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The Pandorica Opens

ShowDoctor Who / Series V / Episode 12
First Broadcast2010/07/04 - 19:30 (Link: ABC Details)
Related LinksDoctor Who Wiki Wikipedia
Previous EpisodeThe Lodger
Next EpisodeThe Big Bang

Quite possibly the best cliff-hanger ever! This is the first part of a two-part end-of-series episode. It has the hallmarks of recent series-enders, ie. big, but without going over the top (into space opera territory). River Song is back as she foretold in Flesh and Stone with a warning that leads River, Amy and the Doctor to the Pandorica. But what is it? A prison for the most-feared warrior of all time? The story builds to a thrilling climax as all of the big name enemies of the Doctor unite to lock him in the Pandorica as Amy is shot (apparently fatally) and River is trapped in the TARDIS as it explodes. How on earth will the Doctor escape?

There is so much going on in this episode that it's pointless to try and describe it. Go and watch it - several times.

A few highlights:

  • The message to Doctor is painted by Vincent, discovered by Bracewell and passed on to Churchill, who contacts River, who finds it in the archive of Liz 10.
  • The time-vortex purchased by River was stolen from a "handsome time agent", surely Captain Jack
  • Rory is back, almost. He's an Auton, but he believes he's Rory and fights to remember that. Intriguingly, Amy eventually remembers who he is.
  • The Doctor's enemies forsee the end of the universe. Their analysis tells them the Doctor is the cause, so they for an alliance to trap him. Never before have we seen so many of the Doctor's enemies together.
  • The Doctor's ego prevents him from perceiving the trap, despite the clues. The TARDIS seems to be more aware and leads River to Amy's house. She determines it's a trap and tries to warn the Doctor. However the Doctor seems to believe the TARDIS is the causes of the cracks.
  • The prison of the most-feared warrior turns out to be a fair description of the Pandorica, but not in the way we expect. But the Doctor certainly lives up to that title, particular from the point of view of the alliance.
  • The Pandorica is not a fairy-tale after all. Or is it? It's seemingly based on Pandora's Box (a favourite fairy-tale of Amy's).
  • We still don't know who or what is behind the cracks. And who is behind the voice warning that silence will fall?

I cannot imagine how the Doctor gets out of this one and saves Amy, River and the Universe.