Stories:
2892
Members:
734
Submitted Reviews:
8306
Reviewers:
344
< 5.12 - The Pandorica Opens
5.14 - A Christmas Carol >

5.13 - The Big Bang

Rating Votes
10
31%
32
9
21%
22
8
20%
21
7
17%
18
6
6%
6
5
2%
2
4
3%
3
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
8.4
Votes
104
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: EcclestonSmithReview Date: 1/30/19 9:34 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A great way to end the Season, but the concept is a bit weird
I reallg likes that all of The doctors enemies
are here
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 1/15/19 1:16 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This episode is the second part of a two part story following on from The Pandorica Opens. It is a hugely entertaining, fun and exciting episode but it is very complicated. Complexity is something I love when done properly and some of this is but other aspects do not end up making enough sense for my liking. It requires viewers to take a huge leap of belief and just go with it rather than questioning the logic of things that happen. Fortunately most viewers appear happy to do that so therefore this has a great reputation as a high quality episode. A few years later with social media ever more dominant and working as echo chambers for negativity, every new episode is picked apart and attacked for anything that is seen as imperfect or questionable. If this had been the finale for series 11 instead of series 5 I strongly believe this episode would have been torn apart as illogical nonsense and for betraying things set up in the previous episode. Personally I think people are overly critical of new episodes and judge unfairly episodes whilst happily ignoring flaws in episodes like The Big Bang. That is not to say I did not enjoy this episode or think it should be torn apart but when you analyse it there are a number of things which do not make sense. Why was it OK to have things not make sense in the Matt Smith era but not in the Jodie Whittaker era? Well Moffatt's skill in making things exciting, seeming clever and 'timey-wimey' along with Matt smith's popularity as the zany Doctor seem to get people on board and stop them questioning things too much. People leap on perceived plot holes in many TV episodes and films but happily ignore plot holes in things that they got carried away by like this episode. People should judge things fairly and consistently. If I judge this episode fairly and consistently I take into account all its many great qualities but also acknowledge the shortcomings in logic. The way I do it for any TV episode or film is to really try equally hard every time to think of explanations that make sense and research if others make sense of it when I cannot. If there is no explanation that makes sense then I judge it as a plot hole.

You could write a thesis explaining all the goings on in this with paradoxes, mind bending treatment of timelines and plot twists but while you can explain some things away there are still some questionable aspects:
Paradoxes happen from time to time in Doctor Who but never in Doctor Who is there a paradox like the one in this episode where the Doctor saves himself from the Pandorica. The idea is the Doctor 'from the future' lets himself out of the Pandorica and yet if the Doctor were not let out in the first place he would not be there in the future to release himself. People may be happy to just accept Moffatt's twist but I am not. A paradox when someone's future actions affect things in the past which lead back to their future actions in a self fulfilling circle works if that action was possible in theory to happen a 'first time'. For instance if you went into the past and introduced your parents to each other causing your own birth that would be a paradox but you could imagine a scenario when your parents met without your help and you were born then you went back and introduced them causing your birth to happen in a different way. In this episode the paradox does not really make sense because the only people seemingly in existence outside the Pandorica or the exploding TARDIS are Amy and Rory and neither of them has the ability to release the Doctor. So the Doctor could never get out in any scenario making his 'future self' impossible. Also this paradox is an easy get out of a seemingly impossible and awesome cliffhanger so it is just like waking up and finding it was all a dream! Even stories prior to this like 'Last of the Time Lords' get criticised for the Doctor achieving a trick that undoes all of the terrible things which happened to the world and to characters in the story even though that trick was pretty logical in the story. But I do not see criticisms of this episode despite it having a similar event where every bad thing that happened in the story is wiped out by the Doctor doing something clever and seemingly impossible! Indeed the Doctor could use this trick for every single danger he ever faces as if he can just magically create a paradox where he saves himself he can do that any time! I do not like it at all.

Also the universe all disappearing taking all the Doctor's enemies who had been at Stonehenge with it but leaving a few fossilised remnants which can be 'brought back' by the light from the Pandorica does not make sense. Why are there any remnants and why just a couple of Daleks and not remnants of ALL those who were there? Why does the light from the Pandorica restore life at all? Where did they get that power and why would they put such a power inside a prison for the Doctor? Why would they want to keep him alive? Why if they can restore any individual life with a magical light do we never see this technology used elsewhere? Why is the Auton Rory saved but all the other things created from Amy's 'memories' are not? How were Amy's memories so incredibly harvested from her house and doesn't this make the Nestenes suddenly incredibly powerful? Why is their trap for the Doctor SO convoluted when they could simply have built an Auton Amy and/or River or whoever and tricked the Doctor? Why if they can capture the Doctor with their convoluted trap did they put him in a prison that can be opened from outside by a sonic screwdriver or inexplicably the touch of a small girl? Why are all the alien races so stupid as to not check where the TARDIS is when that is the very thing that they know is the danger to the universe? How does the Doctor know the Pandorica has a life restoring light when he has seen no evidence to suggest this? How does he know how to work the Pandorica and how can he wire it up and fly it? How can it fly and why does it not just transport like everything else that gets zapped about by the time bracelet? Why can the Doctor interact with certain points of his history as time collapses? How does River conveniently remember the Doctor and if she does then why not confront Amy with her memories rather than handing her a blank diary? It is all contrivance that seems really cool, exciting and cleverly timey-wimey but makes no sense when you think it through! Sadly this describes how Moffatt would continue in his role as Showrunner, particularly in Series 6 and 7, where he presents complex and exciting story lines which have too many contrivances that do not make sense. Ambition is admirable but things have to make sense surely?

I give a lot of credit for the fun, thrills and entertainment in this episode but the easy get out from the Pandorica, the lack of logic and contrivances of the plot development and the wiping away of all the destruction and death, including Rory's earlier death in 'Cold Blood', by the Doctor using the convenient life restoring light of the Pandorica and Amy remembering things back into existence all detract from the episode for me. A less high quality, less enjoyable episode would be awful with such plot holes and contrived twists but this is such a quality entertainment with fine effects, acting, script, humour, thrills and action so I will be fair and forgive it enough to still rate it 7/10 overall which I think is generous. I mark the two part story 9.5/10 for part 1 and 7/10 for part 2 which is 8.25/10 for the whole story.

Other Recommendations

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 7/23/16 9:18 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Series 5 finale is a brilliantly told and atmospheric conclusion, set mostly in a museum where the universe is disappearing and time being raised. It manages to balance nicely some silly fun and timey wimey moments, with also some epically brilliant moments. Moffat’s idea of Doctor Who as a fairy tale is probably best realized here as well with Rory the Roman guarding the Pandorica, and the final scene at Amy and Rory’s wedding. It provides a joyful end to a wondrous thrill-ride that sees a stunning performance from Matt Smith.