The fifth series of the relaunched Doctor Who comes to a close this week with The Big Bang. Penned by Steven Moffat, this episode is the conclusion of the season long arc featuring the cracks in space-time as well the resolution of the Pandorica cliffhanger from last week.
The episode first aired on 26 June, 2010, and while it didn’t tie up all of the threads from the season a lot of them were securely knotted into place.
The Doctor (Smith) is trapped in the prison known as the Pandorica (which causes almost all the stars in the known universe to go supernova – but for the one sustaining Earth – or is it?), Amy (Karen Gillan) has been shot by Rory (Arthur Darvill), who has been restored to life as an Auton, and River (Alex Kingston) is stuck in an exploding TARDIS.
But through some wonderful use of time travel, and crossing his on timeline (a bit of a no-no) the Doctor is able to save himself, his friends, and reboot the universe before the end of the episode.
There are temporal shenanigans aplenty that cause a lot of laughs as well as progress the story in a fun, fast-paced way, even as the story hits the dramatic and emotional beats (Rory waited…) that are needed for the series finale.
That reveal before the titles of Amy inside the Pandorica instead of the Doctor was a great moment! And told the viewer to buckle up, because we are about to go on a ride!
A Christmas Carol was also penned by Moffat and aired on 25 December, 2010.
Amy and Rory are celebrating their honeymoon on a galactic cruise, but their spaceship encounters some trouble and begins to make planetfall but are caught in a strange cloud belt that swathes the planet.
The Doctor travels to the planet surface and encounters Karzan Sardick (Michael Gambon). He has the ability to control the cloud layer, but refuses to help and in fact takes delight in being cruel and miserly.
Taking a cue from Dickens (the Doctor is a fan after all) the Time Lord pulls a Christmas Carol on Sardick with some temporal manipulation. What follows is a Gallifreyian update on the classic tale. It interweaves a bit of a love story, featuring Abigail (Katherine Jenkins) who is kept frozen in stasis and can, when woken, can sing to peace the creatures that live within the cloudbelt (sharks!).
The Doctor travels through Sardick’s past, manipulating events so that Sardick ends up being a better person, but will it be enough?
It’s light-hearted, not exactly the best Christmas special from Doctor Who, but does have some nice moments.
Next week, however, series six gets underway in a big way with the series opener The Impossible Astronaut, preceded by a couple of mini-episodes.