Now that the series five finale for Doctor Who is over, I wanted to look at the best bits of The Big Bang. We’ll be spending a bit of time on Shout over the next few days looking at the series as a whole and asking where Moffat, Smith and Gillan succeeded and failed.
But for now, we’re going to take a look at the highlights of that last episode. Yes, there were flaws, but this post is setting out to specifically celebrate the brilliant and entertaining moments in The Big Bang. Add your opinions in the comments section!
What I loved about The Big Bang:
- The Doctor’s bizarre test to make sure Rory has broken with his Auton programming: “All of creation has just been wiped from the sky…your girlfriend isn’t more important than the whole universe!” He’s gleeful when Rory punches him in the mouth!
- Steven Moffat boggling all our minds by putting Amy inside the Pandorica when we expected to see The Doctor. And making young Amelia be the person to open the box.
- The Doctor’s flickering back and forth in time to set up the details of his escape from the Pandorica. Temporally flawed, but brilliant comedy.
- River Song making a Dalek beg for mercy – flying in the face of everything the Dalek knows about the Doctor’s companions. And she wasn’t bluffing either.
- When The Doctor wakes up on the floor of the TARDIS, he does a quick check – legs, bow-tie, fez. It’s actually quite a sharp re-enactment of Matt Smith’s first scene after regenerating into the Eleventh Doctor.
- And speaking of the fez – loved how The Doctor nonchalantly announced “I wear a fez now. Fez’s are cool.” But I loved it more when Amy threw the hat in the air and River shot it. Never before have two companions ganged up on The Doctor so stylishly.
- The Lone Centurion, Rory’s guilty way to make sure Amy was safe during her imprisonment in the Pandorica. After all, he’d shot her. How exactly do you make up for that?
- The reveal that The Doctor did return and talk to Amy in the forest of the Byantium, but not using the Vortex Manipulator, he was being sucked backwards through his own time line.
- The Doctor lovingly carrying Amelia back to bed and talking to her as she slept. Calling himself “a daft old man who borrowed a magic box”, and becoming more tired and morose until he finally walked into the crack in her bedroom wall. “I think I’ll skip the rest of the rewind. I hate repeats.”
- Amy’s speech about her imaginary friend is met with groans from people who know her. “Raggedy man, you are late for my wedding.” The idea that the old wedding rhyme, ‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ is actually relevant to the TARDIS.
- The Doctor at a wedding = pure class. “Hello, everyone! I’m Amy’s imaginary friend, but I came anyway.” His assertion that Rory was now “Mr. Pond”, and his woeful grandad dancing, showing every one of his 906 years.
- The Doctor clumsily proposing to River Song by accident. He seems intrigued by her. “Who are you?” “You’re going to find out very soon now. And I’m sorry, but that’s when everything changes.”
Like the other episodes in this series, everything was lavishly shot. The lighting, the effects, everything was just perfect. The soundtrack got the right balance of tension in the action sequences and comedy in the lighter moments.
I probably mentioned this in yesterday’s Big Bang review, but [[Matt Smith]] really impressed me as The Doctor in those final episodes. His Doctor is so much more thoughtful and quirky than his predecessor, and doesn’t have to rely on yelling as a dramatic device. [[Karen Gillan]] has received a lot of criticism in other quarters for a fairly shouty performance this series. Though I have grown to love Amy Pond throughout this series, and her odd backstory making her one of the best-written companions in years.
It was nice to see Rory ‘the boy who waited’ given his proper place in this episode. Though I must say, I’m not completely sure if this Rory is an Auton, or if somehow everything got reset due to the Pandorica/TARDIS explosion effect. If anyone can clear this up for me, I’d be really grateful. I’ve watched it three times now, and I’m still confused.