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Who @ 50

"go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine"

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23 Weeks to 50: The Pandorica Opens\ The Big Bang
matt smith
hammard wrote in who_at_50
We're now just a little over halfway through my 50th Anniversary countdown of aggregated poll results for Doctor Who Books, TV Serials & Audio Dramas, at number 23:

23. The Pandorica Opens\ The Big Bang

Doctor: 11th (Matt Smith)
Companions: Amy, River, Rory
Alien: For ease's sake let's just say The Alliance
Legend tells of the Pandorica, a perfect prison inside which is trapped the most fearsome creature imaginable. It is now opening and the mightiest armies in the universe converge on Stonehenge, but is this a bigger trap than anyone first imagined? And how does this relate to the cracks in time?
Why is it so well loved?
1. Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Alex Kingston all give some of their finest performances on the show.
2. It discusses grand ideas, like the importance of legends and the power of ideas.
3. It is one of the most intricate season finales, pulling together subtle hints and plot points you didn't even see the first time around.
Statistical Snippet
This is the best loved story starring the 11th Doctor, the least loved is The Coming of the Terraphiles.

X-Posted from Doctor Who

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I love it. S5 in general might be my favourite season of NuWho, and imho also had the best finale (Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways is its only serious contender, imho, let down by the British pop culture references that are cringe-worthily out-of-date eight years later). The plotting and writing generally are up there with Moffat's best efforts for Who, and the performances are, as you say, exquisite. And the ending in particular - Eleven's speech to the sleeping Amy and then the "something borrowed, something blue" moment at the wedding - is amazing. NuWho's "people made of smoke/cities made of song" moment, unless something else manages to top it at some future point.

I love this entire comment because it's my thoughts in a way that makes sense (which I think some of my stuff fails at being.)

It is a very good story - my admiration for it knows few, if any, bounds, really. ;)

You've summed up my feelings perfectly :D

It may even by my favourite 21st Century Doctor Who episode (I always have a hard time deciding between this and The Empty Child).
Pretty much every line in the episode is perfect, right from Van Gogh's painting being described as even worse than his usual rubbish right up to don't worry about about a thing your majesty, we're on our way

Plus Moffat's very naughty trick with the title meant he was still pulling more things into this episode a year later ;)

Well, you know, great minds etc. ;D

I'm not sure what my favourite new series story is, if I had to pick one, but this would be up there. As indeed would The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances. I think the thing about Series 5 is that it is possibly the most consistently good of the new series, from start to finish. There are a couple of dodgy stories (I really don't like the Silurians two-parter), but the others more than make up for it. Whereas most of the other series were more of a mixed bag, especially the Ten ones and the later Eleven ones - an instant classic one week, a stinker the next. S1 had a pretty high hit-rate too, but I think the series as a whole was still finding its feet - there are some things it does that were necessary to get new fans up to speed but which seem almost custom-designed to annoy oldschool fans. But S5 is (mostly) the real deal throughout.

And as you say, the thought and planning Moffat put into it, and carried over into S6, were intricate and clever enough to live up to the hype that fandom had bestowed on him in the wake of "Blink"...so naturally then came the complaints it was "too complicated", leading directly to Clara's underwritten (imho) story-arc in S7b. You just can't please some people... ;)

And I am by now well-resigned to the idea that I am the only person in Who fandom who quite liked The Coming of the Terraphiles. I mean, it wasn't a proper Eleven story, characterisation-wise, but not bad for one presumably written before anybody had actually seen Eleven or Amy in action.

Ahhh, I do believe JJPOR has said it for everyone here. I have a special love for S5 and these episodes are some of my top favs! With S5 it is hard to pick, but TPO/TBB are ones I will watch again and again. So much packed into two hours, but well paced, well written, well directed and the actors just blew me away!!


It is great, and S5 is just 24 carat gold generally. I think my favourite single episode, however, may be The Eleventh Hour. Eleven came in in style - let's hope he goes out equally well. :)

THIS. The whole series was just...I can't think of one episode I wouldn't watch again at the drop of a fez.

I do have a special abiding love for TEH. It has been one of the best Doctor intros I can think of - and Smith cemented his Doctoriness with just one sentence 'Can I have an apple?'. I found myself grinning like a moron and feeling the Fourth vibe with a whole new Doctor. The 'Why, did you call for a policeman?' and discussion of the swimming pool in the library with Amelia only made me fall harder and faster.

Definitely another top fav. Though VatD and Amy's Choice are two more that I watch obsessively. But that just may be my little darkficcer heart in play with those. Eleven has given us some lovely and light moments - but his dark moments are equally balanced and...yeah.

I certainly hope he goes out in style. Something that shows tribute to his awesome opening and rather spectacular run.

I'm just gonna go squish something now.


Let me start by saying that I don't ever want Doctor Who to go off the air-- EVER.

But, after watching TPO/TBB the first time, I remember thinking that if the BBC were unexpectedly removed from the planet by aliens, and no more DW would ever be forthcoming, and the final scene of The Big Bang with Amy and Rory married and warping off into time and space with the Eleventh Doctor was the last Doctor Who that we ever got to see... I would be pretty okay with that, because it was just that awesome.

Fortunately, that was not the case, but if I were composing my own top fifty list, this two-parter would be in the top five. Possibly even the top three.

You aren't the only one who had those feelings. I remember watching it and thinking that there had to have been some cancellation notice that I'd missed, and bawling my eyes out (but in a good way), because I thought, "well, if it has to end, Moffat couldn't possibly have written a better ending than this."

I never want Who to end, but I'm kind of sad that if it does end that the send off probably won't be as awesome as that.

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