This is a weekly feature (Wednesdays) where Christa of More Than Just Magic and myself will be watching and discussing all of the reboot of Doctor Who. Posts will contain spoilers for that episode and ones before it, so you may want to watch the episode before reading. I hope you’ll join us in enjoying this fantastic show, and don’t forget to check out Christa’s post (with past posts over here) as well! Allons-y!
The Pandorica Opens by Steven Moffat
When a warning for the Doctor comes to River Song via Vincent Van Gogh, she must find a way to reach him before it’s too late. The Pandorica contains the most terrifying creature in all of the universe, and it’s opening.
I have mixed feelings about this episode, as is normal for me when it comes to Steven Moffat episodes. The opening was interesting in that it tied the entire season together. We get to see some of the most memorable secondary characters of the season, including Elizabeth the Tenth, Winston Churchill, and Vincent Van Gogh. I had a moment of discomfort when Elizabeth X repeated her “catchphrase” from her original episode (“I’m the bloody queen”) because it just seemed like her character was being reduced to this one element, and as a woman of colour this is such a common (and dangerous) thing to do. Rewatching this episode, it becomes clear that the reason Vincent killed himself was because of what he saw would happen to the TARDIS (and in his mind Amy and the Doctor).
Another element about the opening that I enjoyed was the active role that River takes. It’s not often that we get to see companions off on their own, and I think this really helps to emphasize the fact that River is more than a companion. She could be (should be) the Doctor’s equal. Unlike the Doctor, she doesn’t hide her dark side. She’s not afraid to do a bad thing for the greater good, like spike someone’s wine with nano bombs. River really is such an amazing character. I wish she had been someone else’s character.
The high point of the episode is definitely the Doctor’s speech. The Doctor is incredible in this episode. He’s all arrogance and intelligence and scatter-brainedness. You see him reach his peak in this episode, and that sets up his fall beautifully. There’s the further message that everyone is the hero of their own story. To have all of the “villains” coming together to defeat what they see as the most dangerous creature to the universe (a universe many of them have tried to destroy themselves at one point or another) was cleverly shocking. It would have been more powerful if they were right, but still gold star for getting halfway there, Moffat.
Oh, and then there’s Rory being back.
Love it when Rory comes back.