S5(31)E12 – The Pandorica Opens – Broadcast Discussion

19th June 2010 • Blog Post by Seb Patrick •

In a change from our usual way of doing things, we’re opening this one an hour before the episode – because we’re sure you’re all BURSTING WITH EXCITEMENT about the beginning of a Moffat series finale that promises to be ABSOLUTELY STONKING EXCELLENT, ACTUALLY. So if you can’t hold your excitement, talk here NOW about what you’re expecting from the ep – and of course, it’ll be here as ever immediately during/and after to catch all of your thoughts, ready to bottle up and sell to the highest bidder.

Please note, though – while speculation in the hour leading up to the episode is fine, please do not post any spoilers pertaining to things that may or may not have been seen on the internet in the past week. Anything mentioned in official BBC promo = fine. Leaked pictures from Pete McKinstry’s site or anything else you’ve found on Gallifrey Base = ABSOLUTELY NOT FINE. Otherwise, go nuts.

(And once the episode has aired, of course, you can discuss details here to your heart’s content, as usual)

Seb Patrick once met Paul McGann, who immediately pretended to be Mark McGann. He writes for Den of Geek, BBC America, Film4 and the official Red Dwarf website, among others. He owns over thirty toy Daleks and wishes the Dapol factory tour was still open.

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34 Responses

  1. Jonathan Capps

    OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG i’ve just stubbed my toe.

    Looking forward to Doctor Who, though!

  2. Seb Patrick

    Well.

    Well.

    Just….

    well.

  3. Michael Warren

    That was bloody good. Only gripe – the Cyberman bit in the middle was entirely superfluous and a bit rubbish.

    Rory returning was a fantastic shock, as was the revelation that he was one of the duplicates too. The Autons appearing was nice, as was the idea of the alliance.

    Who is speaking in the TARDIS? Is that person the one controlling the TARDIS, and why? How will the Doctor escape? What role will Amy play? And why isn’t it next week yet?!

  4. Jonathan Capps

    > That was bloody good. Only gripe – the Cyberman bit in the middle was entirely superfluous and a bit rubbish.

    Oh, I loved that. Especially the implication that they’re more than a brain in a robotic body, which is what the RTD would have us believe.

    I’m reviewing this, so I’ll save my thoughts for then, but for 45 minutes that was 100% cast iron brilliant, but after that my head gets a little fuzzy and I can’t work out how to process it. I *think* it might’ve been a bit much but I fully enjoyed every second.

  5. Yeah I loved the Cyberman bit too. Particularly the tentacled head which was very reminiscent of the Thing. Genuinely scarry Who is always good.

  6. Seb Patrick

    He turned the Cyber-robots into proper Cybermen. How could you not love that sequence?

    Yes, it was entirely superfluous to the plot, but it was brilliantly done.

    I’m just in awe. The Doctor being put into the box was predictable even without the spoilers, but everything else, just… best cliffhanger ever. By miles.

  7. Jonathan Capps

    I’m not sure if it was just my ears playing up, but did the incidental music just get cut dead a few seconds before the credits rolled? Lovely touch, if so.

  8. Seb Patrick

    It did. Silence fell.

    Perfect example of just how exquisitely constructed and executed it all was.

  9. > The Doctor being put into the box was predictable even without the spoilers

    I’m sure you only make statements like this to make me feel inferior.

  10. ChrisM

    I liked it a lot. I loved how they tied together characters from various episodes at the start, jumping around through history… . And they used a Hitchiker’s Guide gag too with the big writing on the cliff-face! (I wonder if that was intentional or just a coincidence?)

    And a nice twist at the end, although I guessed the identity of the most dangerous being in the universe. Except I thought it might be a future (or rather possible future) insane version. I didn’t expect quite what we got.

    And yeah, I loved the cyberman sequence. I particularly like the advancements they’ve made with their auto-assimilation and autonomous parts. (Or maybe these were the mondasian versions? I guess it doesn’t really matter… but I’d like to know.)

  11. I’ve spent all afternoon trying to work out why the sound the mechanical Cyberman head makes is so bloody familiar. Then it occurred to me – it’s the “laughing” sound the Skutter made when Rimmer’s photo went from LEVEL to NOT LEVEL in “Back to Earth”.

  12. I loved the pre-titles sequence. Then I felt like I was watching David Banks in The Ultimate Adventure. Am I really the only one who feels this year has lacked substance? We’ve had plenty of style, but very little weight.

    I like everything River did and the cyberhead attack was good. The use of the word assimilation was probably not wise though.

    I like the Pandorica as a cell, but the Batman TV series style villain team up can fuck the fuck off.

    Can Amy please stay dead?

  13. ChrisM

    “The use of the word assimilation was probably not wise though.”

    To be fair the Cybermen used the phrase “You will be assimilated” (I think they even followed up with ‘resistance is futile’ too.) long before the Borg were even a spark in the Star Trek writers’ eye(s). That being said, your point stands as many people wouldn’t know that, and the Cybermen haven’t said it a quarter as much as the Borg.

    Actually I believe it was one of those old Doctor Who made for TV films, so I guess it’s arguable how (do I dare use that overused word?) canon (ugh!) that was in relation to the series.

  14. The Flatmate of the Site

    >old Doctor Who made for TV films

    ?

  15. Can Amy please stay dead?

    Fuck off. Fuck fucking off.

  16. I was particularly tickled by the skull in the Cyberman’s head, and Amy deserves to stay for her reaction alone.

  17. Andy M

    Small fanboy whinge that we were promised a long list of old monsters but apparently only the new series ones were invited to beam down for the party. I was hoping for an out-of-focus Zygon in the background or something. Looked pretty cramped, maybe it was one-in-one-out by the time they got there.

    On the whole though, lovely stuff.

  18. >maybe it was one-in-one-out by the time they got there.

    And the New Series monsters greedily all turned up in threes.

  19. Jonathan Capps

    Fuck off. Fuck fucking off.

    Now, now, let’s play nice.

  20. >To be fair the Cybermen used the phrase “You will be assimilated” (I think they even followed up with ‘resistance is futile’ too.) long before the Borg were even a spark in the Star Trek writers’ eye(s).

    I don’t think they did. They said things like “You…Will…Bee…Like…Uzzz”

    >Fuck off. Fuck fucking off.

    No.

  21. ChrisM

    >I don’t think they did. They said things like “You…Will…Bee…Like…Uzzz”

    They probably said that too, but I’m sure I heard them say it. Honestly. It might have been just the once.

    >>old Doctor Who made for TV films

    >?

    If that means “Which one?” then my answer is “I can’t remember.” I didn’t see it all the way through, and I might have been wrong. It might have been a conventional episode.

    I do remember a plot with cybermen invading earth and turning other people into them too. I have vague recollection of a bunch of slaves, humans with implants I believe, but I’m not 100% certain on that.

  22. Seb Patrick

    It meant “which one?” in the sense that… well, there aren’t any.

    The only Doctor Who cinematic movies are the two Peter Cushing ones, which are both about the Daleks. The only “made for TV movie” is the 1996 McGann one, which is about the Master.

    If you’ve seen Cybermen on the telly, then it was just a standard story. Unless they weren’t Cybermen!

  23. Does The Five Doctors count as a “made for TV movie”?

  24. >Does The Five Doctors count as a “made for TV movie”?

    Yeah, why not?

    I suppose it’s possible that Chrism is referring to the omnibus repeat versions of Earthshock or Silver Nemesis. Although I’m pretty sure neither of which contain the word assimilation.

    >I didn’t see it all the way through, and I might have been wrong. It might have been a conventional episode.

    It was, then.

    >I do remember a plot with cybermen invading earth and turning other people into them too. I have vague recollection of a bunch of slaves, humans with implants I believe, but I’m not 100% certain on that.

    Attack Of The Cybermen?

  25. Hendiadys

    This is a bit of a DoctorDwarf moment, but I think this series’ resolution will have more in common with the end of Terrorform than any of the suggestions being bandied around by Gallifrey Base. People are talking about how Rory might have been an Auton all along, wondering how they got into Amy’s house to create those Romans, and why the Silurians would have time travel capabilities, but I can’t believe that Moffat would suddenly make this series about all the various aliens that hate the Doctor.

    I reckon that we’ll get a pay-off to the “imaginary friend” concept of the Doctor, and the fragile sense of reality presented through the Dream Lord, but I don’t think Moffat will give us an “it was all a dream” or “it’s in their minds” ending. But we certainly know the problem facing the characters isn’t merely a series of enemies wanting to kill them. RTD would have them and their scheme be at the centre of all this. I’m so much more excited about this story because the set-up has been so intriguing during the arc, and also because we don’t yet have a formula for how Moffat “does” finales.

    My feeling – clearly fed by these forums – is that this will all be about “fixing” Amy, by going back in time and making her go through the processes of remembering. Everyone saying that the young Amelia heard the TARDIS returning were right, as were those who spotted that the Doctor was suddenly wearing a jacket when he came back to Amy in the woods.

    And also: all the aliens in the Pandorica Opens are but jousting Rimmers with silly hats.

  26. Hendiadys

    I wish there were some old Doctor Who made-for-TV films discovered that for some reason we never knew existed. Ones from the 1970s would be brill – big budget Bond style action for Pertwee, and gothic horror for Tom Baker. Somebody find these hidden gems plz!

  27. Andy M

    Greedy McGann stealing all the TVM action. MOAR TOM!

  28. Hendiadys

    Worth pointing out that these unknown TVMs are unknown because people just never knew about them. Not because they were so poor that people want to forget about them. They were on TV when nobody saw them, and the BBC never knew nobody saw them. They also never repeated them, and they’ve never been released on home video. Quite straightforward really. And all the people involved with making them aren’t aware that nobody saw them or that they’re not available, so they never talk about them. Simple as all this.

    So please somebody just stroll into the BBC archives and discover them, that’s all that’s needed for moar Tom and hopefully moar Jon too.

  29. Hendiadys

    That’s supposed to have the tone of being absurdly optimistic about the scenario coming into being. Reading it back in the slightly unpleasant heat of this room, it seems like I’m being needlessly abrasive about how unlikely it is. Sorry if it seems that way. Trying to be funny on the internet isn’t always a good idea.

  30. Andy M

    I demand the immediate Blu-Ray release of ‘Doctor Who Meets Scratchman’. We know you’re hiding it Thomo.

  31. Hendiadys

    Also, when are we going to see the real Beatles reunion that happened in the 1970s? You know – that time they became companions to Pertwee’s Doctor in the wondrously surreal but dark sequel to Carnival of Monsters called “Bigger than Jesus on the Inside”.

  32. ChrisM

    The only Doctor Who cinematic movies are the two Peter Cushing ones, which are both about the Daleks.

    Ah okay. I was thinking of those. I didn’t realise they actually hit the cinema (not that I’m all that surprised).

    If you’ve seen Cybermen on the telly, then it was just a standard story. Unless they weren’t Cybermen!

    Fair enough, I haven’t watched all that old Who. I’m sure it was cybermen, but it had a very epic feel (although that might be unclear hindsight talking.), hence the reason I thought it was a film, albeit a low budget one.

  33. ChrisM

    Messed up my blockquotes there. Never mind. I wasn’t arguing by the way, in case it came across like that. I bow to the greater knowledge-base. Just explaining the reason for my errant supposition.

    ‘Errant supposition.’ Wow. Where did that come from? I don’t normally talk like that…

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