Sunday, February 7, 2016

NuWho Reviews: The Lodger, The Pandorica Opens, The Big Bang

The Lodger

Colchester isn't the fifth moon of Cyndacalista. I know, I get confused about that sometimes too. While the Doctor is being confused, a weird surge of energy tosses him out of the TARDIS, and his ship disappears with Amy in it.

Meanwhile, in a creepy apartment house some old guy calls for help on the intercom. The poor dude who goes up to help him gets into something horrible, because a bright light appears. That's never good news.

The Doctor finds out (and by that, I mean that the previous roommate magically got enough money to move out when the Doctor needed to move in) that one of the renters needs a roommate to help pay for the flat, so he applies. By applies, this means he walks in and suddenly we are in a straight man/funny guy sitcom. Craig is working up his courage to tell his best friend Sophie that he loves her, but instead he accidentally declares his love to the Doctor. Bromance ensues.

The Doctor promises to fix the science-y death rot on the ceiling, while communicating with Amy on an ear piece. Another human gets called up to the death room, from which the death rot is presumably coming. More wacky sitcom hijinks ensue as the Doctor runs out using his toothbrush as a sonic screwdriver wearing a towel, and Craig's BFF deciding that she likes the eye candy.

Also, the Doctor manages to be better than Craig at everything, mainly by accident. When he is told he will annihilate the competition at a football (see: soccer) game, he goes into a very dramatic speech about peace before realizing they're talking about a game. I get confused about that too, especially around this time of year.

Fetch me the elephant gun, Chauncey, that's a good lad.

After convincing Sophie to follow her dreams, and making Craig think that she's going to move away, Craig tries to clean up the rot. By morning he is near death, because, you know, death rot. Luckily tannins help. Tannins help everything. After impressing Craig's boss while Craig was home sick, talking to a cat, and building strange things in his room, Craig has had enough. The Doctor does the only thing he can do: he headbutts with Craig, making the bromance even stronger, and psychically explains everything to him.

Right about then, Sophie goes upstairs to help the "person", and Amy explains that the upstairs doesn't in fact, exist. In the non-existent upstairs, a copy of the TARDIS console is dragging Sophie to it with electricity. It lets her go and a hologram demands the Doctor help them. The ship crashed, the pilot is dead, and 17 people have had their heads asploded trying to pilot the thing.

Unfortunately, the Doctor is going to make the machine asplode, but there is one person who has been turned away: Craig. Craig takes his place, declares his love for Sophie and his desire to stay in Colchester, and the Power of Love literally saves the day.

The ship self-destructs, the building now has only one floor, and the TARDIS stops going around in circles and making Amy dizzy.

There is a crack behind Craig's fridge, so ominous stuff is ominous. The Doctor rewrites the will for Craig's roommate and has Amy send the newsagent the ad for the flat, but instead of finding a pen...she finds an engagement ring.

The Pandorica Opens

Vincent's having a bad time of it all. He's having one of his paranoid screaming fits, and everyone's a bit weirded out by his new painting.

In World War II, the Allies have discovered a painting in France, and when they show it to Churchhil he promptly calls the Doctor. The Doctor is unavailable right now, would you like to talk to the next competent person?

River gets the call (with her prison guard looking a bit puzzled). She escapes via hallucinatory lipstick and funny stick figure drawings, and goes to steal the painting from the Royal Gallery. Liz 10 tries to stop her, but then she sees the painting and gets freaked out too. River haggles for a Vortex Manipulator that may or may not have belonged to Captain Jack, depending on which fan theory you like, and goes traveling.

Meanwhile, the Doctor is showing Amy the oldest planet in the universe. There is a message that no one's ever translated, until today, with the TARDIS translator microbes.

The message on the oldest planet of the universe is "HELLO SWEETIE" along with some coordinates.

So River graffitis ancient monuments too.

The coordinates lead the Doctor and Amy to Roman Britain at Stonehenge, where River is passing herself off as Cleopatra. Now we get to see the painting that has terrified people for thousands of year. Is it THE HORRIBLE PAINTING?


No, it's much worse.


Our heroes head for the mythical Pandorica. By the way, River has not yet been in "Time of the Angels". Time travel is strange and confusing.

The Doctor tells us the legend of Pandorica since we haven't heard about it ever. "There was a goblin, or a...trickster. Or a warrior. A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or...reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world."

Anyways, the terrible thing was stopped when a good wizard tricked it. (River interrupts to complain that the good wizard always turns out to be the Doctor.) Amy mentions that it reminds her of Pandora's box, one of her favorite stories as a child.

The Doctor becomes suspicious. We have Amy's favorite history subject, the Romans, and her favorite book at once.

Anyways, crazy things are happening. The Pandorica is opening. Stonehenge is telling all time about it, and now all of the previous villains are arriving to stop this. The Doctor refuses to run, and River goes back to convince the Romans to help, even though they are aware that she isn't Cleopatra, since the woman is, you know, dead. Luckily this nameless Roman offers to help, and the voice sounds familiar, and fans start giggling hysterically, their minds slowly breaking because of this show.

Amy decides now is a good time to confront the Doctor about the engagement ring. The Doctor tries to help Amy remember Rory, and recalls that her house seemed pretty darn empty too...Something starts shooting at them. The Doctor comes up with a great way to find out what it is.

They wind up getting into a fight with some broken Cybermen. Amy is saved when a sword goes through the one she's dealing with. She faints, only to be rescued by...Rory.

Sometimes Steven Moffat does nice things to us and we don't know why. It's like a sadistic mind game for him.

Anyways, the Doctor pokes Rory a few times to make sure he's actually there. He then points out to Rory that he was erased from time. Rory says he died, and became a centurion. According to him, it's very distracting. Also, did you know that if you Google "I died and became a centurion", you get a bunch of stuff about Longinus? I knew my Easter post made complete and total sense.

Poking at people is usually the best way to check whether or not they're real. Trust me, I do it all the time.

All the villains converge, the Doctor shouts at them and makes a Doctory speech, which causes them to retreat long enough to give the Doctor time to come up with an actual plan. River is trying to get the TARDIS to the Doctor, but it doesn't want to dematerialise properly...

But when it does, she is in Amy's backyard in 2010, a voice announces that "silence will fall", and Amy's house has been broken into with all her "memories" having been rifled through, including a picture of Rory dressed up in a Centurion costume.

The TARDIS continues acting strange, the Pandorica makes a weird noise, the Romans all stop moving, and



But, he's an Auton who still remembers his girlfriend, which most Autons do not do. If they have girlfriends at all. Which I doubt.


Everyone has decided that since the cracks in time are caused by the TARDIS exploding, and clearly the Doctor is the only person who can pilot the TARDIS (which makes no sense after we learn she has telepathic controls), ergo they lock him up. Wait, none of them know about River? SHE'S ONLY ANNOUNCED HERSELF LOUDLY WHEREVER SHE GOES.

River tries to leave the TARDIS, only to find a concrete wall, and everything starts exploding. The stars go out, and then some confused intern shuts off the background music.

Two parters are strange and confusing.

The Big Bang

Everyone is very confused. The Doctor is stuck in the Pandorica. Amy appears to be dead. Rory is an Auton Roman, and it's distracting for him. River is in a TARDIS that is about to explode.

Meanwhile, nearly 2000 years later, little Amelia believes in stars, but silly Amelia, stars don't exist! We're confused. Amelia's confused. She gets invited to the National Museum, which is also confusing. Following the directions of a note ("Stick around Pond"), she hides until everyone leaves, then finds the Pandorica. She opens the Pandorica and finds


Meanwhile, at Stonehenge, Rory is crying and wishing the Doctor would do something. The Doctor obliges, appearing in a flash of blue light, wearing a fez, and carrying a mop.

He gives Rory his sonic screwdriver, and tells him how to open the Pandorica with it, and to stick it in Amy's pocket when he's done. The Doctor disappears, and when Rory does get the Doctor out of the Pandorica, everything turns to fossils. They're outside of the timey wimeyness. Or something.

The Doctor then trolls Rory, telling him that his feelings for Amy are just programmed, and that she didn't matter anyways.

After a good punching, the Doctor is convinced Rory's consciousness is real, even if he is plastic. Amy's exposure to the time crack meant her thoughts became a little too real. So, basically, Rory is also a Tulpa. Glad we figured that out.

They stick Amy in the Pandorica, which will keep her alive. The Doctor plans to simply use River's vortex manipulator to pop them both into the future, but Rory points out that if they were able to get into the Pandorica, then something else might.

So, Rory becomes the most awesome person in the history of basically ever by guarding the Pandorica for 2000 years as a plastic Roman soldier, and actually becomes the legend, with his last appearance in history occurring when he dragged the Pandorica out of the London Blitz and they think he may have died in that fire


Don't worry, he was just playing with our minds again, that sadistic psycho. A stone Dalek comes back to life, because past Doctor arrives from Stonehenge, but luckily Rory the museum guard shoots the Dalek with his arm cannon. Small Amelia is somewhat squicked by all the making out that happens. And she would like a drink of water.

The Doctor moves back and forth through time to leave messages and attempt to fix plot holes, gives Amelia some water, steals a fez, and suddenly ANOTHER Doctor appears, collapses, tells present Doctor something, then dies. Amelia disappears.

Outside, there is a bright light. The bright light is not the sun. It is the TARDIS exploding.

River is trapped in the loop, so she keeps getting exploded over and over again. The Doctor vortexes her to the roof, where, despite whatever trauma she has been through, promptly shoots the fez.

The Dalek doesn't care for these hijinks.

The Doctor does some thinking while trying not to be exterminated early. If the Pandorica restored Amy because it contained her DNA, as well as the DNA of the Dalek, then everything can be restored! PLOT HOLE FIXED.

The Doctor gets shot, River makes a Dalek beg for mercy, and sometime between the camera pan and River reappearing, it dies.

Meanwhile, the Doctor has strapped himself into the Pandorica with the vortex manipulator. The plan? Zap into the TARDIS, where the explosion will scatter all that DNA-ish stuff and restore the universe.

The Doctor encourages Amy to remember her family, who were apparently swallowed up by the crack in the wall. And says that "nothing is ever forgotten".

The events of Series 5 happen in reverse order. (The jacketless Doctor in Flesh and Stone wasn't a continuity error, or if it was, it's another plot hole fixed). At the end, the Doctor picks up Amelia, asleep on her suitcase outside, and tells her to remember this as a story. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, THIS REMEMBERING THING.

At Amy's wedding, Amy is crying and she doesn't know why. Some woman left her a blue notebook as a present. She gives a speech about the Doctor being real, and her speech is more powerful than a Winger speech, because she wills the Doctor back into existence. Rory then remembers what happened (I guess he isn't an Auton now? I don't know.), and the Doctor starts a dance party, and the guests just decide that it's normal for a bride's imaginary friend to magically appear at her wedding and start a dance party.

According to certain definitions of "dancing".

He has an awkward discussion with River about marriage, and thinks he might have accidentally proposed to her, but isn't sure.

Then he decides to take Amy and Rory on a honeymoon trip, gets a call from the Orient Express and totally promises he'll be there right away (LIES), and we're off to the next series.

So while I loved the series finale, and the back and forth of it, at the same time it really confused me, partly because we're still left with several questions about what actually happened and what didn't happen. There was apparently a lot of criticism of this, because people thought this was just Steven Moffat's way of rebooting everything so he didn't have to worry about continuity. I think that's silly, because this is the man who started setting up River's story arc before he even took over the show. So, I liked the finale, but I'm still confused about some parts of it.

But I think we can all agree that Rory is completely awesome.

And now, for a special announcement:

As I write this, the world is astonished at the end of Steven Moffat's reign of terror. He will instead be replaced by the kinder, gentler Chris Chibnall who...

Who was head writer for Torchwood...and wrote "42". And "Cold Blood". And story boarded "P.S." which also caused endless tears...



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