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Friday, August 20, 2010


And now, on to the final episodes of the current run!

Series Five-Episode 12: The Pandorica Opens (Part 1 of 2)

Van Gogh's depiction of the TARDIS exploding.

Within the space of this episode's first few minutes, we are bounced from France in 1890 to Churchill's headquarters in 1941 and then to locations in the year 5145, before the story proper gets underway in the Roman-occupied Britain of the 2nd Century A.D., so you just know this one's going to be big.

In the year 5145, an incarcerated River Song receives a mis-directed phone call from Winston Churchill who is searching for the Doctor, and from Churchill she receives info so startling that she immediately escapes from her cell and sets off in pursuit of what turns out to be a painting by Van Gogh that post-Impressionistically depicts the TARDIS violently exploding. Instigating the Doctor's arrival at the Roman camp (using a two-pronged scheme that made me laugh out loud), River greets him and Amy with the disturbing painting, which is entitled "The Pandorica Opens." In the earlier two-parter involving the Weeping Angels, River mentioned to the Doctor that she'd be there with him when the Pandorica, an object believed to be myth, opens, so now the Doctor is spurred to investigate.

Our heroes search Stonehenge for the hidden entrance to the Pandorica.

Eventually determining it to be located beneath Stonehenge, our heroes find the Pandorica and the Doctor determines the object to be a highly-sophisticated and heavily-fortified prison, but what could be so balls-out dangerous as to warrant such a containment vessel? It is also noted that the Pandorica's multiple layers of defenses are being deactivated from within while it also sends powerful transmissions out into deep space. In no time, spacecraft bearing representatives of damned near every race the Doctor has ever contended with arrive and clog the skies over Earth, leading the Doctor to believe that they are all there to claim whatever powerful entity lurks within the Pandorica. As Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, Judoon and who the hell knows how many other aliens arrive in the flesh, the Doctor talks trash about how he's defeated them all in the past and will most likely do so again, and now the Pandorica is in his hands, so they'd all better behave.

The Doctor trash-talks the universe.

But ain't it funny how such hubris can come back to bite one on the ass? That's what the Doctor finds out in no uncertain terms when the Pandorica opens and its genuinely surprising secret is finally revealed. Meanwhile, as River Song pilots it, the predicted explosion of the TARDIS takes place...

Series Five-Episode 13: The Big Bang (Part 2 of 2)

River Song takes aim at...No! As River herself would say, "Spoilers!"

I reeeeeeally can't give away what happens in this very good series finale, but I will say that it all ties up quite satisfactorily.

So...I was very impressed with this first year of Matt Smith's Doctor and am eager to see how he makes the character his own in years to come. Out of the thirteen stories in this run, I would cite "The Vampires of Venice" as the weakest and that one wasn't even bad per se, just weaker than the rest. Unlike the Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant runs, there was not one dud in the lot and that's quite impressive. I'm also an unabashed River Song fan and loved every moment she was onscreen, so her promised return next year has me quite eager. However, I hope they don't give away absolutely everything about her, despite promises from the show's producer to finally fill us in on her backstory...

My one major gripe with this run is with the character of Amy Pond. As a great fan of the ginger ladies, I was caught up in the hype over how cute she is, but as the series progressed I came to find her quite irritating, making moves and decisions that didn't make a lick of sense. She started out okay, but then I felt like the writers mostly lost interest in caring about crafting her into a fully-realized character. Maybe I'm missing something, but I hope they do something to fix her in future installments. Oh, and I do not give a rat's ass about Rory. He had his uses, especially during the run's second half, but if you ask me both his and Amy's arcs have pretty much run their course by the end of the series, so having things end as they do doesn't really make sense to me. But, whatever. I'll be back for more when Series Six rolls around, so who the hell am I trying to kid?


dls said...

There was a version of Mol Flanders that came out in the mid ninties with Alex Kingston playing the title role. If you like River Song it might be worth checking out.

Bunche (pop culture ronin) said...

I saw that DVD kicking around a few years back and have wondered about it. I do like Alex, so...

Temmere said...

I'm with you on Amy. I love redheads and she's very hot (not Martha Jones hot, but then, who is?), but over time her seeming indifference to Rory really started to bug me. (She SAID she loved him, but I never bought it. I hate to say it, but maybe Karen Gilan just isn't a very good actress.) Word is they're both confirmed for the next series, and I'm not looking forward to it. I'd rather see more of River, who seemed a little Mary Sue-ish when she was introduced but has become increasingly intriguing.