainly looking for River. But here even she's not even worth it.
It's okay if initially you can't make sense of an episode; what matters is whether you care enough to work it out. And I just don't anymore. I turned this off 3/4s of the way through. This exhausting episode makes me feel down on TV in general.
The Big Bang was a spectacular and exquisite episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of significant character and plot development. It was awesome to see The Doctor and Amy Pond in Action. River Song was outstanding as well! I liked how every thing played out and I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
This was a fast paced episode. In fact, so fast paced I failed to understand what was going on. I suppose the rift in Amy's wall was some sort of dimensional rift in space and time which created some interesting hullabaloo. The Doctor picked an exceptionally perky little tart named Amy Pond to help him in his madness. The first episode, or two, I spent mainly checking Amy out because I thought she was REALLY sexy.
In this episode we had an enigmatic woman who seems to come to the Doctor's rescue time and again. I believe she was called Riversong! I'm not sure the Doctor knows precisely who she is as well because he asked: are you my wife, or what? She just pops up out of no where! Maybe she is Billie Piper morphed into a different body – who knows. She seems to LOVE the doctor because she was constantly calling him her love, etc., etc. The Doctor obviously has a crush on Amy, but she loves a goofy goober and would give her life for him. A touching scene towards the end of this episode had the goofy man Amy loves (WITH ALL HER HEART) shoot her in the gut as she is admonishing him to accept who he is!!! Of course the Doctor saves the day by telling the goofy man to put his sonic screw driver in his pocket in the Pandora's Box which saves the day in the future! For those of you who may ask what this all means, it means running all over the place and having one heck of a wedding party for Amy in the last few minutes. I must say the writers need to introduce NEW monsters and aliens into the plot. ALRIGHT already…no more of those cute little Dilaks! I would also like K-9 to take some kind of leading role. I would like to see MUCH more of AMY! Wow…what a babe! I would definitely keep the goofy goober guy. He seemed deeply troubled when he shot Amy in the gut and killed her. That was exceptional acting! He also apologized when he dragged the VERY pregnant Amy up the stairs by the hair in the nightmare episode. This has been a great year and can't wait until next season!!
As quiet nothingness begins to swallow what's left of the universe, the Doctor is in for his most troublesome adventure. Can the Doctor and his companions River, Amy and Auton Rory break the Silence that's fallen?
The Doctor is out of Pandorica prison for good behavior, but before he can enjoy himself, he must set up the paradoxical events for/throughout the episode. Thanks to the Alliance, the Doctor was protected from erasure during the Tardis BOOM due to the Pandorica's properties of keeping its prisoner alive.
However, in the future 1996, young Ameila releases Amy from it thanks to her DNA being extrapolated into it and healing the half-dead Amy.
One has to wonder what was River meaning when she said, 'I'm sorry my love.'
Yet another clue as to who river is.
The Stone Dalek FEARED HER, proving she is without some of the Doctor moral passion imbued in her.
Follow the ending of this episode, an unknown adventure toke place before 'Death of the Doctor' and 'A Christmas Carol', in whihc an egyptian godess got lose on the outerspace oriant express, in which 'Mr and Mrs Pond' began thier Honeymoon.
It was an excellent ending that made really made me anxious for season 6. The fez scene was delightful, and Matt Smith's dance at the wedding was hilarious. Everyone who ever hated the Doctor tries to imprison him, since he can't be killed, and he manages to break free.
A lot of people commented that the paradoxes were illogical. However, when you think about it, the entire universe is ceasing to exist. The whole of reality is collapsing. "Reality" is much less likely to restrain things like paradoxes. In any case, the paradoxes in this episode were no different from the paradoxes in "Blink" or "Time Crash", except that these paradoxes are more excusable since the whole of reality is ceasing to have ever existed.
So we come to the end of a new season with a new Doctor and a new producer. This two parter was still entertaining but was little far fetched for my taste in places. I mean the whole of Dr Who's enemies concocting a plot to put him in that chair was a little bit unbelievable - why don't they just get together again in the future and put an end to him once and for all if they can colaborate so easily. If Amy's boyfriend was a plastic man all along - I think the Doctor and Amy would have noticed! I thought the ending was emotional though and managed to rescue the story at the end. I was hoping that Moffet would be the new classic seasons Philip Hinchcliffe in terms of leaning to a more adult based story telling but this hasn't been the case. Most of this seasons episodes have been enjoyable to watch but to better each season Dr Who resembles Sydney Newmans/Russell T Davies original less and less. He's now some mysterious super being and the show is decending into a blown up comic strip.
This episode is a disappointing end to this series. The previous episode built up the tension to the max with all the aliens aligned against the Doctor and they put him in the box for all eternity. At the same time, Amy is dying, Rory is plastic man and River is caught in a time-loop. Wow!
But then all this goes up in smoke. The Doctor jumps in/out of his timeline at a drop of a hat, Amy doesn't die, River is miraculously rescued and lots of nonsense is spouted about the second big bang where the Doctor will die a second time in this episode (he already died once but no, then he didn't!!!). Do they ever really explain about the crack in time and Amy's connection to it - or the Doctor's. Did Amy really never ask where her parents were all this time ? Amy is now with plastic Rory with a gun for a hand ? The Doctor always dances at weddings - since when ? And siftybastard is right - the Doctor always said he couldn't cross his own timeline to save somebody (ie Rose's dad or actually anyone who died) - so this really reduces the interest of the viewer if a death isn't really a death anymore.
Let me just say, that this episode was far too "Bill&Ted" for my liking. The Doctor always avoids crossing his own timeline, and has in the past enforced this on others. Basically this episode has set a precedent for the rest to follow. Anything can be done, and the Doctor will now, always have what he needs, right at hand. If he doesn't, he can just go back in time, and put it there later.
My comment to the writers: You just broke this show, in a way that can not be fixed, and must be forgotten.
So, it's the end of the first year of the eleventh, thirteen episodes in, that is, two thousand and ten. Having rated pretty much every episode, it's hard not to make this an overview of the entire season.
And the season is a mixed bag. We all know why: brilliant Karen Gillan, kinda talky Doctor, so-so plots, good comedy, bad action. We've all been talking about it for months, so I won't get into those things much.
What is interesting, what hasn't been touched upon by most people, is how this show is the biggest departure from the Doctor Who formula so far with a new showrunner. How Doctor Who, all of a sudden, is a show about time travel.
Doctor Who has always been a show about a time traveller, of course, but it was largely a show about a time traveller adventuring all over the place. Very rarely has the Doctor actually engaged in time travel during a story. When Moffat wrote the infamous "wibbly-wobbly" speech everybody laughed at the metajoke, but nobody realized it was going to become the new premise of the show.
Matt Smith is the time travelling Doctor and, by extension, I'm afraid, the cheater Doctor. All over the season he's been playing God with the laws of space, time and storytelling by giving himself early warning of key plot points after having received the same warning ahead of time, dropping paradoxical loops all over the place and, of course, after all that setup, this turned out to be the solution to last episode's cliffhanger. Not a clever idea, not a last minute rescue, but time travelling.
And, of course, this makes sense within context. It is, in fact, the elephant in the room that nobody bothered to talk about in the classic series. RTD's run actually addressed it, with its usual awesome sense of gravitas, as the Doctor angrily thwarted the Master's plans to do something similar (which at the time required a massive rewiring of the TARDIS), or pondering his place in the universe if he allowed himself to do this, ascending into godhood and ultimate time and space dictatorship. And madness.
Matt Smith shrugs all of that off with a fez and a smile, frees himself from the ultimate trap by being freed by himself from the ultimate trap and time traveling back to free himself from the ultimate trap and in one single blow defuses any future attempt at tension, ever. If Moffat has any sense at all, and he should, given his track record, River's warning about how "everything changes" will involve retconning this plot device out of the show.
But hey, that's geek talk. That's canon, lore, mythos, whovian spiel and better taken to fansites than to anywhere with sensible tv watchers. So how was the finale, regardless of angry nerd rants?
Well, like I said, a mixed bag. Karen Gillan scores another showstealing one-liner, for those keeping track (seriously, she's the most badass heroine since Aliens' Ripley). Rory earns his stripes in such over the top fashion that one wonders if the writers aren't obsessing a bit too much with making him companion-worthy in the face of fandom indiference. Matt Smith is better than average, ironically by playing half the episode like he's a boxer trying to survive a tenth round. Overall, not better or worse than most other episodes this season.
If anything, Who gives itself too much leeway to give the season emotional closure. Played back to back, the last two episodes may have allowed for such extended hellos, farewells, to be continueds and the like. Having waited for a week, one would expect something more mechanical, more action based and plot-relevant to take up most of the footage. I understand that character development is the heart and soul of storytelling, but plot and action are the muscle, and without them, things feel limp. My suspicion is that this will play far better on DVD and probably should have been aired as an extended episode, rather than two normal length showings.
The harsh, sad truth is that the 11th Doctor has been the weakest of the bunch so far since the reboot, or at least the more uneven. There is plenty of potential here, and clearly fans are satisfied enough to keep watching. The problems are not so big that they can't be dismissed as a matter of taste.
What I'm trying to say here is please, do not dismiss them as a matter of taste. There is room for improvement. Acknowledge it and improve.
Summary: A disappointing end to a promising season, and--what's worse--an even more disappointing resolution of one of Doctor Who's most exciting cliffhangers.
What a shame, what a waste of possibilities. This could have been an eye-opener of an episode, a testament to Moffat's ability to tell a multi-layered story across a whole season. He had the most brilliant setup: a story arc he built over a dozen episodes, and a nailbiter of a cliffhanger to lead into this finale.
A few minutes and a few strokes by the Doctor's Deus-Ex-Screwdriver later, all of that premise is hamfistedly swept off the table. Only to be replaced by a goosechase across four dimensions. Benny Hill with time travel. It could have been so much more. A mind-opener of an episode, much like the resolutions of Blink or Silence in the Library. It chose not to be.
Yes, I assume in a wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey way, the finale's plot clings to a few straws that may make some sense. That is not my complaint. After all, we are fine with a Terminator universe where John Connor sent a machine to save himself, so why shouldn't The Timelord pull himself out of the swamp by his own shoelaces. Almost literally.
But what I'm complaining about is that, in the end, this season of Doctor Who picked up a tradition of hard and science fiction, of relationships and heartwarming British sillyness.
And with its final hour, it chose to become a children's programme.
I really really liked the episode before this one. This one however had a couple huge loop holes that the entire series has always tried to avoid.
The more I think about it, the more it bothers me. Normally I can usually come to a conclusion that makes since, but this time; I just can't.
There are 3 problems here, and I'll tell them from the most distracting to the least.
#1 Most Distracting = The Doctor went back in time to "save himself" from the future. He never actually escaped the Pandorica, but yet he goes back in time after hes saved to save himself to make sure it happens... How did he get out in the first place?! I've went over it again and again; and I can't come to a conclusion...
#2 most distracting: During the 9th doctor's reign there was an episode about how when Rose saves her father, a paradox happens and also when she touches herself as a baby it creates yet another paradox. The Master even had to use the Tardis as a "paradox stopping machine" when the humans from the end of the universe came back though...
In this episode. Amy touches herself; as a child. Also the doctor comes back though time, warning himself and touching himself on the shoulder, whispering into his own ear. I've told myself, since Amy and the Doctor are both "anomalies" that it doesn't count enough to make a paradox. But I still don't get that. Maybe since time was rewritten and the child Amy would never actually meet the Doctor ever again as a child, wouldn't she just not exist as his companion anymore, or does it not work like that since she is a "anomaly"? I admit that anomaly is a new concept - I really don't get it, but I think thats the point. Which honestly seems like a really cheap way out.
#3 Most distracting: Also the new doctor does seem to "cheat" a lot. He gets away with stuff that the other doctors never could, since it was in the hard wiring of the storyline.
#4 most distracting: Another poster said something about "the elephant in the room" about time travel being a main plot device. According to the 10th doctor, when it was suggested to use the tardis to go back in time to stop what was happening when it was happening would cause a paradox, because it was in their own time line. - "The girl in the fireplace" episode said this; which was directed by the same guy that writes the current series I think. Which also distracts me. It doesn't make any since...
#1 Disappointment: I agree with another review on a few different things, the Doctor dancing with the kids was painful, I was trying to get my family to watch this series with me, but because of that I'm afraid I'd be too embarrassed to. I honestly couldn't even watch that part.
#2 Disappointment: Think I watched the first part of this 2 parter 4 times, it was so good. This episode really let me down.
Bottom line - Where are all the paradoxes and how did the Doctor get out of the pandorica in the first place? I honestly really want answers to these questions, and I will look continuously to get them.
FYI - Giving this a lower rating because it doesn't make since, and breaks all the rules of the series and its giving me a headache. - Many more shortcuts like this and I might not watch this anymore.
I loved this episode. Man Rory really must've loved Amy to stay with her like that for nearly 2000 years. I liked how everything was restored like that and the promise of more River in the future. She HAS to be the Doctor's wife the way that she acts. That was pretty cool what the Doctor did with the Pandorica to save the universe there at the end. But the real question is who's responsible for all of this in the first place??? Whoever it is will probably try something again unless they're permanantly stopped. I can't wait to see that as I bet they're going to go into that next season.
The shot starts a bit slow introducing us to all the parts that makes that show great. The mystery revealed. All previously built moments come together in one big mix up of.... stuff. And all was great. The Doctor not surprisingly to anyone saves all SPOLERS*and himself. All characters are on their place and the plot in on the move. All fits together until the near end. At Amelia's wedding day, I mean okay we all no doubt expected the Doctor to be back, but this was a bit too ridiculous. He is back for the dancing.... and just pooof everything is back to normal, no regeneration or anything. Well it's all forgiven, but I wouldn't mind a few more episodes before the Christmas Special. Ah one more thing, the Pandorica Box the box which has the thousand defense layers, is opened just by one screwdriver press..... Well it's a lot better episode than the return of the Time Lords, which had again a really bad ending. The script writers have some really great ideas, but really bad taste for endings. Regardless it's a really great show and episode and i recommend it to everyone.
As I commented on my review for Part I, I found many of the Russell T. Davies-era finales so over-the-top that they were overpowering, but here, with 'The Big Bang', we have a story that is epic, yet still is comprehendible – and paced enough to tell a decent tale while it's at it.
I really have to watch this episode again, to take in all the details and explanations. But from my first viewing, I really like it. Some wonderful character moments, some great ideas, and a story that (baring in mind above comment regarding RTD) at least a plot we could begin to take in.
Although I'm not usually one for lovey-dovey stuff, especially when in 'Doctor Who', I loved the concept of Rory guarding Amy in the Pandorica for 2000 years.
Although maybe a bit soap-opera-esque, something I'm glad this series has very much left behind, I did like the closing of this episode (if a bit padded out), complete with Amy's wedding. And off in the TARDIS they disappear at the end. Will Rory stick around? I don't think he's really needed, but Matt Smith and Karen Gillan will be returning, which I'm really pleased about.
---New Series Five overview---
Rating something like 'Doctor Who' is tough. Some people refused to like this series simply because it wasn't David Tennant. Others seem obliged to rate each and every episode up in the 9s and 10s simply because it's 'Doctor Who'; and would probably do so even if it featured the Doctor on the toilet for 45 minutes!
But in my own personal view, this has been a wonderful series of 'Who' – possibly my single favourite series of modern 'Who' rivalled only by the nowadays underrated Christopher Eccleston in 2005 (new series 1). This'll no doubt be controversial, but I often felt that – great as he was – Tennant was a little over-rated (gasp). I liked the Russell T. Davies / Tennant episodes, but usually I'd watch an episode and more-often-than-not forget about it. With the arrival of the Steven Moffat/Matt Smith era, I find myself watching episodes multiple times and eagerly awaiting the next one, which is surely a good sign.
Many people were determined not to like him, but I personally really like Matt Smith as the Doctor. He has so much more depth than Tennant (who – dare I be controversial again – often seemed to give the same performance, to me!), and I love how his character is often dark and short tempered – as I've mentioned in several episode reviews, I've felt more than once vague echoes of William Hartnell's grouchy first Doctor, which I have loved.
Matt Smith is hard to top, but the true revelation of this series has been Karen Gillan as Amy – definitely the best modern 'Who' companion to date, IMO (Donna was good but a sort of "novel" companion; Rose was okay but not as outstanding as some claimed; and I just didn't warm to Martha at all).
The stories in the whole have been very good, and many that I wasn't expecting much from, have turned out to be unexpected gems. A frequent comment from both myself and other reviewers, is that there are some good plots but many of them a bit dragged out; this is something I would like to see improved on in Series 6.
And while there are still a few 'soapy' elements, I have also really liked that Moffat didn't feel need to turn every other story into an extended 'Eastenders'-like soap saga, something that often needlessly blighted the RTD era.
On the whole, I've REALLY enjoyed the stories. Something that has worked for me is that, with just a little adapting to suit the era, many of new series 5's stories could easily be vintage 'Who' tales.
I'm also glad that the RTD/Tennant "When in doubt, camp it up as much as possible" rule has generally been dropped.
All-in-all, bar a couple of exceptions ('Victory of the Daleks' should have been a classic but was too unfocused; and I gotta say it, 'The Lodger' was terrible!), I have really enjoyed series 5. Roll on series 6!
If someone remember the eleventh hour we saw young Emilia Pond sitting in the mourning(!) hearing the tardis.
No explantion was given to that in this finale which begs the question: Is this a two season arc because if so than talk about your cliffhanger!!
This was one of the best episodes I've seen and still (after asking the last question)two questions come to mind:
A. Who is the dreamlord?
B. Who is behind the whole season story
I was happy to see how everything came together and although doctor who episodes pack alot of information (which means watching this episode a 1000 times more) I was still able to get most of the episode
The final episode of series 5 of Doctor Who has delivered an unexpected twist, a happy end for all the characters, it seemed so unlikely what with the incredibly pessimistic end from the week before. Watching the two parts together it is clear that these are two very different beasts, there was a more cinematic and mysterious approach to The Pandorica Opens whereas The Big Bang unravels a fair bit of this tension ever so easily in the first ten minutes. The peril faced by our core characters are immediately dealt with and the Doctor does it quite happily wearing a fez.
There was some level of loss as we watched the Doctor prepare to fly the Pandorica into the exploding Tardis, but it was clear he would survive considering the Beeb have loudly proclaimed he is signed on for a second series. This in turn lowered the tone of the episode slightly as we knew regardless the Doctor would survive. Still the end was thoroughly enjoyable and of course we all enjoy a bit of a wedding to cheer us up. Karen Gillan's performance once again was spot on and of course we get to see her happily married. Finally some stability in her life. It's very important to remember that this is (unfortunately to quote Stephen Fry's rant against the show) a children's programme and should be treat as such. Children can't have horrendously heartbreaking ends to their favourite television show, it needs to give them some relief once in a while.
The best part of this episode (nay this series) was definitely Matt Smith's performance. I know he was farting on in a fez for the first part of the episode, but when he talks to the sleeping Amelia, telling her his story. This, to me, is a remarkable scene as Smith somehow seems so old, so wise, so much like a reminiscent man with years of experience spanning past him, I needed to be reminded that this is a 27 year old man. Smith excels at somehow acting like a senescent vulnerable man matched with a childlike exburance, this is massively impressive. Smith provides an excellent, if not perfect interpretation of the Doctor which far supersedes that of his predeccesors.
Just watched the "Big Bang" and thought I'd leave a review while the episode was fresh in my head. Overall I liked the episode but I felt that it was a bit too average for a season finale. Here's what I felt was good and bad about the episode;
The Good= Rory; he really came into his own in this episode he showed how much he really loved Amy and he took a more active role in the adventure, plus finally he stopped whining.
The Vortex manipulator; Despite what other people might say I liked the way The Doctor leapt back and forth setting things up in advance.
The Bad=Using the sonic screwdriver to open the Pandorica; the pandorica was meant to be the most inescapable prison in the universe yet it can be opened with one wave of the screwdriver, I know the main focus was to keep whoever was inside from getting out but still you'd think they'd make it easier to break into.
The big reset; I know all of the characters retained or at least got their memories back but still it gives the impression that all the events of this series didn't really happen which is kinda frustrating (I think it would have been cool to have a companion made entirely of plastic) Setting up a mysterious villain for the next series; In the previous episode we hear a voice inside the TARDIS just before it explodes and I was racking my brain trying to figure out who it was but now we find that that's going to be next years villain (hopefully) that just sounds like lazy writing too me.
The annoying= The Doctors Dance; The Doctors always had a goofy side but watching him dance with a bunch of kids was so painful I had to look away.
Flirty Amy; I kinda like Amy's flirtatiousness but when she tries to snog the Doctor in front of her new husband and her whole wedding party it just gets a bit much. The confusing= The plot; Doctor Who has always had storylines which require a lot of attention but for me this one takes the cake; There are cracks across the whole of time which were caused by the explosion of the tardis so the Doctors enemies band together to imprison him before the tardis can explode. All fine and dandy but then; the tardis explodes anyway which causes the entire universe to blink out of existence. But then the Doctor recreates the universe and the cracks close up and are meant have never existed. How can there be cracks in time if the explosion wiped out the universe? The cracks either should have been caused by something else or should have been part of the trap and somehow lead the doctor to the pandorica. normally I can forgive the plotholes in doctor who but this was such a huge one I couldn't miss it. Overall the new team could have done better and I hope they will for the next series.
The previous episode "The Pandorica Opens" was brilliant; excitement growing every minute, and each mystery solved uncovered another equally compelling one, however, the conclusion the series 5 finale does not live up to its predecessor. The first half of this episode, although slow for a few minutes, is almost just as entertaining as the prior episode; even if the timey-wimey flip-flopping does get a tad confusing.
The second half, however, gets progressively less interesting. Yes, it's very emotionally touching, but it would have been better if the interesting-to-heartfelt was at least 50-50, not 25-75.
Don't get me wrong, this was a good episode, with fair pacing and engaging plot development, however, the latter half of this story seems more suited to a mid-season story and NOT a finale.
Albeit to say, other season-ending episodes in this show, like in series 1, 2, and 3, were bigger let downs than this, so I suppose it's not totally unexpected for this rather unsatisfying conclusion. The showmakers are quasi-clever in setting up the 2010 Christmas special of an adventure involving an escaped Egyptian goddess on the Orient Express in space by having someone call the Doctor's "space-time" phone. Yet, it would be better to find out other things first. Like: who was saying "silence will fall"? We know why, but how did the racist mostly war-mongering species star working together?
One remaining question that is sort of clear is who is River Song? It may be that she is a Time Lord or a similar race to the Gallifreyens, because there is no way that a mere human would become the Doctor's "soul mate", know how to operate the TARDIS, discover the Doctor's true name, and know so much about the universe. If she is a Time Lord, she probably would be Romana, maybe having been utilising a chameleon device or perception filter; in Romana's later appearances (although in the canon-argumentative novels) she is shown as ruthless and without mercy, yet still holds some affection for the Doctor, which would fit with River's character portrayal in the series.
But I digress, this episode is entertaining and for the first half exciting, but in the end falls short of its build up.
As far as the main story goes, well, it was OK; universe saved, Doctor saved, parents back yada yada yada... I'm sorry - when you compare it to the last episode of the last Tenant season - it falls woefully short of any REAL suspense. In fact, it can be said that this entire season of Dr. Who was more or less unrealistic (I know it sounds ridiculous) and it hurt the empathy/character portion of it, not to mention that virtually all episodes left me with an underwhelming feeling.
BUT, it cemented something we all know - the star of the show is the wonderful character of Amy Pond. The desire and the stars in her eyes, the girlish wonder - she really is - a Star Detective. Make that the title of the spin-off children's TV show and I bet everything I have it would be a winner of Potterish proportions! The character of Rory was strengthened, River was always strong. The only one I still very much have doubts about - is the Doctor. Let's see if he's more convincing the next season - looking forward to it!
The universe hangs in the balance,Doctor's life, Amy's life and Rory's Love. This fast paced finale explores fairy tales, the power a child has to believe in that which might not be true and the love felt between the three fantastic characters.
Fantastic, hilarious and face paced, just what Dr who Needs to hold you over till Christmas. A bit too dramatic in some parts, but not bad compared to some other season finales. All in all, A great episode and a great season finale, bringing everything of the season into a nice clean wrap up. Explaining Rory, the memories, the cracks, Tardis and anything that may have caused dread or confusion earlier in the show. My only regret is that I don't have this show to watch every week now and must wait till christmas for my Amy Pond, Rory, 11 and Doctor Who Fix. As a first time fan, this episode has got me hungering to go back and watch past years, intrigued by Moffat's skill as a story teller, to combine the known from our world with the unknown of monsters, space time and the Doctor.
Maybe I'm autistic, or, more probably, just a hard nosed cynic, but there isn't much TV I'd filed under "emotional rollercoaster". Often the plot is so implausible that I can't suspend my outraged disbelief. And when that's not the case, the characters turn out to be so zero-dimensional that I can't bond with them. But this episode...well this episode really is an emotional rollercoaster. The lacklustre, uninventive, overblown and rather transparent penultimate episode can be written off as a bad day at the office or sublime expectation management.
Let me rave a moment: there are parts of this episode you've already seen in Flesh and Stone! And then there's a wedding rhyme that I will now forever associate with the Tardis. Even Rory (Arthur Darvill) can't drag it down.
The success comes down to Big Bang being character driven – writer Steven Moffat allows his character to be scary, funny and vulnerable. The conclusion has a whiff of Deus ex machina, as--once again--the universe is reset; but that doesn't matter because its so emotionally satisfying.
And there's good tele-craft too. The delight-inducing cinematography plays with camera angles, shot framing, and transitions, enhancing scenes, like River Song (Alex Kingston) making a Dalek beg for mercy. And Murry Gold's score is equally imaginative.
So what's there to criticise? Only Stephen Fry's opinion that this is children's telly.
I loved this finale. After that massive cliff-hanger the writers had a lot to live up to but I think it worked. I loved how time was worked throughout the episode and that it made sense as it went on. The Doctor showed a lot of emotion when leaving Amy which is why the happy ending worked so well.
I loved knowing that The Doctor, Amy and Rory will be working together next season. But...who is River Song? I need to know. In her words we'll find out soon and it'll change things...god I can't wait till next season or the Christmas special.
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