If there are those of yout hat have been waiting for a time where I sit down to write this column and finally stop talking about DOCTOR WHO than I’ve got some really good news for you: next week will finally be that column. This week, however, I’m still bubbling over having re-lived THE BIG BANG and just dying to speak about it in full now that it has finally aired in here in the US of A.
Unlike season finale’s of the past this whacky bit of timey-whimey goodness did something that I wasn’t expecting at all in becoming a fairy tale by the episode’s end. It kicked off rather fast paced from the moment that young AMELIA gets up from praying to Santa and doesn’t really stop until we finally learn how the DOCTOR plans on un-doing the event that caused all of reality to cease to exist.
The structure of the episode was executed in a near perfect fashion by ensuring that it provided payoff to it’s core audience first. After the initial set up where we learn that the Earth is still there and the sky has no stars the timey-whimey bit kicks in with secret messages left for AMELIA POND that lead to the big reveal that inside the PANDORICA is none other than her older self. Then we see RORY cradling the recently killed AMY for a few ticks before the DOCTOR pops in, wielding a broom in one hand and a fez on his head, giving RORY his sonic screwdriver to free him from the PANDORICA. See? Time travel goodness handed off in a bit of mind-bending sci-fi for the audience to revel in. This bit is very important because what happens next is nothing but pure romance.
There were two moments last week where I wrote that the performance of ARTHUR DARVILL as RORY really endeared me to the character. The first is when the now self-aware Nestene duplicate RORY decides not to join the DOCTOR in his jump to the future to stay behind and guard the Pandorica to ensure AMY will be kept safe. He does so knowing that any damage to himself will be permanent, he will never sleep the whole time and he’s got 2000 years to act as her protector. The impact of this is then revealed as AMY watches the museum description of the iconic soldier that guarded the Pandorica through the ages, the ultimate act of love. This moment is only overshadowed by the reunion of the two minutes later when it’s revealed RORY is now a guard at the museum housing the Pandorica. Both of these moments are greater than any the actor was asked to do before on the show and he did so with believable emotion and dedication.
The near perfect structure once again turns back when we finally see the other side of all the time jumping bits from the beginning from the other perspective. This amusing bit plays out very well but comes with it a very heavy hand when after all is said and done the DOCTOR from 12 minutes in the future comes back to deliver a message to himself prior to appearing to die. On they go to disover the sun for this Earth is actually the burning and exploding TARDIS, that also has RIVER SONG trapped in a safety time loop. The DOCTOR pops in to save her and after she, with AMY’s help, destroys the fez we see how the DOCTOR becomes injured before popping back in time 12 minutes. Solid sci-fi, right?
After ALEX KINGSTON as RIVER SONG faces down a DALEK (and fanboys around the world squee in delight) we begin to move into the hands down two best performances that MATT SMITH has given all season. The first is as he’s seated in the PANDORICA, preparing to fly it into the exploding TARDIS to save all of reality (again). This wounded and weary DOCTOR asks to speak to AMY prior to take off and MATT SMITH, for such a young actor, taps into something ancient and wise beyond his years. He suddenly transforms himself into a grandfather like character in tone and he really sells it.
After his plan to save reality works we see the DOCTOR going backwards on his own time line as his existence is being undone. He quickly discovers that AMY, having grown up by one of these cracks, has the ability to hear him but not see him. This leads to that moment I wrote wondering about weeks ago from FLESH AND STONE where he is once again in his jacket when he should be jacket-less and he tells AMY the importance of remembering what he told her when she was seven. The very next scene leads us to what it was he told her, which is a wonderful tale of a man who seems to be accepting his fate and he speaks of himself and the life he’s lived to a sleeping AMELIA POND before he walks into the crack and saves everything (again).
The moment the DOCTOR started going back on his timeline the story quietly transitioned to that fairy tale I was talking about. The wonderful speaches lead to AMY waking up to a world where
her entire family and life was restored in ways we hadn’t even know it was fractured by the crack’s in time/space. As we see her wedding day events transpire and we slowly discover that the DOCTOR wasn’t being reflective at all on his life but he was in fact planting himself into AMY’s mind to try to bring himself back. “Nothing’s ever forgotten, not really,” the DOCTOR had said before and once remembered it can be brought back. The DOCTOR chose his words carefully so that the TARDIS becomes the “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blew” for AMY and her memory and belief in the DOCTOR, much like the clapping for Tinkerbell, brings him back. This revelation could have potentially been one of the hokier scenes of the show however KAREN GILLAN as AMY delivers her lines with such conviction and emotion that belief, for me, gets completely suspended and a near eye-watering moment occurs.
As I also wrote about last week there were hints of what is to come next season. RIVER tells the DOCTOR that very soon he will know who she is and she’s sorry because that’s when everything changes. That’s a pretty good indicator that she’ll be back next season. The DOCTOR himself even mentions how the SILENCE or whatever it was that took control of the TARDIS is still out there. Could this be what next year’s arc story will be (and will we find out why the voice that said “SILENCE WILL FALL” sounded so much like DAVROS)? All really good questions that we won’d find out for another nine or 10 month’s I’m sure but we do at least have a Christmas special to look forward too!
Now that we’ve gotten down to my final WHAT on WHO let’s find out what what I’ll say to watch this week, shall we?
ABC - 8:00 PM: A bunch of guys clearly don’t know the man code as they talk all about how they were rejected on THE BACHELORETTE: THE MEN TELL ALL.
NBC - 9:00 PM: With less finalists on tonight’s LAST COMIC STANDING maybe the laugh-to-minute ratio will be back on track tonight.
HBO - 9:00 PM: Considering how much I was destroyed by what I saw in THE BLIND SIDE the harsh reality depicted in the documentary HOMELESS: MOTEL KIDS OF ORANGE COUNTY.
ABC - 10:00 PM: What, two hours of whining dudes not enough for you? Go behind the scenes of all the BACHELOR/ETTE stuff in tonight’s 20/20 SPECIAL: BEHIND THE ROSE.
NBC - 8:00 PM: Having seen not a single frame yet I have to wonder how much of BREAKTHROUGH WITH TONY ROBBINS will be life changing and how much will ask me to buy his life changing program (again).
DISC - 9:00 PM: While still coping with the loss of CAPTAIN PHIL the DEADLIEST CATCH crew has to deal with a stormy and difficult Bergin Sea in tonight’s season finale.
FOX - 9:00 PM: CHEF GORDON RAMSAY continues his televised take-over with tonight’s premiere of his new show MASTER CHEF.
A&E - 10:00 PM: Hoping for some FAMILY JEWELS magic A&E follows the family of former TWISTED SISTER front man DEE SNIDER in GROWING UP TWISTED. Will we like it or are we not going to take it?
DISC - 10:00 PM: There’s reality TV and then there’s REALITY TV when it comes to THE COLONY. It’s dirty, gritty, and there’s no creature comforts at all. I love it.
THE CW - 9:00 PM: The CW premieres their make-over/dating help show titled PLAIN JANE.
ANIMAL PLANET - 9:00 PM: You know there really is a building hoarding problem in America when a show like ANIMAL HOARDERS is even possible. Tonight’s episode features a husband finally putting his foot down with his wife’s 87 dogs. Yeah, 87.
ABC - 11:00 AM: I don’t watch THE VIEW but I’d love to tune in today to see ELISABETH HASSELBECK getting violently ill when PRESIDENT OBAMA is life in the studio.
CBS - 8:00 PM: Will it be KATHY or ANDREW making the walk of shame out of the BIG BROTHER house tonight? Hopefully, after this, we’re one exit away from them trying to put someone previously booted back in the house.
MTV - 10:00 PM: That sound you are hearing are the embarrassed groans of millions of NEW JERSEY natives as by tonight’s return of JERSEY SHORE.
TLC - 8:00 PM: A three episode mini-marathon of SAY YES TO THE DRESS leads up to the 9:30 premiere of the newest annex SAY YES TO THE DRESS:ATLANTA.
ABC - 8:00 PM: Seems WIFE SWAP is really scraping the bottom of the barrel as one wife is dedicated to helping her son’s hip-hop career where as the other is a neglectful step-mom that would rather hunt the elusive Swamp Ape in Florida. Yes, you read that right.
ABC FAMILY - 12:30 PM: First there’s all three BACK TO THE FUTURE movies and they’re followed up by GREASE and GREASE 2? Oh man, if the channel didn’t have commercials I’d have no reason to move.
USA - 1:00 PM: OK, so DOC BROWN isn’t up your alley? How about all three PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movies?
FX - 2:00 PM: WOW! This Saturday is MARATHON-TASTIC! How about five hours of the FOX summer show THE GOOD GUYS?
NBC - 8:00 PM: This week’s winner of the “I stopped giving a crap” award goes to PERSONS UNKNOWN.
SYFY - 9:00 PM: This week’s most obvious rip-off of an INDIANA JONES movie award goes to JACK HUNTER: THE LOST TREASURE OF UGARIT.
FOX - 7:00 PM: I enjoyed the pilot but the swiftness that FOX ushered TYLER LABINE’s show SONS OF TUCSON off the air made me miss most of the rest of the run. Tonight they limply air the series finale.
AMC - 8:00 PM: I’ve heard so much about RUBICON that I have to tune in even if I don’t want to.
CBS - 8:00 PM: It’s that time of the week again where we find out who the new HoH puts up on the chopping block on BIG BROTHER. Hopefully it will be RACHEL because I just can’t stand people that yell talk at the camera.
AMC - 10:00 PM: With the new agency landing a big client it’s time for a party on MAD MEN.
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