Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Doctor Who - The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang

The big finale! And big it was indeed. This is the first time since Trial of a Time Lord that I felt the season arc in Doctor Who truly fit together entirely satisfactorily and was very important to the season as a whole. And surprisingly, it isn't even completely resolved and yet The Moff managed to tie enough of it together to satisfy us for now but left dangling threads to entice us to tune in next year as well. I felt the Doctor acknowledging that every thing wasn't resolved through dialog was key to leaving us wanting more and yet I for one was not disappointed by what we did get which was a fun, timey-wimey romp through time and space.

The first half was largely fanwank but in the best way possible. Not only do the Cybermen, Daleks and Autons play key roles in this story but the Sontarans also get a slightly bigger role than just a cameo. Nice cameos by the Judoon, Silurians, Hoix, Roboforms and Sycorax as well as name-checking Slitheen, Drahvins, Zygons, Draconians, Chelonians(in their first-ever TV reference), Atraxi and Terileptils. Plus we get to see a plethora of their spaceships arriving.

Both episodes are fast-paced, funny, dramatic and highly entertaining while also managing to piece the whole puzzle together and explain what exactly happened with the cracks in time.

I loved the fact that the Doctor's hubris in The Eleventh Hour came back to haunt him after the Atraxi ran through his history as the Doctor and his enemies and said, "I am the Doctor. Basically, run." Well, now most of the those enemies have joined together and it was the Doctor in serious trouble.

The second half doesn't really hold together logically since the Doctor basically frees himself by giving Rory the sonic and one has to wonder how he could do that if he was trapped. But I think we're going with Bill and Ted time-travel logic for this story so I just went with it and didn't allow it to bother me.

The Fez was awesome. Fezzes are cool. I wouldn't mind the Fez returning at some point next series.

The mystery of River Song continues to grow with a promise that the Doctor will meet her for the first time next year from her perspective and we'll find out who she really is. I must admit I'm stumped except to say I'm pretty certain she's not entirely a hero when he first meets her. I can't wait to find out more. I do wonder though since its strongly implied that "her Doctor" (the one she spends more time with or marries) is neither 10 nor 11 if we will get to see her when it comes time for the 12th Doctor to take over.

Rory's journey is absolutely awesome and I must say I like his character better than Amy so far. Although I think Amy's character works better with the three-crewmember dynamic that we have at the end. I also think Amy's journey was very fulfilling as she was so psychologically scarred by her childhood and disappearing relatives (and ducks) that even on the two occasions Rory dies she never tells him she loves him before or afterwards until time is rewritten and her parents and happy childhood replace her scarred memories. At that point she tells Rory she loves him before he does likewise thus showing how she is now a happier, more well-balanced person. (Although still a bit flirty and saucy obviously) I'm very glad that Amy and Rory are staying for a second series and I look forward to seeing the first married couple in the TARDIS in the show's long history.

Matt Smith is not my favorite Doctor by far, but as always I do really like him nonetheless. I think he has the quirky aspect of the character down pat but he lacks a bit of range in that he doesn't seem to be able to turn the quirky off when necessary making him seem a bit one note at times. But still, he's very good and I hope he has a good run as the 11th Doctor. (3-5 years would be great)

I anxiously look forward to next series as I'm going to try to remain relatively spoiler free next year. I'm still reading some of the press releases and Doctor Who Magazine but I'm hoping to avoid all the rumors on the message boards by steering clear of them this year.

That way maybe I'll be surprised by who or what the Silence is and who or what the real big bad is that could want the universe to end and destroy the Doctor in the process plus have the power and knowledge to destroy a TARDIS. Omega? The Black Guardian? The Toymaker? The Gods of Ragnarok? The Great Intelligence? or something else altogether? It shall be interesting to find out.

LISTS!!! Bwahahahahahaha!

Here's my list of 10th adventures for each Doctor.

1) The Pandorica Opens by Steven Moffat
2) Mawdryn Undead by Peter Grimwade
3) The Dalek Invasion of Earth by Terry Nation
4) Day of the Daleks by Louis Marks
5) The Parting of the Ways by Russell T. Davies
6) The Brain of Morbius by Robin Bland (Pseudonym of Terrance Dicks and Robert Holmes)
7) The Ice Warriors by Brian Hayles
8) Terror of the Vervoids by Pip Baker and Jane Baker
9) Ghost Light by Marc Platt
10) Fear Her by Matthew Graham

My 32nd series list in order of favorites:

1) The Pandorica Opens
2) The Time of Angels
3) The Eleventh Hour
4) Amy's Choice
5) The Vampires of Venice
6) Victory of the Daleks
7) The Beast Below
8) Cold Blood
9) Vincent and the Doctor
10) The Lodger

My favorite Doctors list:

1) Patrick Troughton
2) Peter Davison
3) Paul McGann
4) David Tennant
5) Tom Baker
6) Jon Pertwee
7) William Hartnell
8) Colin Baker
9) Christopher Eccleston
10) Matt Smith
11) Sylvester McCoy

Wonderful chaps, all of him.