Well well well.
That was a good bit of Moffat magic, wasn’t it?
Unsurprisingly, Moffat turned out with goods. And good it was. Both The Pandorica Opens and The Big Bang were, in my humble opinion, BRILLIANT!
The Pandorica Opens – ‘Hello Sweetie.’
Actual surprises – it seem’s Moffat’s been taking lessons from the Roman Army the Alliance employed as a trap. Briefly – an Alliance of all the most Nazi-elements of the universe? I would have hated having to write policy documents for that or even being at a bloody – yes, it would have been bloody – meeting to start that off.
I seem to remember that one of the Roman Army’s greatest tools were their shields and forming a sort of tortoise-box around themselves to protect themselves…much as Moffat did with his storyline over the whole season – any major reveal and the shields would go up as quickly as they came down.
He kept us gushing and guessing with the engravings on the outisde – I thought The Doctor would be in the box…nope, gladly not. ‘Gotcha’, says Moffat. I thought the cause of the TARDIS exploding would be revealed…nope, very gladly not.
Matt Smith’s excellent ‘AAND THEN…let someone else go first…’ in the Pandorica Opens was an example of his cocky-boyish-pacifist approach to the Doctor while giving vent to his faith in people over his own power. Those aliens and their ‘…silly little guns,’ eh?
Alex Kingston was also brilliant in this – as was Karen Gillan but we’ll get to her later – as Cleopatra, as hallucinogen-inducing trickster and as serious sidekick. A few people online have commented on Moffat’s need to be wary of making River Song into all his wish fulfilment but I say ‘Screw that!’ Wish away, Moffat. Wish away because The Doctor needs someone on his level. It gives the fans much, much too much to talk about – is she a future Amy from a different timeline? They do have the same watch after all. Is she just a person from the [our 2010] future? Is she Romana somehow escaped from her own death? Is she The Doctor from another universe slipped through into ours? It would explain why she gets into so much trouble and why she knows how to fly the TARDIS and, in turn, how The Doctor taught her…because he taught himself and she would have thus taught herself. Is she the TARDIS or a TARDIS? [One of my favourites which relates to] is she Compassion come back from the brinks of time to live a real life? And if so, why is she using a time-vortex wristband? Is she broken? Does she need The Doctor’s aid in [no innuendo intended] fixing her?
Whatever she is, she may also be the main enemy of series 6! I hope not, you know. I really hope not because she’s such an excellent character that we’ll, hopefully, get to truly discover come Christmas.
Come on Christmas!
But like Moffat’s writing in The Big Bang, I’ve gone all timey-wimey in my review. Back to the acting in Pandorica Opens.
Well done to Gillan for pulling all of that off without too much over-sentimentality – that might have leaked off the screen with Billie Piper and David Tenant, if they got too close – and my my she didn’t even milk her own death scene. Most actors would. I don’t know if that was a directorial choice or a meeting of what everyone wanted but the only thing at fault was Rory’s face after the fact.
Arthur Darvill did much better in The Big Bang than in The Pandorica Opens but I did love the Centurion outfit. Well done Arthur for getting married as most people would but do try to keep your plastic-shakes down when killing your fiancé, eh? Good man either way.
The Big Bang – ‘OK kid. This is where it gets complicated.’
Ah Amelia. The little actress playing you was quite brilliant. ‘You know there’s no such thing as stars,’ says one but in this finale, there really is – all the actor involved were but I especially liked our little Amelia. I hope that whatever she does next is just as brilliant.
‘Nothing can get into this box.’
Let me just give you a sample of how fun the writing was in this episode:
Doctor: Hi Honey. I’m home.
River: And what time do you call this?
Doctor:…we’re all stories in the end…I hate repeats.
Doctor: Are you married, River?
COME ON!!1! ‘I hate repeats’ revealing Moffat’s postmodern love of the self-referentiality of the show’s form and form’s showing? How could anyone who has been following this not love those lines? I know I did.
[EDITED TO ADD: The whole series smacked more of Network Culture’s nodes of connection – and especially the remix of events and even the Doctor’s rewindy-deletion from existence could have been a Youtube-mash-up – moreso than postmodernity but the occasional glimmer of po-mo shone it’s cheekyhead with a smile.]
The Big Bang threw open the catchphrases too – ‘Gotcha’, ‘Geronimo’ – I’m surprised that they didn’t throw in another Vavoom and Squeaky-bum-time just for good measure.
And how Timey-Wimey [yes, it now gets capitols] would you like your Saturday dinner-writing, sir? OH, well. I’ll take it VERY VERY, please.
Gone are the RTD excuses of ‘No, I can’t cross my own time-stream’ (because that would make things too complicated) Doctorisms and brought back are the intricate madnesses of The Four Doctors.
‘I’m River Song. Check your database again…’
Somehow, Moffat gave his critics mercy by bringing on the sop. That’s right, the whole two episodes were a bit soppy…and I liked it. I even cried in the second one. Yup, I was fooled into thinking The Doctor had given himself up to save the universe for the final time – so I cried.
Rory’s waiting 2000 years didn’t do much for me because it was a little too much of a leap but it was still a funny touch.
What saved the sop for me was Moffat’s playful language skills. Tying ‘something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue’ into the Whoniverse was a clever little number but one outshone by his use of memory and stories being the psuedo-science saviour of the day. This latter tool would have had everyone smiling and tearful at the same time – after all, ‘…we’re all stories in the end…’
Also, while we’ve got this sub-title, has a Dalek ever asked for mercy before?
‘Hello! I’m Amy’s imaginary friend but I came anyway…right, Let me move my box. I only came for the dancing’
Oh the dancing:
This is more proof of how silly, fun and (big) kid-friendly the new series really is. Look at Smith dance with those kids – they must have been loving it! Wild, well-meaning Doctor.
So what’s left?
River Song. Apparently we’ll find out soon – does that mean Christmas? I hope so. The Orient Express in space with an escaped Egyptian Goddess sounds fine and all but keep it in the extra stuffs – it will be Christmas and I will want some meat and gravy in my story.
Dear Mr. Moffat, please do provide. I, and all my friends, would be most grateful. We would, in turn, love you to come to dinner on boxing day – whatever the Christmas day result.
Will all be revealed?