I’VE taken a bit longer than usual to write The Big Bang review because I had to close down all the non-essential bits of my brain to husband my resources and work out what on earth I had just watched.
Talk about wibbly-wobbly! Never mind timey-wimey!
I mean, I know time travel, I’ve grown up with it, I’ve seen the films, read the books.
But in my head, fellow fictional time traveller Doc Brown was left exclaiming ‘Great Scott!’ in a bemused frenzy, while Marty McFly cried ‘this is heavy’ and Bill and Ted mouthed a breathless ‘whoa…’, in the middle of a most excellent jamming session.
Hell – the first 10 minutes threw in more surprising twists and turns than most shows manage in a whole series.
First of all young Amelia opened the Pandorica in the present day and found her older self in it, with young Amelia’s dna healing older Amy after she was shot by Rory in the past.
She’d been put in the Pandorica to heal by the Doctor after he escaped in the past by travelling from the future to get Rory to free his past self using the sonic screwdriver the Doctor gave him so he could travel to the future to travel to the past and get Rory to free him … are you keeping up?
When the revitalised Dalek screamed for mercy before being offed by River Song shortly afterwards, I knew how it felt as the Doctor crossed the streams and jumped into his own timeline (a major no-no, or so I thought) to save the universe from ending and leave millions of viewers scratching their heads with daft grins on their faces.
Thank god for the fez then, which was a handy tool to stay on top of what was happening as well as a wonderful comic prop.
Although I have to mention that as well as marvelling at the audacious time-cheating rule-bending to get everyone where they needed to be, I was also feeling a little bit cheated at this point too.
Why? Because once again, the thing which the first half of the finale spent building up was blown away in part two before you could say just like that.
This time, the escape-proof ultimate prison Pandorica was dismissed even faster than the ‘everyone is the Master’ machine in The End of Time.
Although the Pandorica’s role in the rest of The Big Bang – keeping Amy alive and saving the universe by flying into the exploding TARDIS and all that – at least helped to redeem it, one day I hope to see the big part one problem actually be a problem in part two in a Doctor Who finale, and not just a convenient plot element.
But you could make an argument that the Pandorica being to prisons what Gary Glitter is to child-minding was a price worth paying, given the wonderful way the rest of the episode played out, with real emotion to go alongside the clever plotting.
I loved Rory’s decision to guard Amy and the Pandorica (that’s four paragraphs in a row for that word now, another first for the blog!) which cemented their love for each other. By the end of the episode he was plain old Rory again, but I’ll miss the gun hand.
Moffat really came into his own though when he constructed the Doctor’s sacrifice and then flashback as a deeper echo of the multi-layered narrative he started the episode with – but rippling out across the while series and proving everyone who spotted ‘the other Doctor’ in Flesh and Stone was correct.
Going back over his own time and fixing the cracks meant – in another fairytale analogy – the Doctor put Amy together again. Just like a duck pond without any ducks, the Doctor explained her house was empty as the crack in time had eaten away parts of her life (Specifically the parts containing Danny De Vito)
Now she has her life back, my fingers are crossed her snappy bantering – which I presume was meant to reveal her shattered but hidden emotional self – will be toned down, as it was hard to watch at times this series.
But the real trick was using clever wordplay to seed the means for the Doctor’s salvation into the sleeping mind of a seven-year-old girl who believed in stars while making it sound like a sentimental tribute to the lives he has known. Despite having watched every Derren Brown show I didn’t catch his keywords, but was caught up in the moment as the perfect Matt Smith disappeared into the crack with the beautifully played phrase ‘I hate repeats’.
When Amy remembered hher raggedy Doctor at her wedding and brought him back with the phrase ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ it was pure, undiluted TV magic which had me cheering.
And did you notice the necklace she was wearing when she did it? It was an apple – like the apple she gave the Doctor when she first met him in The Eleventh Hour and that he used to earn her trust in the same episode.
A magic apple was a wonderful end to the fairy story of Moffat’s first series at the helm, which hit immensely satisfying high points but also had some inconsistent moments too, especially Victory of the Daleks and Cold Blood.
While we’re still waiting to find out what the silence was and who was behind it, those unanswered questions point to a fully plotted multi-season arc in Doctor Who, just waiting to unfold (and one that involves a Neil Gaiman episode in the near future too).
We should also get the answer to the other big questions too, like who is River Song, apart from someone who can make a Dalek – a bloody Dalek! – beg for mercy and then off it anyway?
And more importantly, now Rory and Amy are married, is he rechargable or battery operated or human and do they have a ‘If this TARDIS is rocking, don’t come a-knockin’ sign to hang on the door when they are … erm … testing the time rotor?
They are for another time though. Now is a moment for crazy dancing and top hats, and for pressing play on the Sky Plus again, to see how much I missed this time around. And for voting in my end of season poll – click here to have your say on the series or here to rate Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Steven Moffat.
And for offering Steven Moffat his latest, but not his last, scyfilove tip o’the cap, for delivering intelligent and emotional and heartfelt stories for anyone who wants to watch and enjoy them. Well done sir.
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