S5(31)E13 – The Big Bang – Pre-, During and Post-Broadcast Discussion

25th June 2010 • Blog Post by Seb Patrick •

Kicking this one off even earlier, just in case anyone’s got any comments/speculation they’d like to add before tomorrow evening. Remember also that we’ve got an early start tomorrow, with the episode broadcasting at 6.05pm.

But in the meantime… what do you reckon’s going to happen? As ever, actual bona fide spoilers aren’t welcome until after the episode finishes, but feel free to speculate to your hearts’ content. My favourite theory so far is as follows:

We already saw (ep 5) the doctor turn up in consecutive scenes with and without a jacket, and there’s this woman people have been calling ‘doctor’ for some time, locked in the TARDIS as it is being destroyed. I reckon she is going to find a severed limb of the doctor and touch it and for no particular reason this will clone the doctor and make her a Time Lord too and they will swan about and between the three of them stop the TARDIS from being destroyed and stop the universe from being erased.

Wait sorry, now that I’ve written it down I realise this is absolute gibberish.

My other favourite theory is that Steven “Letch” Moffat has written an episode called “The Big Bang” with Karen Gillan in it so that… oh, alright, I’ll stop there.

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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41 Responses

  1. Seb Patrick

    I also have a theory that, based on the ep title, this year’s Big Bad is going to be this guy:

    Bazinga.

  2. Hendiadys

    I’m sticking with the “let’s have a group hug” end to Terrorform meeting the “going back into past events” potential of Back to the Future 2. The episode will be about fixing Amy; those aliens in the cliffhanger are not the real threat. They’re basically jousting Rimmers with oversized hats.

  3. Hendiadys

    Oh – and Auton Tory will be the same as Marvin the Paranoid Android. He will wait for plenty of years, and nobody will thank him.

  4. Hendiadys

    Rory, not Tory. Ducking predictive texting on this phone.

  5. Rosti

    I agree – I’ll be disappointed if it isn’t a Bill & Ted/Curse of Fatal Death “I win so *I* get to go back furthest in time to change events to win” via the medium of Pond’s psyche.

  6. Hendiadys

    We need a Back to the Future vs Bill & Ted debate on this forum at some point. That’s “rewriting history and you could even erase yourself from existence” on the one hand, and “you can only create the history that already existed” on the other. I always saw them as incompatible theories, but this series of Doctor Who seems to be blending them quite happily.

  7. Michael Warren

    ^ Well, that obviously didn’t work.

    Question: If there are no stars, why is there daylight?

  8. Michael Warren

    Ah, that’s why.

    Loved it. Absolutely loved it.

  9. Seb Patrick

    If you didn’t like that, there’s no point in you ever watching Doctor Who ever again.

  10. Hendiadys

    That was brilliant. Did all the expected correct things and more.

    A Moffat finale, ladies and gentlemen.

  11. Ridley

    This week great (last week bit crap). Feztastic.

  12. Hendiadys

    I had a genuine moment of “ah! clever!” when the TARDIS was revealed as old, new, borrowed and blue. Set up very well, that. I do hope this finale is appreciated by the larger public. I can see this wasn’t as mainstream as RTD, and I hope Moffat has the courage to stick with it and not regress in future series.

    On Confidential they’ve just said “the silence” will be in the next series.

  13. VS

    Cracking from start to finish. I also reallly like that unlike previous series some of the plot hasn’t been tied up and will be resolved next year.

  14. I enjoyed that.

    Karen Gillan was as shite as ever (“Weddingah!”), but thankfully overshadowed by Rory, River, Amelia & Matt Smith Smith’s best performance yet but the supervillain team up went for absolutely nothing in the end.

  15. Hendiadys

    Karen Gillan was as shite as ever (“Weddingah!”)

    Well, “as ever” is a bit unkind, I think, but “weddingah” was one moment I nearly mentioned earlier. Quite a shame I think; almost as though that’s what she did at the end of an otherwise perfect take, so they decided to keep it in.

    the supervillain team up went for absolutely nothing in the end.

    And correctly so, I think. I didn’t for one minute think that the threat of those villains was what mattered last week, and was rather pleased with the way the cliffhanger was resolved. I’ll be interested to find out what other people thought though. I suspect GB will reveal that many people didn’t follow what happened. Especially young children. It depends what they perceived the threat to be, I guess, but during today’s episode I heard a child’s voice in my head asking “what’s happening now?” over and over again during the Bill and Ted bits. This is because of the GB forum, where this kind of behaviour is frequently reported by people who apparently don’t like the Moffat/Smith combination very much.

    I was really pleased by the way Moffat was quite happy to brush those villains aside. RTD would have made this finale entirely about them and how the Doctor might maneuver them into the crack. That would have been it.

    I do wonder how often “future Doctor lets himself out of the present predicament” could be called upon as a resolution, though. It’d take out a lot of suspense if this became an accepted part of the Doctor’s process – after all, we always know that the Doctor will win in the end, but this fact can’t end up being what saves him too often. I guess for some people this might be what untied the logic of the episode. What are the rules when the Doctor can take a bit of time out afterwards to ensure the keys are where he needs them?

    And how great was it when he revisited Amy in the woods? I was hoping for it all the way through, and when it came, it fitted perfectly. There he was wearing his jacket, rounding off something I’ve been pondering since episode 5. While he was saying that, though, what did he mean by “remember what I told you when you were seven”? I was hoping that line would feel more precise and complete this time around. Was he referring to what he had yet to say about the “old, new, borrowed and blue” TARDIS”?

  16. ChrisM

    >A Moffat finale, ladies and gentlemen.

    I dunno. I thought the way they brought back the Doctor from the other side of the crack was very RTD. Plant a memory. Remember me. Hey presto! Tardis appears unexploded with the Doctor.

    That was a bad resolution.

    That being said I didn’t dislike the episode overall. I really liked the time stuff and the fact it was integral to the plot of the episode rather than just a way of getting a person to an adventure. That part was very Moffatt.

    There was a lot of dodgy plot stuff in that episode but it was entertaining.

  17. ChrisM

    >what did he mean by “remember what I told you when you were seven”?

    That was part of the resolution to bringing him back. That coupled with the fact she has absorbed crack energy. That quick glimpse of River through the window (how did she remember by the way?) and the blue book (as well as a convenient muttering from Rory, mirroring what The Doctor had said earlier) triggers her memory and somehow allowed her to call the Doctor back.

    If I understand correctly.

  18. Rather fab.

    I love to think that the whole wedding theme running throughout the series must have come from Moffat realising that something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue could refer to the TARDIS.

    Great to see Rory back in the TARDIS – hope he sticks around for the next series too.

    Production: The staircase where the Doctor falls down and dies – is that filmed at the same location as the balcony at the start of Silence In The Library (and end of Forest of the Dead)?

  19. Excellent. That finale alone could single-handedly justify the BBC licence fee. :D

    Fezzes are cool.

    A lovely happy ending for the girl who waited and the boy who waited!

    I rewatched The Eleventh Hour today, and from the way everyone seemed to keep ignoring the stairs up to the top floor, I was convinced the fan theory about Amy’s house turning out to be another TARDIS would be right.

    Steven Moffat’s comment in an interview near the start of the series (in which he was asked about the scale of this year’s finale and replied “It’s dramatic if you’re threatening the universe – it’s equally dramatic if you threaten one person. It has to be huge for the characters“) now seems extremely accurate. He was able to have his cake and eat it – RTD-style epic finale with all the Doctor’s deadliest enemies orbiting the planet last week; tight focus on just the main few characters in a wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey time travel story this week.

    Thought I’d spotted an anachronism: the monitor in the museum where Amy learned about Centurion Rory dragging the Pandorica out of the bombed building was widescreen… but when Amy measures her younger self’s height she estimates it’s 1996! No-prize explanation: it’s a side-effect of the same compression of space and time that resulted in oddities like “Penguins of the Nile”. (Which I confess I didn’t notice in the episode itself; I had to wait for Confidential.)

    Questions:

    Does Rory at the end of the episode remember the 2000 years’ worth of events experienced by Auton-Rory?

    Was it just me, or during the Doctor’s final conversation with River, were there a lot of those weird backwards chiming sound effects – like the ones that indicated a switch between realities in Amy’s Choice? Hmmm…

    In the section of the episode where Amy’s waking up on the morning of her wedding, how can she still have her homemade Raggedy Doctor toys, since at that point the Doctor’s been [*Doc Brown whisper*] erased from existence?

    Nice to see this series’ storylines aren’t quite all wrapped up – looks like we’ll find out why the TARDIS was going to explode in the first place, and what Silence Will Fall really means (since the sound dropping out for a moment before the credits last week, as great as it was, clearly doesn’t count). And along with all the other mysteries about River, how did she know to turn up at the wedding during that same brief part of the episode where the Doctor was really Gone Gone from the universe?

    Was it the Cracks that were responsible for history not reporting The Next Doctor’s Victorian Cyberman, and Amy not remembering the Daleks’ invasion in The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End? If so, what other events from the Doctor’s previous regenerations are gone from history?

    Who knows, maybe next series will finally answer the most important question of all: the mystery of the duck pond with no ducks!

  20. ChrisM

    In the section of the episode where Amy’s waking up on the morning of her wedding, how can she still have her homemade Raggedy Doctor toys, since at that point the Doctor’s been [*Doc Brown whisper*] erased from existence?

    Part of her still remembers him, he just exists for her as an imaginary friend in this timeline. Remember at the end when regains her memory properly and her friends’ relations start saying “no that again…” It seems she was even taken to psychiatrists in this reality, like the other.

    Was it the Cracks that were responsible for history not reporting The Next Doctor’s Victorian Cyberman, and Amy not remembering the Daleks’ invasion in The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End?

    I think that’s what they were suggesting.

    If so, what other events from the Doctor’s previous regenerations are gone from history?

    Due to the Pandorica fix, presumably none of them now. I’m not sure I buy the idea that there’d be that amount of energy in the Pandorica to do that (and incidentally since The Doctor was using the time vortex thing to move the Pandorica, shouldn’t that have caused it to vanish/reappear rather than fly?) but I guess the logic is that it fixes the cracks at source before they spread. I actually don’t mind that fix. I wish the Doctor’s come-back had made more sense though.

  21. ChrisM

    Who knows, maybe next series will finally answer the most important question of all: the mystery of the duck pond with no ducks!

    I thought they were gone for the same reason other things vanished. The time crack’s energy ‘unexisted’ them. Although why it didn’t gobble up the redhead in the very room the crack existed beats me.

  22. Was it just me, or during the Doctor’s final conversation with River, were there a lot of those weird backwards chiming sound effects – like the ones that indicated a switch between realities in Amy’s Choice? Hmmm…

    It was just you. There weren’t chimes in Amy’s Choice – there was birdsong.

  23. Hendiadys

    >what did he mean by “remember what I told you when you were seven”?

    That was part of the resolution to bringing him back. That coupled with the fact she has absorbed crack energy. That quick glimpse of River through the window (how did she remember by the way?) and the blue book (as well as a convenient muttering from Rory, mirroring what The Doctor had said earlier) triggers her memory and somehow allowed her to call the Doctor back.

    If I understand correctly.

    Yes, that’s the way I see it. Not even that Amy had absorbed the crack energy, necessarily, though that does take away the feeling that it was “just” Amy “magicking him back by remembering him”. Personally I’m not fussed if it was entirely her memory bringing him back.

    All the seeds were sewn throughout the series. If we like, we can say the crack is something that wipes people and things from existence UNLESS THERE IS AN ANOMALY WHEREBY THOSE PEOPLE/THINGS ARE REMEMBERED. It really isn’t that difficult to appreciate that in the event of somebody being remembered, they cease to have been fully wiped from existence. Then the interesting stuff comes in the degrees to which reality becomes governed by memory or imagination. Moffat managed to pay-off everything in the series without resorting to the psychic pollen or whatever. I was especially pleased with the way the imaginary friend stuff remained relevant; it’s been one of my favourite aspects of the relationship between the Doctor and Amy so far.

    What was especially interesting in narrative terms was that the Doctor was telling Amy to remember what he said when she was seven before he’d settled her to bed and said it. From his point of view, I mean. I was expecting us to see that scene in the woods knowing what he’d said this time, but it was far more interesting than that. Hence my original question (as I thought I might have missed a conversation in the museum) of ‘what did he mean by “remember what I told you when you were seven”?’

    I’ve also enjoyed the “fairy tale” Pan’s Labyrinth visual style of this series. I hope it hasn’t just been something that would disappear with the resolution of this arc. Or if it is, I hope they have something just as good up their sleeve for the next series. It’s just fitted really well.

    Rumour has it the Christmas Special will remind us of Indiana Jones. It sounds perfect when you think about it. I think “Orient Express” is what we’ll get, but I hope the “in space” line was a joke. I’m sure Moffat won’t give us “Titanic Part 2” in any case.

  24. Rumour has it the Christmas Special will remind us of Indiana Jones.

    That’s odd. “The Pandorica Opens” reminded me of Indiana Jones at several points. Which was intentional, I know. But still.

  25. Hendiadys

    Sorry I can’t remember where I picked up that rumour – but that’s all it is I guess. It was mentioned sometime before the Pandorica Opens was shown. I can’t remember whether it was mentioned in an interview with production people, or just on a forum by wildly speculating fans. Maybe some people were just trying to imagine what they’d most like to see on Christmas Day, and Indiana Jones seemed like a nice alternative to specials actually being set at Christmas.

    There are a finite number of styles one can aim for before obvious contrivances occur though, and I’d be quite happy for Moffat/Smith to use “Indiana Jones” every now and then, just as Pertwee had his James Bond moments and Tom Baker had his gothic horror. It might not fit the “Pan’s Labyrinth” motif of the series (if, indeed, this is due to continue into series 6 – I hope it is), but for a Christmas Special Indiana Jones and the Orient Express (Not In Space) would be fucking ace.

  26. If anyone hasn’t seen it yet, here’s Matt Smith + Orbital at Glastonbury.

    Meanwhile, in another parallel universe, good ol’ Larry’s most recent rant has him fretting that he might be the one responsible for making Doctor Who “more more awful than at any point in its prior history”, because he wrote the book (Alien Bodies) that caused Steven Moffat to start fetishising the Doctor. Ohhhh kaaaaaay…

  27. “I hate the show…and it was pretty much my idea.” Isn’t he special?

  28. Seb Patrick

    I’d actually softened in my attitude towards Miles recently, after re-reading some of his early stuff from the RTD era and realising that when he wanted to, he could have a point. And I respected the fact that he’d apparently realised that commenting on the Moffat era, with his personal history, would be futile. And his “farewell” post (at the bottom of the sidebar) was actually well-reasoned and funny.

    But that post can just fuck off and die – he’s actually now ascribing things to the show that AREN’T ACTUALLY THERE. And it’s the same with his ludicrous comments about Neil Gaiman.

  29. Hendiadys

    “I didn’t bother watching the second part of the episode” means he can fuck off doubly. I just wish he didn’t have an opinion on things than say such crap and then undeservedly get so much attention.

  30. Karl

    Well I laughed and I cried, several times over. I don’t really care if it all makes sense, it felt right and it had so, so much heart.

  31. I like how he didn’t understand the Doc’s big “Let someone else try first” speech. That a) it didn’t actually drive the ships away, and b) the 12th episode’s climax is making the exact same point he is.

  32. si

    I haven’t been around the laptop for a while, so haven’t been able to chance upon URP! all week, but if *anyone* ever calls Karen Gillan shite again, I’ll ban them from the internet.

  33. Hendiadys

    Watched this again last night. The last bits of music (I think from River Song outside the TARDIS onwards) reminded me at times of the music towards the end of The Dark Knight. I can’t quite put a finger on it – it might be something like a frenetic quality just as things seem to be winding down – but there’s something specific about it too.

  34. Jonathan Capps

    Murray Gold’s been plunder the Lost Music mine lots recently, but it’s still not quite as blatant as when he out-right stole the music from Firefly.

  35. Hendiadys

    The Doctor Who Podcast (.com) observed that Murray Gold is no John Williams in their Pandorica Opens episode.

    I actually don’t mind him at all when I don’t notice him – like any special effect really. When necessary, he pulls out some good minimal efforts. I’d rather have him with his range, even when he comes across as Hollywood Pastiche, than have the ground covered by a variety of different composers that eat up more of the limited budget.

    Some of the musical themes for this series have been exquisite, I think. I love the one that accompanied the Doctor’s first view of the TARDIS. When it was used as straightforward background music in the latest Adventure Game, I realised how attached to it I’d become, because I didn’t like it just being thrown about.

    The “time rewinding / Amy remembering” music was pretty great too, I thought.

  36. Seb Patrick

    The Doctor Who Podcast (.com) observed that Murray Gold is no John Williams

    Isn’t that a bit like saying that, say, Toby Haynes is no Christopher Nolan? Bit of a pointless comparison to take somebody working in British TV and compare them to one of the best of the best in Hollywood cinema.

  37. Hendiadys

    Sorry not to be clear. It’s because on Confidential they showed a clip of the scene where the characters first discover the Pandorica, upon which a piece of Indiana Jones score had been overlaid. Apparently this had been done during the post-production process, before Murray Gold had composed for it, so everyone would know what kind of atmosphere they were kind of aiming for.

    The podcast people just played that clip from Confidential, and then the corresponding clip, with Murray Gold’s music, from the episode. I don’t think the comparison is useful otherwise, and I’m still not sure to what extent Murray Gold was himself seeking to evoke the Williams piece.

  38. >if *anyone* ever calls Karen Gillan shite again, I’ll ban them from the internet.

    She’s shite.

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