Unknown voice: 'Silence will fall.'
was a massive episode. Not only were the stakes enormous and the
cliff-hanger whopping, we were treated to perhaps the biggest assembly
of Doctor Who
baddies the show has ever seen. Not just fifth season villains,
either—we got to see Autons, Cybermen, Sycorax, Daleks, Judoon,
Sontarans, and a whole host of other nasties too numerous to mention
(except I do
mention them later). It was like fanfic times 10 to the power of 23 (I
did the math). I also totally had several nerdgasma.
admit, I'm usually the first to moan when they try to pack too much
into one episode. Characters end up underused, the story becomes
diluted, and the pacing ends up erratic. But I'm not ready to give up on Liz 10,
Churchill, and Van Gogh just yet. Maybe they'll end up saving the day.
With the Doctor locked inside the Pandorica, Amy dead, Rory an Auton,
and River Song trapped inside an exploding TARDIS, someone's going to
have to do something.
I'm hard pressed to remember a cliff-hanger so fraught with disaster.
It's a shame Harriet Jones isn't still alive. Someone needs to chew
bubblegum and kick ass, ASAP.
The Alliance of villains, I thought, worked
beautifully. It wasn't so much the make-up of the alliance which was
intriguing, but the cause which united them. The Doctor's existence
threatens the survival of every living thing. If the TARDIS explodes,
then everything ceases to exist—which is a complete reversal of the
usual end of season formula. It's usually the Doctor fighting to save
the world from some alien threat; this time, it's the alien threat
trying to save the world from the Doctor. It's no longer about conquest.
It's about survival.
Despite Karen Gillan's insistence
in an interview this week that Rory was dead, his appearance was a
predictable, though welcome, development. You don't kill off a main
character mid-season and just leave him for dead. But what a freaky-ass
way of bringing him back—if indeed that is
Rory. The Roman soldiers were just characters from a book, brought to
life by the Nestene Consciousness. They were never real. Which must
surely mean that Rory's not real either. Yet, if the psychic snapshot
was taken after Rory's death, then why was he in it? And why was he in
that photograph, dressed as a Roman Centurion? Wasn't Rory wiped from
existence? And if the image was taken before his death, then how is it
that he remembers dying?
If it's not Rory—despite having Rory's body, his memories and
believing himself to be Rory—then what the fuck is he? The Doctor's
doppelgänger in 'Journey's End', despite looking and acting like the
Doctor, was materially different—he was part human for a start. Rory is an exact
duplicate. If he's the same in every respect, then how is he not Rory?
Could new Rory continue in old Rory's place? Would that be weird? I can't
decide whether this would be a happy ending or not.
Song also said something tonight which confused me. (This was a big
week for confusion.) In 'The Time of Angels' Song said that she'd been taught
to fly the TARDIS by the 'very best'—before quipping that the Doctor
had been busy that day. Yet tonight, contrary to her first admission,
she confessed that her instruction had indeed come from the Doctor, and
since Song was in the Storm Cage Holding Facility for killing the 'best
man' she ever knew, does this mean she'll wind up killing the
Doctor? Is that why Octavian was so tight-lipped about the identity of
the man she killed?
The biggest shock of the night came
when the Pandorica opened. I spent most of this episode trying to work
out who would be inside—Omega, Davros, The Master, The Black
Guardian—but nobody really fitted the bill. Bizarrely, the Pandorica was
empty. There'd never been anyone inside. It was a prison built
specifically for the Doctor—the most feared creature in the whole of
But the Alliance have surely dropped the ball on this one They're operating under the misconception that only
the Doctor can pilot the TARDIS, so locking him inside the Pandorica
seems like a sure-fire way of averting disaster. What they haven't
figured on is that River Song can also fly the TARDIS, and is currently
trapped inside it. And we still don't know who's been throwing the
TARDIS back and forth through time—thus we have a second, as yet
unidentified, suspect. So locking the Doctor inside the Pandorica might
not be the quick fix that the Alliance imagine. The threat may still be out
there, and the Alliance have just locked away their best chance of
Despite the Doctor's rousing
rockstar-like speech outside Stonehenge, it never really felt as though
he had a plan. It was all just stalling and rhetoric. With Song's help,
the Doctor did managed to figure out some
of what was going on, but it was all way too late, as the under-henge was already swarming with enemies. I love the way the Doctor keeps missing the big
things (such as Rory being alive), yet picks up on the small things,
and turns them into events of seemingly massive importance. Why is
Amy's house so big? Why are there so many rooms in Amy's house? What do
these things mean? Anything? Nothing?
It's the small
things I love about Matt Smith's Doctor. When Rory asked whether Amy had
missed him, the look on the Doctor's face, quite literally, brought a
tear to my eye. This isn't a Doctor confident of solving the world's
ills, it's a man very much aware of his own limitations. I loved him
pleading with the Alliance. Despite everyone in the room wanting him
dead, he still wanted to save them. Karen and Arthur got some great scenes, too. Seeing Rory struggle against the will of the
Nestene Consciousness was heart-wrenching stuff, as was him screaming 'I
am Rory' in one final act of defiance, before succumbing, and shooting
Amy dead. Poor Amy—she really thought she could rescue him. Her
refusing to leave him was so touching. She trusted in his goodness to the
bitter end, but it wasn't enough to save her. She died, trembling in
It's difficult to know where they'll go
from here. The Doctor's out of action, his companions are either dead or
trapped, and the Alliance is holding strong. But there's a big piece of
the puzzle still missing. Who is piloting the TARDIS?
—The Alliance consisted of Atraxi, Blowfish, Chelonians, Cybermen,
Daleks, Draconians, Drahvins, Hoix, Judoon, Nestene Consciousness,
Roboforms, Silurians, Slitheen family, Sontarans, Commander Stark,
Sycorax, Terileptils, Uvodni, Weevils and Zygons
—The Blowfish and Weevils are from spin-off series Torchwood. The Uvodni are from The Sarah Jane Adventures.
—The Chelonians, to my knowledge, have only ever appeared in written Doctor Who stories.
Some Unanswered Questions:
thought I'd list a few things I'd like to know the answers to. Some may
turn out to be significant, come the finale, some may not -- but here's
what I have:
—What was the significance of future
Rory and future Amy waving at themselves in 'The Hungry Earth?' Were
they just sightseeing, as the Doctor suggested?
did future Doctor go back in time to visit Amy in 'Flesh and Stone'? I
missed this one first time around, but it does seem to be more than a
mere continuity lapse.
—Why did the Doctor go back in time to see young Amy Pond in the episode 'The Eleventh Hour'? Now, this must be important!
—Is Amy really cured? Remember her being taken over by that Angel in 'Flesh and Stone'? Was the Angel in her mind really wiped from time?
—Where's Aunt Sharon? This one's been perplexing me for months now.
—Where is the Dream Lord? In 'Amy's Choice' the Doctor saw his
reflection in the TARDIS' console. Is it his disembodied voice we keep
—In Van Gogh's picture were there two TARDISES or just one?
Doctor: 'People fall out of the world sometimes, but they always leave
traces. Little things we can't quite account for. Faces in photographs,
luggage, half-eaten meals. Rings. Nothing is ever forgotten, not
completely. And if something can be remembered, it can come back.'
River: 'I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.'
Doctor: 'You know how I sometimes have really brilliant ideas?'
Doctor: 'Sorry... Look at me; I'm a target!'
The Doctor: 'Rory, I'm not trying to be rude, but you died.'
Rory: 'Yeah. I know. I was there.'
The Doctor: 'No, please, listen to me. The TARDIS is exploding right now and I'm the only one who can stop it. LISTEN TO ME!'
River Song: 'I'm sorry, my love.'