Doctor Who: Review supplemental on The Pandorica Opens
|REVIEWS - DOCTOR WHO|
Even a Doctor needs a second opinion, and here's ours on the Doctor Who season finale opener...
JONATHAN COOPER REVIEWS 'THE PANDORICA OPENS'
Let me tell you a story.
I work in a pub. Truth be told, I’m the assistant manager. I only do this whole Doctor Who internet reviewing thing for the chicks, after all. Anyhoo, it’s my manager’s birthday on Tuesday, so it turns out I’ll have to miss Who while he pops out on Saturday for a few jars and I run the joint. No problem, I think to myself. I’ll watch it when I get back. I have BBC iPlayer, after all.
I never said it’d be an interesting story.
So I finished my shift. Did the tills, chucked the regulars out. Locked up. Headed back home with anticipation in my heart and beer in my knapsack. It was the first part of a series finale, and seeing as I’m not on until 10:30 tomorrow, good times, Kronenbourg, and my favourite TV show did a’beckon. I sat back, cracked open a can, and pressed the online white triangle of the BBC’s Online White Triangle Of Entertainment™.
And I watched. For ten tense and highly excitable minutes, I watched.
And my God, was I loving it! I’d just got to the point where a Cyber-head sprouts tentacles. It was the moment of classic Cyberman bodyhorror I’d been wanting from those Mondasian malcontents for, ooh, say twenty years? When my phone rang. I got a call.
My dipshit, drunken, birthday-celebrating boss has only gone and locked himself out of the pub he lives in. And I’m the only other fucker with keys.
Cue a trudge back to work.
Hatred and slaughter are quite powerful words, I think, but in certain circumstances, they’re also the only ones you can really use.
"Surely The Pandorica Opens was worth the highs and lows of nearly fifty years of a TV series, just for the wait of a week"
But hey, when I got back from giving my dipshit, drunken, birthday-celebrating boss the keys, Flash had crashed on my browser and I had to watch the whole thing from the start again. So I reckon I’ll forgive him. That was twenty minutes of walking where I haven’t been so excited to get back home, to revel in that glorious childhood anticipation of what happens next. And when I found out what happened next, well... I fell in love with Doctor Who again.
To be honest, it’d be easier and quicker to list the things that were wrong with The Pandorica Opens than it would be to list the things that were awesome about it. So here goes on the wrong points:
1. I wasn’t sure about Amy’s orange nail polish.
2. There’s a Comments Box below; feel free to point out you disagree,
3. Don’t expect me to agree with you.
Ever since Tennant took over, I’ve always wanted to see Moffat write a season finale. RTD’s finales were OK, don’t get me wrong, but he always seemed to write them in a style that would allow DT to put on his SERIOUS ACTING FACE. “OK,” DT would say to himself, “I’m in a serious position. Daleks and Cybermen are scrapping at Canary Wharf, and I’m about to lose the companion that I and/or Russell are sorta in love with, in as much as we can be. Better break out the SERIOUS ACTING FACE.” And I never quite bought it. I liked it, don’t get me wrong, but mainly because it was Who, and I liked the new direction it faced. I just never quite believed it.
But this, my friends, in my humble, geek and canon-soaked opinion, this is the Who that we wanted. And if I had to wait five years since RTD took his brave and brilliant helm on the series, if I had to wait since ’96 from the TV movie, or from ’89 since the hiatus, or, fuck, let’s go for it, since 1963... damn! Surely The Pandorica Opens was worth the highs and lows of nearly fifty years of a TV series, just for the wait of a week.
"I’ve never looked forward to the end of the universe this much"
In the first four (count ‘em – four!) minutes we went from 19th Century Paris to a seedy bar in 5145 AD, following the trail of Van Gogh, Churchill, the new Romana (let’s face it, she is), and a Queen we kinda wish we might have, at some point, if we’re lucky. I was struck by the fact that this is what Who should be all about. Crazy, improbable and beautiful – exactly, I hasten to say, what I'd look for in my perfect woman. All this before the credits roll.
Then the credits rolled.
I could bang on a helluva lot about uniformly great performances, great design, great effects, a great bit of lighting in scene 47-A... but what’s the point? Let’s give the credit where it’s due. Moffatt. Stephen J.S. Ice-Skatin’ Moffatt. You’re a star and a little bit wonderful. It’s telling that Robert Holmes, who (as one of the greatest writers of the classic era) turned down writing The Five Doctors because he wasn’t sure how he could cram quite as many classic beasties into a single story, has been trumped by Stephen J.S. Ice-Skatin’ Moffatt. Daleks! Cybermen! Sontarans... and Autons! Proper Autons! All together! And then the narrative switcheroo! This confederacy of the Old-Skool has banded together to save the universe from The Doctor... hell, it blew my little fanboy mind.
There are Golden Ages and there are Great Ages, my friends. And to wait this one small week is, I think, just a small price to wait for something that might be just a little bit special. If only we could all find a small crack in time, somewhere, somehow, only so we could erase our minds and watch it for the first time again.
I’ve never looked forward to the end of the universe this much.
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