Monday, June 28, 2010

Doctor Who (UK) - "The Big Bang"

The fifth season of 'Doctor Who' in the UK is airing a few episodes ahead of that in the US. If you are watching 'Doctor Who' in the US on BBC America and do not wished to be spoiled... GO NO FURTHER! Read only the reviews marked "Doctor Who (US)". If you are watching 'Doctor Who' in the UK, read ahead if you've already seen this episode.

Review by Antony Ellis

'Doctor Who'
Season 5 - Episode 13
"The Big Bang"

It was all about Amy.

For me, each season of ‘Doctor Who’ is the companion’s story. It has been that way, in my eyes, since 2006 when David Tennant took on the title role from Christopher Eccleston (who arguably used his season to re-establish the Doctor in the 21st Century – or whichever wibbly-wobbly, timey-whimey Century the Doctor found himself in). The companion’s tale is the meat of each season, and for me, the Doctor is the constant or the plate in which this hunk of sci-fi steak is served on!

I was therefore starting to worry about Season Five, as brilliant as I had been finding it thus far. This was due to the fact that after my initial love for Amy Pond caused by Moffett (easily) tugging at my heart strings with the image of the “girl who waited” in “The Eleventh Hour” I really felt no further emotional tie to Amy Pond throughout the season. In fact, I was enjoying the added complication that Rory’s companionship brought to the show.

Amy, until this final episode of the season, was just the feisty, Scottish redhead who shouted a lot and the thought of following her adventures in time and space for another season didn’t excite me at all. She was no Rose Tyler, and she wasn’t even a match for Martha Jones, and certainly she wasn’t a Donna Noble (Best. Companion. Ever.) by a long shot.

“The Big Bang” changed everything! It brought light where there was only previously darkness. Amy suddenly made sense and the dark fairytale theme of the season came full circle and in the true ‘Doctor Who’ finale style much crying was done.

That’s not to say that “The Big Bang” was just Karen Gillen’s show. Both Rory and River Song have awesome emotional moments throughout the last episode, and Matt Smith completes a (perhaps) faultless season run to be the most alien, and intriguing Doctor yet. I said in my review of “The Eleventh Hour” that if Smith’s performance remained at the same calibur as in his premiere outing that fans would be thinking “Tennant who?” and I stand by this initial thought. Smith is an absolute triumph and I can’t imagine anyone else playing my Doctor.

C-Worm’s other Who-Reviewer, David Lowbridge, will never forgive me if I don’t point out some of the issues we both had with the finale. And “The Big Bang” isn’t all good – there are plot holes if you look hard enough to find them, including just how could the Sonic Screwdriver unlock the Pandorica so easily when River informed us it had deadlocks and other security devices keeping it shut tight for centuries prior? And even if the Sonic could unlock it, why would the Doctor’s enemies who have gone to so much trouble to form this unholy alliance just forget to take the Screwdriver from him before locking him away? Leading from this, I was also slightly disappointed in how the tense finale of last week’s “The Pandorica Opens” was so quickly undone before “The Big Bang” had even ran it’s opening titles.

Steven Moffatt’s ideas and plots are sometimes more complicated that Russell T. Davies’s and Moffat sometimes plays more with the aspect of sci-fi and fantasy than the character drama Davies was known for, but I think the show is not at a disadvantage for doing so. I now find myself counting the weeks until Christmas and wishing the summer over – just so I can get myself some “New Who”, and I’m much more excited of the prospect of chasing Amy for another year.

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