‘Doctor Who’ blogging: “The Pandorica Opens”

(all spoilers! don’t read till you’ve seen the episode! this is a love fest only — all complaints and bitching must come from a place of love / previous: “The Lodger”)
I knew it. I frakkin’ knew it.

I will admit that I didn’t see the whole “the Doctor’s not in there yet, the monsters are about to imprison him in it” thing about the Pandorica till the last moment, which was awesome, both the twist itself and the fact that I didn’t see it coming. But still: I knew it.

And yet I hope I’m still wrong about this whole season being totally in the Doctor’s head. Because if that’s not what’s going on, it’s going to be even so much cooler than that. It’ll be interesting if I’m right, but I don’t care whether I’m right or wrong as long as it’s cool. And as long as it’s honest about the Doctor’s character.

But it looks like that is what’s going on, and it looks like it might be honest to the Doctor’s character, at least as I’ve been thinking about him since New Who began. And some of the things I’ve been thinking are:

1) The Doctor doesn’t really know himself as well as he might, considering how old he is.

This episode is positively chock full of him saying things about whatever is in the Pandorica that, to our ears, sound like absolutely spot-on descriptions of the Doctor himself: a “goblin or a trickster or a warrior, a nameless terrible thing soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies, the most feared being in all the cosmos.” And “If the Pandorica is here, it contains the mightiest warrior in history.” How can he have lived the life he has lived without seeing himself in that? Or, conversely, perhaps he’s all too aware of himself as the most feared being in the cosmos but is trying to deny it to himself.

There is this, however: Not knowing who he is has always been a part of regeneration, the having to rediscover himself, so the sense that he’s been even less self-aware than you’d expect this season could be a hint that this is all a regeneration crisis. Or maybe not even a crisis per se, just a metaphoric, dreamlike illustration of what he goes through each time he regenerates.

2) The Doctor doesn’t really appreciate how others see him.

If this is all a dream, that means Amy may be invented too (see below). And if he doesn’t understand the awe in which we mere mortals hold him, that could explain why Amy seems so blase about the wonders he’s showing her: because they’re not quite as wondrous to him as they are to us. And of course his own life is not as wondrous to him as it seems to us.

And: “Think of the fear that went in to making this box… What could inspire that level of fear? Hello, you. Have we met?” Hello, you, Doctor. Have you met yourself?

3) The Doctor hates himself, especially after the horrors of the Time War, and now after losing everyone who has recently been important to him (Rose, Donna). And he think himself a monster, after all the terrible things he has done (even if they might have been in a good cause).

All his enemies, everyone who hates him for what he’s done to them, coming together to stop him from destroying the universe… it’s like all of his fears about himself coming to the fore. If the Doctor invented the Pandorica for himself, it’s a fear of himself that he’s talking about. And he’s running away from himself, perhaps. It’s like The Wizard of Oz: “And you were there, Daleks. And you, Cybermen. And you…”

“Rory”?

How could Rory be there after he died, and more? “You didn’t just die,” the Doctor tells Rory. “You were never born at all, you never existed. How can you be here?” Because he’s not there. Because it’s all in the Doctor’s head.

Are we supposed to think that that missing Van Gogh canvas of the TARDIS exploding has been hidden all these years (we’ve certainly never seen it) but later ends up in the Royal Collection, which has been long abandoned by 5145? Or is it all in the Doctor’s head?

Liz Ten is still Queen 2,000 years after the events of “The Beast Below.” (Yeah, she ages slowly, but that’s still really old.) Or is it all in the Doctor’s head?

“The Pandorica is a fairy tale, a legend. It can’t be real!” says the Doctor. And maybe it’s not real.

“You lot, working together, an alliance? How is that possible?” Cuz it’s all in his head.

“Sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen, and we call them miracles, and that’s a theory. Nine hundred years, I’ve never seen one yet.” And perhaps you still haven’t, Doctor.

And now he’s being dragged back toward reality, perhaps?

Or it’s his psyche trying to protect itself from reality?

Is the actual TARDIS actually going to explode? I still don’t think so. (“It might not be that literal,” says River — I think we should pay attention to that.) I still think the crack in the universe, which is supposedly caused by the TARDIS exploding, is the real world impinging on the Doctor’s consciousness, the real world trying to get through to him. And it will destroy this “world” we’ve been traveling around all season, of course, because this “world” is all in his imagination. As with Dorothy’s trip to Oz, however, some of it may have parallels in the Doctor’s real world, outside of his dream.

Like this: What if the Doctor is lying in a bed in a fever or a coma in seven-year-old Amelia Pond’s house? And has been since he stumbled out of the TARDIS? What if there is no crack in Amelia Pond’s wall, just a lonely little girl delighted to be looking after the strange sick man who fell into her life? What if she’s reading him books about the ancient Romans and about Pandora’s box while he sleeps? What if little-boy Rory is sometimes reading to him, too? (Or perhaps Amelia simply tells the Doctor stories about Rory.) Alternatively, the Doctor could have seen the books in Amelia’s house and incorporated them into his dreaming in the same way that he’s invented a grownup Amy and a grownup Rory.

What if the Doctor is Prisoner Zero, hidden away in a room in Amelia’s house while he recovers? (Credit to bronxbee for the Prisoner Zero notion, which I think is absolutely brilliant, and would be a wonderful mindfuck for viewers.)

Two things here work as possible counterclues to my theory. First, the Dalek saying “Only the Doctor can pilot the TARDIS.” The Doctor would know that River can fly the TARDIS, and so would, theoretically, not manufacture a complicated dream scenario for himself that would rely on only him being able to pilot the TARDIS. (On the other hand, though, if this is all a dream, it means that he has not, in fact, met the real River again since the Library, and would presumably not know whether or not River can fly the TARDIS, or what else she can and cannot do. In which case, never mind.) Second, would the Doctor manufacture a companion for himself, in Amy, who doesn’t remember the Dalek invasion and Canary Wharf and such? (On the other hand, perhaps he would prefer to imagine a more innocent human, someone untouched by the hell he’s brought to Earth in recent years. That could tie in to the whole “he hates himself and thinks he’s a monster” thing.)

For the most part, though, I think here we have all sorts of really poignant pointers in the direction of a Doctor lost in his own head and on the verge of finding himself again. When he says to Amy, ostensibly about Rory, “If something can be remembered, it can come back,” I get the feeling that he’s really talking about something besides Rory. When he admits to Amy that he lied about there being no reason he took her along with him (I knew it!), he says, “Your house: it was too big, too many empty rooms,” it sounds to me like he’s talking about himself and the TARDIS.

In any event, I do think we’re going to learn that the man behind the curtain is the Doctor himself. As River herself says, about the “good wizard” who tricked the whatever-it-is into the Pandorica, the good wizard always turns out to be the Doctor. The Doctor is putting himself into the Pandorica. Perhaps it’s the last defense mechanism his confused brain is throwing up in an attempt to keep the real world out.

Random thoughts on “The Pandorica Opens”:

• Ah, so the Van Gogh story is connected to the big arc…

• I so expected Han Solo to stick his head in here:

Or maybe Mal Reynolds…

• Nice juxtaposition between River’s bomb-disarming earring

and Amy’s engagement ring:

I don’t know if this will turn out to be anything more than just a nice edit. Although, maybe: Look what River will give up for the Doctor, and look what Amy won’t?

• So, on the oldest planet there’s a cliff of pure diamond on which there are letters 50 feet high spelling out a message from the dawn of time, the very first words in recorded history. It’s God’s final message to all his creation, right? “We apologize for the inconvenience”? No?

Ah: it’s a mash note for the Doctor. And he likes it:

(It suddenly occurred to me to wonder if… and yes, someone has indeed registered hellosweetie.com, but there’s nothing there yet.)

• Ah, so the Doctor taught River how to fly the TARDIS! I suspected she was only teasing him earlier when she implied that it was someone else who’d taught her… (Or else, not…)

• If the Doctor Who production people are looking for a good way to raise money for Children in Need or some other charity, they should start by auctioning off this prop painting:

I bet it would go for a small fortune. (I wonder who painted it…)

That

is definitely the real Stonehenge. I’ve been there, more than once, and I recognize the place like an old friend. (Oh, and this episode definitely represents a better Stonehenge apocalypse than the other recent one, which tried to foist a totally fake CGI British Columbia Stonehenge off on us.)

Also: The Stonehenge bits make me hear the voice of Nigel Tufnel in the back of my mind telling us about the Druids, and how no one knows who they were, or what they were doing…

• River is so totally frakkin’ awesome

that I am majorly girl-crushing on Alex Kingston to an embarrassing degree. I so hope River doesn’t get erased.

• Spiderhead Cyberman is very very creepy. Think I might have nightmares about that…

• Who is saying, “Silence will fall”? Why do I have a really bad feeling about this?

• This has got to mean something:

but it’s not ringing any bells with me.

• Great quotes:

“I said, ‘Off the wrist,’” –big blue guy in the 52nd-century bar (did someone forget that the 51st century would be the 5000s, not the 5100s?)

“Invasion of the hot Italians…” –Amy (describing the Roman occupations of ancient Britain)

“Hail Caesar!” –Roman soldier
“Hi.” –the Doctor
“Welcome to Britain. We are honored by your presence.” –Roman soldier
“Well, you’re only human. Arise, Roman person.” –the Doctor

“Never underestimate a Celt.” –the Doctor

“Oh, Doctor, why do I let you out?” –River

(next: Episode 13: “The Big Bang”)

share and enjoy
             
subscribe
notify of
145 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
view all comments
Laurel
Laurel
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 10:35pm

I’m a late comer to the whole Doctor Who phenomenon, having watched my first episode EVER when it premiered this year on BBC America. Even so, I’ve caught up on the new (2005+) series and even Torchwood, and I couldn’t wait for the next episodes, so I began internet-ifying them. (Oh the shame!)

This episode blew my mind. Matt Smith was fantastic, the Rory reveals were amazing, even though he didn’t grow on me so much as a character, and I nearly cried at the end when the Doctor is getting emotional about not being able to stop the Tardis because he’s not piloting it, someone else is…

Then I headed straight for your site, ma’am, because I find your recaps engaging and amusing, and what do you do? You throw the Prisoner Zero idea at me!

*ducks, still gets hit*

I love it. LOVE it. That would be so ridiculously awesome.

And Matt looked so old to me in this episode…

Thanks for your awesome recap!

FrankS
FrankS
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 10:42pm

MaryAnn – Do you watch the Doctor Who Confidential show that goes with each episode? This week’s episode had a lot of interesting bits regarding Stonehenge.

Brandon
Brandon
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 10:47pm

Does anyone else find it odd that the Cloister bells never rang when the Tardis was going to explode, or at any time during the episode? They did in the episode “Turn Left” And they will always ring when there is danger to the Tardis or the Doctor. The Cloister bells sound like a gong in a tub of water. And is it just me, or did the voice in the Tardis saying “Silence will fall” sound a lot like Davros? That’s what I originally thought when I saw the burn marks on the ground outside Amy’s house. Davros, but then I saw two of them. Maybe they’re Daleks. Who knows.

TempestDash
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 10:52pm

““I said, ‘Off the wrist,’” –big blue guy in the 52nd-century bar (did someone forget that the 51st century would be the 5000s, not the 5100s?)”

Anyone else worried about Captain Jack now? A vortex manipulator cut off of someone’s wrist? And that bar bears a striking resemblance to the one Jack was last seen in at the end of “The End of Time (Part 2)”

Corey Tamas
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 10:55pm

Will River Song replace Amy Pond as Maryann Johanson’s Bias Meter girlcrush?

I shall watch eagerly and with interest.

Lioness
Lioness
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 11:01pm

Anyone else worried about Captain Jack now? A vortex manipulator cut off of someone’s wrist? And that bar bears a striking resemblance to the one Jack was last seen in at the end of “The End of Time (Part 2)”

Yeah…that was my first thought as well.
I also noticed the 51st/52nd century error.

Dr Who in general (or just Stephen Moffat…) seems to have a fixation with the 51st century…it was where they were in Girl in the Fireplace. It’s where both Jack and River are from. I haven’t found any other unrelated ones yet, but I’m sure they’re there.

Ken
Ken
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 11:02pm

I like that the screen on River’s device rotates to match the orientation of how she’s viewing it, much like an iPod.

It occurred to me that, if all of this is in the Doctor’s head, perhaps it’s happening after Amy knocked him out with the cricket bat in Eleventh Hour.

I’ll have to watch this again to find out if they answer this, but I don’t recall an answer as to how this scenario was pulled from Amy’s head

Max
Max
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 11:14pm

*River will use her vortex manipulator and save the Doctor; the Doctor will use the vortex manipulator and repair the cracks, and along the way, stop in on Amy in Flesh and Stone and ask her to remember something that was said when she was 7.

*Loved the Doctor’s big bluff; looked like he was emceeing a monster-palooza.

*Liz 10 must now be REALLY REALLY old.

*What happened to Bracewell after the war?

So many other questions.

cretinbob
cretinbob
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 11:17pm

What was left in Pandora’s Box?
Remember that above all else…..

\was it wrong that I burst into tears when I saw Rory and again at the ending?

innpchan
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 11:17pm

Okay, not addressing the whole “is it a dream, is it all in his head” business (which would disappoint me unless it was handled in a way so phenomenal I can’t conceive of it). I am assuming for now that what we are seeing is really happening in the Who-verse.

And it’s all about Rory.

One of Rory’s lines in “The Eleventh Hour” covers his own existence pretty well: “But he wasn’t real. He was -never- real.”

And so he wasn’t.

Rory has been a Nestene reconnaisance drone ever since Amy met him. He has been absolutely devoted to her all their lives because that is what he was programmed to be.

“Learn all you can about this little girl who met the Doctor, and to whom he promised to return. Record everything about her (even her favorite stories and school subjects). And through it all, you will have no idea you are anything but a lovestruck boy, because it will be the perfect disguise and you will believe your own cover story. We will recover the data you collect and construct around her a puzzle the Doctor will be unable to resist.”

And how did they recover him? Well, when their probe became damaged, The Alliance reached -through- the cracks and retrieved it. That is why we saw no tendrils reaching for anyone else who disappeared (like those falling angels, for instance). What reason would a non-sentient crack have to reach out and take what was apparently just a dead human? The Alliance, however, needed to recover their drone.

Once they had their data, they reused the shop dummy part in their trap (Very Green of them. Never just throw away any plastic!).

Seems like the new program didn’t entirely erase all the old data on the hard drive, though… And this could well be how Auton Rory will save the universe.

We’ll see next week.

(And yes I will gush that this was an Awesome episode!)

Ide Cyan
Ide Cyan
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 11:21pm

On the cliff face, the first two characters below “Hello Sweetie” are the Greek letter Theta and Sigma — ie, the Doctor’s nickname at the academy. And the last four might be read as “Song” written backwards.

Orodemniades
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 11:21pm

If only the Doctor can fly the Tardis, and we know River kills the Doctor, could it be that River Song is actually…the Doctor? Especially with all her talk about spoilers…

Ken Patterson
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 11:22pm

Thank you for reminding me about River’s acquisition of the Vortex Manipulator. Now we know how she escapes the TARDIS next week. One does get caught up in the whole ending of the episode, that you forget how everyone got there…

Corey Tamas
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 11:24pm

“…and we know River kills the Doctor”

Do we? :)

Orodemniades
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 11:27pm

@Brandon: I asked the same thing to the room at large, but was shot down. Still, it was quite startling, wasn’t it?

Mo
Mo
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 11:37pm

Slightly unrelated to what you wrote, but I just got this brainwave reading that… I have a bunch of puzzle pieces and they aren’t fitting right and the answer feels like it should be so obvious but I’m missing something. I think among the many other amazing things this episode did, it gives a glimpse of what it’s like to live in the Doctor’s brain- “Missing something obvious, Rory, something big, something right smack in front of me, I can feel it.” He’s been missing things like Rory all season while his brain whirled away one other things. Amy even more so if she is the artefact of her entire family being eaten by the crack. And now we’re presented with the same thing- Moffat has been plotting like JJ Abrams likes to: the cracks were a big obvious flashing distraction from what we were really supposed to notice while he did some slight of hand in the background. I called some things but the things that turned out to matter so far weren’t even on my or anyone’s radar that I’ve seen. There are all these patterns and symmetries and foreshadowings and they mean something. This whole season has been about mirror images. The Tardis and Amy’s house: the same door, all the rooms, the same colour and facing each other. The Time Lord and the Dream Lord and staring at each other in the Tardis console. Bracewell and Auton Rory- one duplicate could overcome his programming with the original’s love and Amy’s coaxing, the other couldn’t. The Doctor and the Star Whale. Amy and Van Gogh, so alike they could be family (I thought he was her father in the first season previews).River is flying the Tardis better than the Doctor and saying that someone else taught her to fly it, and then younger River screwing up flying the Tardis and telling the Doctor that of course she’s flying perfectly, he taught her how to fly it. Rory can’t believe the Doctor could be real, the Doctor can’t believe the Pandorica could be real- they were both just stories. The perception filter in the spare room, and the perception filter in the non-existent second floor. Rory died in the dream world and then he died in ‘real life’ the sameish way. The Tardis just blew up the sameish way the Doctor blew it up in the dream world. River in a prison at the beggining, and the Doctor in a prison at the end. “There’s one thing you never put in a trap” and then a trap that worked just now. And now the Doctor as both the good wizard and the trickster in myths- he’s flipped sides with his enemies, with them coming up with a clever plan to stop him so that they can save the universe for the good of everyone. Even Amy and River are both reflections of two sides of the Doctor’s personality in some way- similar to him, but different.

It’s all very ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ now. (Rather than Peter Pan like at the beggining.) We keep being shown things we’ve already seen but all twisted up. It’s got to mean something, but I have no idea what, just a vague feeling I’m going to be kicking myself when they tell me. Gah, and just when I had gotten my head to stop whirling after yesterday.

MaryAnn
MaryAnn
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 11:53pm

MaryAnn – Do you watch the Doctor Who Confidential show that goes with each episode? This week’s episode had a lot of interesting bits regarding Stonehenge.

I haven’t seen a single one of them, actually.

Anyone else worried about Captain Jack now?

I thought that too. But it would be way too obvious. There must be LOTS of handsome young Time Agents bopping around spacetime.

Will River Song replace Amy Pond as Maryann Johanson’s Bias Meter girlcrush?

Yes. :->

Mo
Mo
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 12:27am

-Will River Song replace Amy Pond as Maryann Johanson’s Bias Meter girlcrush?

-Yes. :->

Is it really true they ditched her on ER because of her age…six years ago?

I hope revenge is as sweet for her as it looks like from the outside.

I want to be River when I grow up. :3 (Well, apart from the prison thing…)

Martin
Martin
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 1:10am

@ innpchan:

Nice theory.

But Amy didn’t remember the Daleks, did she?
And MAJ noted that the Silurian scan of Amy was different to the humans.

wilfred
wilfred
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 1:12am

In the 11th hour the doctor says something like “I am most definatly the mad doctor in the box”. the question is which box was he refering to?

this would fit in with the “its all in his head” thing as in the 11th hour he was basically saying that he was in the pandorica already?

Corey Tamas
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 1:12am

Actually he says “a mad man with a box”.

Keith
Keith
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 1:16am

Doctor: “You graffitied the oldest face in the universe.”
Riversong: “You wouldn’t answer your phone.”

Had lots of the same thoughts as MaryAnn. The regeneration dream makes a pretty good Occam’s Razor. With all the Doctor’s enemies in league against him, I sense a big reset coming, which will happen if he is just about to wake up to reality.

As for the Amy link, I suspect the Doctor may have formed some sort of psychic link with an adult Amy. I suspect all the stuff with Amy as a child was all imagined. Amy has memories of being a child, so the Doctor can work them into his fantasy. Maybe Amy did have a crack in her wall as a child, and it scared her, but was only just a plain old crack. It’s the Doctor’s imagination that made it was it is in the story arc. I thought about it happening while the Doctor was knocked out the cricket bat, but then all the interaction with young Amy would have taken place and Prisoner Zero would have been real, which seems in doubt now.

Talked with someone this weekend who couldn’t believe they would dare make the season some sort of dream. I asked him, “What, that they would make the events in an imaginary show turn out to be imaginary?” He didn’t have an answer. I’ve known lots of people who have issues separating out different levels of reality in their own heads.

It’s going to be a rather long week waiting to find out the answers next weekend. As others have pointed out, happily, it is just one week.

rachel
rachel
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 1:47am

Having everything be an imaginary world in the Doctor’s head is an intriguing idea but I have my doubts about that. Especially because for this whole season to have been a dream that means that Amelia never grew up and they have already said that Amy (Karen) will be back next season. I guess technically they cold have the Doctor travel to Amelia’s future but that doesn’t seem very likely.

I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen and if it does turn out to be imaginary I will bow down with grace but it just doesn’t seem likely … to me, at least.

BUT then again, how is he supposed to get out of the pandorica?

Ack this show!

PJK
PJK
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 2:04am

Ah, but maybe the Pandorica is what keeps him safe while the universe is collapsing around his ears!

Maybe he has to rebuild the universe after the collapse and see to it that everything is set back the way it is supposed to be.

Lioness
Lioness
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 2:24am

Just had a thought…do you think the strange/creepy face on the wall in The Lodger may be the owner of the mysterious voice?

StarShine7399
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 2:45am

Hey everybody!
I am new to blogging I’ve never posted anything in my life. This last episode had me panting for more and looking for some answers. So i went to the internet and found some great theories! Anyway here are some ideas I’ve found to be interesting..

There are a few awesome theories that the name Amy Pond is an Anagram! Amelia Jessica Pond is her full name (The Beast Below) and some anagrams for that name are “no maid escapes jail “and also ” o escaped main jails “(read zero for the o) and even this theory “i escape mondas jail’ Mondas was the twin planet to Earth that the original Cybermen came from…” ahh woah!!
Maybe she is prisoner 0?
ehh I stretch I know but how fun is that?

This led me to this link that is definitely bending my mind a lil bit :) ck it out.
http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Pandora

What ever it is, I can’t wait to find out… I have really enjoying the new series very much!

StarShine7399
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 2:51am

posted by PJK (Mon Jun 21 10, 2:04AM)

“Ah, but maybe the Pandorica is what keeps him safe while the universe is collapsing around his ears!

Maybe he has to rebuild the universe after the collapse and see to it that everything is set back the way it is supposed to be.”

that is a good one… the next episode is called “the big bang” or something right?

Beth
Beth
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 4:00am

Do you think it’s the trickster who’s doing all this ? The box I’d very like the box which protects you maybe he wants the doctor hidden so he can change history maybe Rory made a deal with the tricker and that he is is working for him

Lisa
Lisa
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 4:45am

Hello Stonehenge!

There’s one thing you never put in a trap, if you’re clever, if you’re smart, if you value your continuing existence, if you ever want to live to see tomorrow, there is one thing you never, ever put in a trap – me!

Do the smart thing!

who’s blowing up the Tardis? what’s upstairs? imaginary 3rd floor? why’s Amy’s house got all those rooms (a swimming pool in the library?) has it been a 2 part finale or a 3 part episode finale?

who’s the big bad – must be pretty clever to not only have manipulated the dr to get him where they want him but also all his enemies.

is that Capt Jack’s hand or are they all incredibly handsome? I think it could be Jack’s – I mean his will just grow back. Also – he might have gone back to apologise.

Any else think the Dr activated the Pandorica by touching it? (It remined me of Mickey freeing the Daleks in Doomsday) Perhaps it only started to open then. About 30 seconds after that, I knew they were going to stick him in it.

Nothing is ever forgotten, not completely. And if something can be remembered, it can come back.

that is important – what did he say to her when she was young?

The Doctor: Remember what I told you when you were seven?
Amy: What did you tell me?
T DR: No. That’s not the point. You have to remember.

she has to remember him – that’s all? Anyone feel she’s paying too high a price to be a companion?

River Song is so fucking rock
She is so goddamn rock
She is so motherfucking rock

Lisa
Lisa
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 5:46am

Anyone else think that Rambaldi is behind the whole thing (that’s what the mark on the grass reminds me of!)

Glad River Song is your new girl crush

loved the entirely deadpan Rory/Dr meeting from I missing something that’s right in front of me to

How are you good yeah good well roman

@Keith
“Talked with someone this weekend who couldn’t believe they would dare make the season some sort of dream. I asked him, “What, that they would make the events in an imaginary show turn out to be imaginary?” He didn’t have an answer. I’ve known lots of people who have issues separating out different levels of reality in their own heads”.

If the whole thing is a dream that’s a copout – I’m feeling uneasy about a belief in the Dr finale – didn’t we do this in Last of the Timelords already – then it’s unfair. You can’t ask us to care about the characters and be invested in what happens to them (which keeps us watching every week, remember) and then go haha it’s all a dream and it’s a tv show anyway. It’s just rude. It’s like spitting in the face of the audience and saying you’re so stupid to swallow this crap. Moffat loves Dr Who too much to do that.

I want to be surprised and gobsmacked by the ending. I’m smelling a Torchwood Season 2 ending which could be cool. If it takes a time traveller to open the Pandorica, could it take another one to open it again?

Jackie
Jackie
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 6:06am

There must be some reality to the season, as River mentioned the Crash of the Byzantium to Ten, so these events must have existed one way or the other.

I was surprised when it opened and he wasn’t already inside it! I though they were going to open in and see himself in there, having been incarcerated for however long.

All of these beings who were terrified of him and who (it seems) didn’t actually dare to kill him. There must have been some interesting discussions between these unlikely allies as to just how uncomfortable he was to be. A modest bit of cushioning perhaps? Or shoould we go for spikes? Reasonably comfortable chair, or one which will torment him for eternity? Will they leave the light on for him in the box?

Suddenly I’m reminded of the Curse of the Fatal Death where the Doctor had gone back in time, had a word with the architect and replaced the spikes of doom with the sofa of reasonable comfort…

Lioness
Lioness
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 6:46am

So, in the blogging of The Eleventh Hour, Mary-ann guessed that Myth computers would play a large role in the season. What if they’re a subtle reference to the myth of the Pandorica, and all related ‘it’s all a dream/figment of Amy’s imagination’ things?

soru
soru
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 6:49am

There’s a line in the episode where the Doctor says he is extending the shields inside on the Pandorica to cover outside. This doesn’t do anything in the episode, but could be the key to next week.

What if the shields, the strongest possible made by any technology in the Whoniverse, protect the whole solar system? The rest of the universe goes bang, leaving just Earth, the Sun and so on.

Time then passes until little Amy grows up in a world with no stars.

And no Daleks…

Kassia
Kassia
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 7:29am

I always enjoy your Doctor Who blogs, however, I really disagree with your “it’s all a dream” theory. Wasn’t it established that the Romans were from Amy’s imagination? As was the Pandorica, sort of? We don’t know why, but the Doctor told Amy her life didn’t make sense. I don’t know. I just think it would be a massive cop out if they took the all a dream route.

Also, everyone’s acting in this episode was great, but Matt Smith was just tops again, especially with the end scene when they had him strapped into the Pandorica and he was pleading with them to let him out. It’s really really scary to see the Doctor genuinely scared like that. I don’t get scared by the monsters in Who; it’s the episodes like Midnight and Turn Left that get me, and that last scene had that scariness to it.

MaryAnn
MaryAnn
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 9:12am

SPOILERS FOR AMERICAN AND BRITISH ‘LIFE ON MARS’ BELOW.

Talked with someone this weekend who couldn’t believe they would dare make the season some sort of dream. I asked him, “What, that they would make the events in an imaginary show turn out to be imaginary?” He didn’t have an answer. I’ve known lots of people who have issues separating out different levels of reality in their own heads.

I can understand why some people would get upset at this idea. We want our fictional structures to feel real, otherwise they don’t work as cohesive stories. And if absolutely anything can happen — up to and including a reset button that wipes out everything that has come before — then why should we trust such a story? Why should we invest time in it?

But the “it was all a dream” story doesn’t have be a cheat or a copout. Does *The Wizard of Oz* feel like a cheat or a copout? Does the British *Life on Mars*? No, they don’t, because their dream worlds were cohesive themselves, and because the dreams weren’t just dreams but riveting journeys through the psyches of their characters. The dreams are extensions of the “real” world of these stories, not negations of them. And there’s no reset button. When you reach the end of these stories, you feel that you know their protagonists extremely well, that you learned things about they that you could not have learned via a more traditional narrative in which they were NOT dreaming.

On the other hand, however, the American *Life on Mars* is an *enormous* cheat and an unforgiveable copout, because it negates everything that came before. Anything you thought you knew about American Sam Tyler from everything up till the moment the dream-status is revealed turns out to be total bullshit. And we learn that we never knew the real Sam and never will.

Now, if this season of *Doctor Who* turns out to be all in the Doctor’s head (and I’m probably wrong about that! and that’s fine!), I fully expect that it will be akin to *Oz* and UK-*LoM.* It’s not going to be the Doctor waking up and saying, “Oh, what a terrible dream” and then getting on with his day. It will turn out to have been an experience that let us get to know the Doctor better than we ever have before.

Look: If it is all a dream and it ends up feeling like a cheat, I’ll be screaming the loudest. But until it’s demonstrated otherwise, I’m gonna trust that Moffat could pull it off and make it work.

Barb
Barb
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 9:23am

I’m not exactly sure where SM is going yet with the two-parter. As usually everything is thrown in but the kitchen sink in these two episodes. The pre-credits had a Star Wars scene from the cantena (stop with using movie references already – it totally ruined one finale with echoes of Flash Gordon).

Good cliffhanger at least with the Doctor entombs in the Pandorica. Not much of a cliffhanger with River since we know she becomes Professor and has yet to met her Doctor. As to references that she is a future Doctor, doubt it when one of her last comments in the episode is ‘my love’.

If it is all a dream brought on from the regeneration from 10 to 11, this has already been done a few years ago with a Big Finish audio with Doctor 5 going through four seasons while he regenerates from 4 to 5.

The only downside is we are still gonna be stuck with Amy next year be it as a regular or not. Hopefully River will make more appearances. Reminds me of Romana (or even Liz Shaw) with an equality to the Doctor’s intellect.

PaulW
PaulW
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 9:23am

“Cardinal Fang! Break out… THE COMFY CHAIR!”

/sting music

Lisa
Lisa
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 9:34am

^so why so upset at the end of Lost!^

I just don’t want to feel cheated – as a writer – if you set up the rules of your universe, you have to follow them. I don’t want to be cheated, I do have faith in Moffat. However, he did break the rules of his own universe at the end of Flesh and Stone, which does worry me a bit. (the oh now it doesn’t matter if you don’t look at the angels which ruins Blink!) But, as you say, it depends how it’s done.

Lisa
Lisa
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 9:44am

we still have to find out WHO River Song killed – that’ll do for another year!

I think Karen’s coming back next year – might be a red herring they’ve lied before. She has no life to go back to so hopefully we’ll see Rory again next year.

River’s a scene stealer though – it’s best that she comes in for a few episodes, blows the Dr away and leaves him guessing.

Mark
Mark
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 10:10am

First time I’ve even commented here… great site btw.

I’ve been bothered from the start about how River will, practically, fit into the future of DW. Brilliant idea as it is to meet someone living a different portion of the Doctor’s own timeline, she has always struck me as a hostage to fortune. One day, her (it would seem) lengthy relationship with the Doctor will have to “happen”. I can’t see this occuring within the show itself. Which would leave A) always leaving it as something that will happen to a future Doctor “one day” (unsatisfactory), B) Something that is referred to as happening between episodes (a la Queen Bess, and also unsatisfactory)… or C) something happens that totally ‘deletes’ her future time with the Doctor, at least from his perspective. I’m wondering if whatever happens to save the day next week will see Option C happening.

Jim Mann
Jim Mann
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 10:35am

But the “it was all a dream” story doesn’t have be a cheat or a copout. Does *The Wizard of Oz* feel like a cheat or a copout? Does the British *Life on Mars*? No, they don’t, because their dream worlds were cohesive themselves, and because the dreams weren’t just dreams but riveting journeys through the psyches of their characters.

Yes, in fact the end of the Wizard of Oz does feel like a bit of a cheat, partially made up by their being clever about the characters. But a cheat nonetheless.

As for Life on Mars, the ending is ambiguous. If you simply watch the show, while the most likely explanation is that it’s all in Sam’s head, there is room to interpret it in other ways.

A key reason that dream endings feel like cheats is that, while we watch a show, as part of our willing suspension of disbelief, we accept the show as real and the characters as real. For this season, for example, we accept the fact that the Doctor and Amy interacted with Vincent van Gogh and actually impacted him. If the season turns out to be a dream, that’s no longer “real.”

On the other hand, we can accept other kinds of resets. Donna fixing the world in Turn Left didn’t negate Turn Left, because that universe wasn’t simply a dream, but an alternate universe that was changed. I think we can accept such a reset here — that is, if the Doctor or River does something that restores the universe and somehow undoes some things — but I think an “all in his head” ending would be a big letdown to what has been quite a good season so far.

Jeremy
Jeremy
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 10:54am

I see what you mean about this season being a dream, however I don’t think Moffat will go that route.

The burn marks on the grass look like the shape of the thruster things on the bottom of a dalek to me.

Also, here is a theory for you; what if Amy is an android too? Perhaps Amy’s parents and indeed Amy herself were killed when the Daleks took earth at the end of the last season and then she was created by the Daleks which is why she doesn’t remember any of those events.

If this season is to be believed as real, then the Daleks have predicted the Doctor’s every move to perfection even going so far to create a legend based on Amy’s childhood fantasies to trap him.

One question though, have the Daleks always been able to predict him like this? and if so why have they always failed to kill him? or was this the the culmination of a greater plan? A plan by Davros perhaps? Did anyone else think that the voice saying ” silence will fall” belonged to him?

Lisa
Lisa
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 11:06am

that’s why it’s got to be someone else pulling their strings and the dr’s. Or that could be completely wrong.

What I don’t understand is, we have fairly definitve proof that the Dr has gone back and spoken to Amy at certain points perhaps when she was 7, certaintly in Flesh and Stone – but when did he do that – when he was released from the Pandorica or before he was put in? – both have problems if before how did he know, why did he go into the box, why did he not just stop the Tardis blowing up beforehand?

If after, the fundamental question is, how does anyone know to get him out? how can anyone rescue him?

There are, for sure, 2 drs running around so will one of them have to be killed? I’d like to see Octavian back for that!

Corey Tamas
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 11:20am

we have fairly definitve proof that the Dr has gone back and spoken to Amy…

There are, for sure, 2 drs running around…

It’s a pretty sound theory, but I don’t know if I’m ready to say things like “Definitive proof” or “For sure” yet. The data isn’t THAT conclusive yet. :)

Baz Watkins
Baz Watkins
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 11:26am

Here’s my two pennies.

I think this whole series is in little Amy Pond’s imagination, whilst she is waiting for the doctor to return.

Corey Tamas
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 11:27am

I think this whole series is in little Amy Pond’s imagination, whilst she is waiting for the doctor to return.

How would Amy imagine the Cybermen or Daleks? Or her own death?

Ken
Ken
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 11:34am

I’m wondering if whatever happens to save the day next week will see Option C (C) something happens that totally ‘deletes’ her future time with the Doctor, at least from his perspective) happening.

Now this is interesting. What if the resolution involves River sacrificing herself to the crack to release the Doctor. Maybe the thing that Amy has to remember, in order to bring her back, is River. It would explain why the Dcotor went back to speak to Amy after the problem of the Pandorica is resolved. It seems clear to me that the Doctor is/had been crying in that scene in Flesh & Stone. He’d clearly lost something close to him.

I think this whole series is in little Amy Pond’s imagination, whilst she is waiting for the doctor to return.

This occurred to me as well

How would Amy imagine the Cybermen or Daleks? Or her own death?

Well, there was Canary Wharf, even if she claims in the narrative not to remember them. It doesn’t explain her knowledge of the Silurians though.

JohnnyInc
JohnnyInc
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 12:13pm

I am still not convinced it is in his head. Seems like you can use the it’s-all-a-dream plot device for any show… like Dallas (ugh). But it might be something close to a dream. Like things remembered can be real again. Like in Eleventh hour when Prisoner Zero used Amy’s memories to find a new disguise but the Doctor made her think of his true form. Or in the Angel episode where Amy thought her arm was turning to stone but the Doctor made her snap out of it by biting her. The Alliance made the Pandorica by using her memories, maybe her memories are the key to saving the day.

How could Rory be there after he died, and more?

They used Amy’s memories to construct the Roman solider-bots and Rory was still hidden in there somewhere.

Are we supposed to think that that missing Van Gogh canvas of the TARDIS exploding has been hidden all these years (we’ve certainly never seen it) but later ends up in the Royal Collection, which has been long abandoned by 5145?

Churchill last had the painting when he was on the phone with River. He could have left instruction to put it into the Royal Collection at a later time.

Liz Ten is still Queen 2,000 years after the events of “The Beast Below.” (Yeah, she ages slowly, but that’s still really old.)

She may be very old. A slightly aged Captain Jack is probably running around somewhere too.

“The Pandorica is a fairy tale, a legend. It can’t be real!” says the Doctor. And maybe it’s not real.

It isn’t. It was pulled from Amy’s favorite book.

“You lot, working together, an alliance? How is that possible?” Cuz it’s all in his head.

Or it was because they were all affected by the cracks in time and thought they were saving the universe by working together and stopping a common enemy.

I still think the “Doctor in the TARDIS” phrase has been a clue all season long. River managed to travel through time without the TARDIS and it turns out she has a time agents wrist device/time vortex manipulator. Maybe the Doctor will end up with it and travel to Amy in the 2nd weeping Angel episode.

So the end of the episode has the Doctor trapped and nobody to save him. Except River… and a Rory robot just outside the chamber. Maybe a heart broken Rory and River in the TARDIS are all the Doctor needs.

DaveTM
DaveTM
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 12:14pm

OK here’s my Rory theory that I haven’t seen.

If they are modeling the Roman’s off of Amy’s memories and they’ve shown that Rory is in her head somewhere. (She did end up remembering him) than it makes sense that he show up as one of the plastic recreations. Rory was real until he was eaten by the crack the Roman Rory is a recreation plucked from Amy’s mind and formed with plastic.

Personally this episode has made me think that the dream thing is not going to happen. It’s much more likely that instead the Doctor will be seeding Amy with a memory in her past that will therefore be present in what the alliance of villians have created letting him escape and save himself, Amy,the TARDIS and River along with the rest of reality.

DaveTM
DaveTM
Mon, Jun 21, 2010 12:17pm

JohnnyInc. – beat me by one minute. Great minds think alike I guess.