So – I had some ideas on how this would go. Some of these proved have basis – none of them were actually correct:
1. Vortex Manipulator: Yes, it plays a role. No, River doesn’t have it – which makes perfect sense: she is getting the TARDIS; she should leave the other space-time mover behind, just in case. It makes sense to have the TARDIS some ways away from the prison for the most dangerous being in the universe. I like saying ‘it makes sense’ about Doctor Who due to my underuse of the term in previous seasons.
2. Plastic Rory: guarding the Pandorica, yes, but the because is different, leading to:
3. … Doctor in the Pandorica: Subverted, and in the opening sequence, no less. Amy is in there. I like young Amy, but older Amy needed to be in the main action also. They were quite brilliant in her understanding from the exhibits around her what happened to the box and who has been protecting her. And it made sense, in a technobabble way, for her, simultaneously setting up:
4. … Pandorica helps save the universe it helped destroy: I thought it would be a ‘ride out the destruction’ thing. Imagine m surprise when it flies into the Sun and helps reboot the entire universe from its internally preserved atoms. Not that it is the Sun, it is of course:
5. Earth survives when everything else explodes?: because the TARDIS is that Sun. Aw yes. That beautiful, beloved blue box, saving us as it destroys us, trying to help even while it it dying.
6. Yes, the coated doctor is significant: I assumed it was time travel – it was his timeline unravelling. Ultimate tragedy in those words.
So those are the details.
I mean, it is clever, witty, brilliant, tragic, hopeful, romantic, fist-punching-the-air …
You see, there is little Amelia, growing up in an odd world without stars, with less hope & more people taken from her. And the wee nose twitching like a rabbit. Awww. Then older Amy pops out of the Pandorica, and tells us this is where it gets complicated…
Then: Roman Rory, cradling a near-dead Amy, making heart-wrenching jokes, asking for an impossible miracle … at which point the Doctor appears in a fez with a mop, like a genie. Then disappears. Then reappears. Then is released from the box, with ‘I have a future – that’s nice’ & ‘footprints of the never were’. Then he checks that Rory is still human, a la ‘The Lodger’, and you know he is doing it by the look on his face, & you love him and Rory for their reactions. And then you love them all over again for their reactions to Rory’s decision to stay to guard the Pandorica.
Meanwhile, you love Amy all over again for taking all this in her stride – working out the year from the height & hair of her younger self, demonstrating that, why yes, she IS a time-traveller & totally deserves it – then her knowing, without a doubt, what Roman Centurion would stand vigil over her for the better part of 2,000 years.
Then the doctor appears on “-trouble”, in the middle of trouble with the revivified Dalek – which, despite being under powered & partially fossilized, is one of the most chilling Dalek’s since their return to the series. Then: We’re going to run into a dead end where I’ll come up with a plan not to be in one. Then: Rory the security guard shoots it. Then there is a reunion appropriate to 2,000 years, while Doctor & little Amelia banter.
So, the Dalek restarts, the Doctor pulls off a temporal flashdance both hilarious & meaningful, from handing over the sonic to stealing little Amelia’s drink. Rory spawns a thousand fanfictions with the exchange: “How did you stay out of trouble for 2,000?” “Badly”.Then the Doctor-from-the-future has been shot, dead, & little Amelia disappears into a never-been & it turns out River Song is trapped on a time-loop TARDIS at the heart of an exploding star – perfectly foreshadowed by her parts being slow-motion, & heartwarming that the TARDIS is protecting her.
So, Doctor rescues River – who can still banter beautifully, again proving herself hundredfold a true time-traveller, Amy & River collaborate to destroy the fez, the Doctor hatches a brilliant plan to restart the universe. Then, he is shot by the Dalek – Rory & Amy discover that the ‘dead Doctor’ gambit was a Kansas city shuffle to get the Dalek out of the Pandorica’s regeneration range, while River shows the cold badass we know her to contain, succeeding in making the then-last Dalek beg.
Then the Doctor says goodbye to Amy – really, really goodbye, because she’ll never remember her ‘imaginary friend’ once she has her family back. Then he flies the Pandorica into the heart of the still-exploding TARDIS – understated awesome. Then he survives – and he loves when he does that. Except he hasn’t – it is last week, at Space Florida, as his timeline unravels. He is dying. He is dying in a way that means he never was. Then he holds the hands of the close-eyed Amy when she felt afraid & alone, & the whole dialogue from that original playing is turned on its head.
And he meets little Amelia, waiting for him in her garden, puts her to bed, & tells her, with an outpouring of love in his voice towards the TARDIS we’ve only heard hinted at in the prior seasons, about how he loves that blue box, impossible, ancient & new, blue & huge, small. The tragedy of the TARDIS exploding wasn’t just the unevent of the universe, it was also losing what was his magnificent, impossible friend.
Then Amy wakes up – Mum, Dad, Rory! – remembers the Doctor right into her wedding reception. Why/How was River there? – under Davies I’d say this was a throwaway, under Moffat there IS a reason we haven’t met yet. Then the Doctor dances, has the ‘yes–yes–yes’ conversation with River and then Amy and Rory don’t allow themselves to be left behind. ‘Goodbye?’ ‘Definitely goodbye.’ ‘GOODBYE!’
There is no explanation of who River is, what the Silence is or who took control of the TARDIS – and this is magnificent in its multi-season archness. Rory & Amy have to be one of the first married couples on board and Rory, while ‘Mr Pond’, isn’t a tin dog. Where are they going? To chase an Egyptian Goddess on the Orient Express In Space at the request of Her Majesty. I really want the special to be here already – not the least because everything else is ending.
Yeah – it is a summary. Because that was the part I liked – all of it. It is great science fiction & high fantasy. It teases us with a great villain team-up – then uses a single Dalek to scare the poop out of us. The universe explodes – and we can talk about fezzes without turning them into idiots. It is a love story that spans 2,000 years – it several, in fact, and they are all wonderful stories. It induced horror, and nobody died – several people that hadn’t existed at he start came back in fact. The whole season makes sense, repeats themes throughout and is a gem throughout.
Seriously. I mean, I want to read Matt Smith’s fanfiction about the Doctor, the Pyramids and Albert Einstein to get by.
And that is 1222 words.