Doctor Who 32.12,13 The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang (2010, Science Fiction Adventure) – 7/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Matt Smith: The Doctor
Karen Gillan: Amy Pond
Writer: Steven Moffat
Producer: Peter Bennett
Director: Toby Haynes
Alex Kingston: River Song
Arthur Darvill: Rory Williams
Executive Producer: Steven Moffat
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Daleks: Terry Nation

Doctor Who 32.12,13 Pandorica Opens, The / Big Bang, The (2010)

The Doctor gets a message through time via a Van Gogh painting. It leads to the Pandorica, a presumed-mythical box containing the most dangerous and deadly weapon in the universe. When the Doctor arrives, it starts to open.

7/10

While I’m convinced that I could not explain the plot to anyone if my life depended on it, fact is, this double-episode season finalĂ© works and connects emotionally. It’s fun, exciting and involving and, as the Doctor, Matt Smith continues to be brilliant. He doesn’t switch crunchingly between serious Doctor and jolly Doctor, as the Tenth David Tennant did, but allows each to bleed into the other. He also carries off a bow-tie and a fez. On him, they are cool. Overall, this has been a stonking series that has consistently entertained and thrilled. There’s always been enough lore to keep fan fires stoked and speculation rampant but most of the episodes have also connected on a more primeval level and it is this that makes good episodes great.

This Doctor Who episode contains mild adult dialogue and references and violence, unpleasant scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Doctor Who 32.08,09 The Hungry Earth / Cold Blood (2010, Science Fiction Adventure) – 6/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Matt Smith: The Doctor
Karen Gillan: Amy Pond
Writer: Chris Chibnall
Producer: Peter Bennett
Director: Ashley Way

Doctor Who 32.08,09 Hungry Earth, The / Cold Blood (2010)

After a science project hits the milestone of drilling 21 kilometres into the Earth, the Doctor, Amy and Rory arrive just as the Earth fights back.

6/10

Seemingly not really knowing what to do with the characters (though Amy does get a fun "did you just shush me?" moment), writer Chris Chibnall delivers an inconsistent double-episode where he keeps pulling things out of thin air to help the plot along and yet another end-of-the-world situation. When will writers realise that end-of-the-world drama generally isn’t dramatic at all. While harder, it is always much more interesting to focus on smaller problems. How do we get out of this locked room is always more involving for an audience than how do we save the world. However, there is an interesting backbone as the Doctor demands his cast members ‘be the best that humanity can be,’ and has to cope with his crushing disappointment when they don’t. Matt Smith takes the challenges of the script and makes them work while the homo-reptilians look great and the climax points to an intriguing season end in a couple of episodes time.

This Doctor Who episode contains extremely unpleasant scenes, fantasy violence.

 

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Links

Doctor Who 32.03 Victory of the Daleks (2010, Science Fiction Adventure) – 6/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Matt Smith: The Doctor
Karen Gillan: Amy Pond
Writer: Mark Gatiss
Producer: Peter Bennett
Director: Andrew Gunn
Ian McNeice: Churchill
Creator Daleks: Terry Nation
Executive Producer: Steven Moffat

Doctor Who 32.03 Victory of the Daleks (2010)

A call from Winston Churchill brings the Doctor and Amy to World War II London but he has a shock in store when he unveils his secret weapon: a Dalek.

6/10

It’s fun to see a Dalek wearing a Union Flag and fighting alongside Winston Churchill in World War II and Matt Smith again manages to segue between fun and fury far more neatly than David Tennant ever did (and he wields a mean jammy-dodger) but Mark Gatiss’ script is largely unconvincing. Essentially, the Doctor keeps asking the Daleks what the plot is and they keep telling him. It builds to a typically weighty moral dilemma (save the Earth or save the rest of the Universe) but it has no impact and no emotional resonance.

This Doctor Who episode contains bad language and unpleasant scenes, violence.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Links

Doctor Who 32.02 The Beast Below (2010, Science Fiction Adventure) – 9/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Matt Smith: The Doctor
Karen Gillan: Amy Pond
Writer: Steven Moffat
Producer: Peter Bennett
Director: Andrew Gunn
Sophie Okonedo: Liz 10
Executive Producer: Steven Moffat

Doctor Who 32.02 Beast Below, The (2010)

Over 1,000 years in the future, the entire UK has had to construct and board a giant spaceship to leave Earth and find a new home. The Doctor and Amy Pond visit but the Doctor is intrigued by a silently crying child and something that isn’t happening when he puts a glass of water on the floor.

9/10

This is a thrilling, imaginative, visually striking and, critically, tremendously fun adventure for The Doctor. Writer Steven Moffat continually subverts the audience in a way that is enticing and delightful (with the exception of a maguffin video message from Amy Pond) and Matt Smith absolutely knocks the Doctor out of the park. So far, he is managing, better than David Tennant before him, to balance the jolly adventuring with the heavy emotional baggage ("Just me now. Bad day.") and resigned almost-rage at having to always make tremendously difficult decisions. Tennant always flipped a switch between the two and his jolly Doctor and action Doctor always felt like two separate people. Matt Smith is successfully keeping both in the same character. Director Andrew Gunn also does a good job and supplies a striking visual of The Doctor holding Amy Pond by the foot floating outside the TARDIS.

This Doctor Who episode contains mild unpleasant and scary scenes.

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