So, a very, very, very long time ago, there was this massive explosion. It’s just a cosmological theory, but it’s also been accepted as fact. Our universe was so incredibly hot and dense for a finite time, and it just exploded and expanded and it was bigger than anything ever, because it is everything and it’s always expanding and cooling…
…and it happened. How do we know? Because you’re sitting there, right there, right now, in your comfy chair, or on your couch, or perhaps laying in bed, or wherever or however you read your friendly neighborhood Counterforce. Well, or so we think. It sounds nice. Exploding into being, from essence to existence by way of KA-BOOM! That sounds good, right? But this thing, which we can call “Event One,” it happened, and because of it, the universe as we know it was created.
And then something happened. A serious of events that lead to the total and utter collapse of the universe and all reality. Well, they didn’t just collapse, but they began a severe process of collapsing. But the universe is big and vast and this took a little bit of time. How long? Well, roughly 2,000 years in theoretical time, but in subjective time, about 45 minutes or so.
And all of that happened, and then happened again in tonight’s season finale of Doctor Who’s fifth series, “The Big Bang.” Following last week’s ridiculously intense episode, the universe collapsed, or rather, began the process of collapsing until there was a second big bang, and everything was re-created again.
I’ve watched this episode twice now since it aired (in England)(I guess it’ll air here stateside in a few weeks), and it’s nothing short of stunning. People tend to complain that Moffat is “too clever” or “too complicated” or “too smart” and they express desire to see the emotional wringing of RTD again and I think you got both of those modes here, the best of both worlds.
The best of both multiverses, really.
The universe ended, or is in the process of ending. The Doctor and his fez and the vortex manipulator (the same device that Captain jack and the other time agents had). The Blinovitch Limitation Effect in action. Only, not really. Amy in the Pandorica and Rory taking the lone path as her protector, “the lone centurion.” A world without stars…
…and Richard Dawson and his star cult (one of my favorite bits)(don’t forget that Dawson was in “Journey’s End” talking about the stars). The creepy museum at the end of the universe. Stone Daleks. A peek into the hidden workings of River Song? The girl who waited. The boy who waited. The girl who doesn’t make sense. And Big Bang Two!
The Doctor pilots the Pandorica into the exploding, burning TARDIS and then travels back through his own timestream as he’s slowly erased from the universe, revisiting moments from this past season (solving the jacketed Doctor question from “Flesh And Stone“), but only in audio visitations (makes even more sense why Amy’s eyes had to be closed then), and then he goes and visits young Amy as she waits in her garden for the Doctor to return way back in “The Eleventh Hour,” only this time he does…
And he tucks her into bed and tells her a bedtime story in an extremely touching moment: The story of him. And her. And their travels through time and space. And if something can be remembered, then it can come back. Time can be rewritten!
And rewritten, it is. The story changes and Amy Pond finds her parents are alive again. Rory and her get married and in a very RTD-esque moment, she recieves a gift from a mysterious woman passing by (River Song), and its’ a book. A familiar looking book, one that used to be filled with spoilers, but only now the pages are blank. And Amy gets up and tells a story to everyone at the reception. And her words bring her imaginary friend from childhood back, the Raggedy Doctor.
All in all, it was a tense, clever, emotional hour. It was full of ridiculous moments and leaps of imagination and silly superpsuedoscience, but that’s what Doctor Who is about. That and, of course, so much more.
Matt Smith, I think it’s fair to say, is now fully the Doctor, an old man in a young man’s confused, out of place body. Amy Pond is the perfect companion, hilariously odd in places but always retaining an amazing sense of sexy. And Rory’s grown on me, as well. And I really liked young Caitlin Blackwood’s performance as young Amelia, the little girl who made no sense and believed in fairy tales. How fitting was it that she’s Karen Gillan’s cousin?
I’ve had some issues with this series, and I think a lot it has been everything in the middle. Everything Moffat has been perfect, but the other writers haven’t necessarily been able to keep up, to keep the stakes as high, the stories as clever. But I liked that we didn’t get an ultimate “big bad” just yet, that a lot of the questions and mysterious weren’t answered/addressed. We don’t know why the TARDIS exploded yet, or at who’s whim, whoever it was that was so keen on the idea that “Silence will fall.”
Nor do we know why/how Matt Smith could be/is dating Gavin Rossdale’s daughter and British model du jour Daisy Lowe. And we don’t know why they picked Amy and Rory’s wedding day to do it, or why there are no ducks in that duck pond in Leadworth (if that matters) or why does Amy Pond have a staircase in her house that goes nowhere, but I like that it gives us purpose going into the next series.
Nor did we get any definitive answers on River Song, though the Doctor’s unintended and comic proposal was lovely (is she a future version of the Doctor himself? Another Time Lord/Lady in hiding? Someone he used to know like Captain Jack?). But just like Molly Bloom, and just as exciting and confounding and mysterious and simple and wonderful as Molly Bloom, she said yes…
Next time: Well, the next time is a long, long time away, and we’ll have to wait til Christmas to see more of the Doctor, Amy, and Rory, but if that phone call at the end is any indication, then they’re going called by royalty to come deal with an Egyptian Goddess set loose on the Orient Express in space, and that’s a hell of a honeymoon, right? Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a time machine to go there now, but it’ll be worth the wait, right? And until then, this will have to be goodbye…