troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Recap: Doctor Who S31 E13 "The Big Bang"
The Doctor and his latest companion. note 

Written by Steven Moffat. Second part of the 2010 season finale.

The Doctor's stuck in the Pandorica, Amy might be dead, and Rory's a Roman with a gun inside his hand. Seems like things aren't going as planned. River's in the TARDIS. The TARDIS is on fire. She's feeling the heat on repeat. She'll require someone she can trust, someone with a bow tie, but he's been locked up and left to die.

Cut to 1,894 years later, to little Amelia's house where she's praying for Santa to seal the crack in her wall. There's something outside, a gust of wind, but when she goes to look, there's no one there. No raggedy Doctor with a crashed blue box here to fix the crack in her wall. Later, she holds up a painting she drew of the night sky, with the moon and stars. Stars that her aunt and her aunt's friend don't recognise. "You know this is all just a story, don't you? You know there's no such thing as stars."

Downstairs, someone's deposited a pamphlet through her letterbox. It's from the National Museum with a picture of the Pandorica on it. "Come along, Pond." Next day, she drags her aunt to the museum, past a stone Dalek into the Pandorica room. Someone steals her drink. There's another note on the box ("Stick around, Pond") and she hides until everyone leaves. Amelia reaches forward and it opens under her touch, light spilling out to reveal... a grown-up Amy. "Okay, kid. This is where it gets complicated."

Back at Stonehenge, Rory is cradling Amy's body, trying to get through to her. With the universe ending, they weren't even born, twice in Rory's case; she'd laugh at that. Please, laugh. He could really do with one of those ridiculous miracles the Doctor talked about just about now. Promptly, the Doctor appears in a flash of blue light, holding a mop and wearing a fez. He gives Rory his screwdriver to open the Pandorica with. Just point, and press, and put the screwdriver in Amy's pocket when he's done. Then, zap! he's gone again. When Rory does get him out, everyone in the room who locked the Doctor in is just dust and stone, after-images of things that never existed, echoes in time. Fossils. Well done guys! The two of them are still here, though, because they're in the eye of the storm.

Upstairs, Rory shows the Doctor that he's killed Amy. The Doctor doesn't blame him; he's just part of the Nestene Consciousness, a lump of plastic with delusions of humanity. "But I'm Rory now. I'm Rory —"

"That's just the software talking," the Doctor says, which, okay, is just harsh. The Doctor could bring Amy back if he had the time, but all of creation has been wiped out from the sky, there are people out there who never existed, were never born, more lives lost than he can imagine. Rory's girlfriend isn't more important than the whole universe —

WHACK!

"SHE IS TO ME!"

"Haha! WELCOME BACK, RORY WILLIAMS!"

He just had to check. They go downstairs. "And take that look off your plastic face. You're getting married in the morning."

Memories are a powerful thing, the Doctor explains, and Amy is not an ordinary girl, having spent most of her life with a time-crack in her wall and all. The Nestene used her mind to create the Romans and got way more than they bargained for; like Rory's heart and soul, for instance. The Doctor gently leaves Amy a psychic message and puts her in the Pandorica. It's a trap you can't escape from, not even in death; it'll keep her just barely alive, since she's Only Mostly Dead.

Back to the Museum. Amy's recovered, and recognises her confused younger self. note  She looks at Amelia, checks her hair and height, and dates it to 1996. She catches sight of the history of the Pandorica on the wall.

Underneath Stonehenge, the Doctor grabs River's Vortex Manipulator and prepares to travel them 2000 years to the future; it's still there, just another version of it. But Rory has doubts. Sure, nothing can supposedly get in there, but the Doctor did. So, wouldn't she be safer if Rory stayed? Well, yeah, but 2000 years is a long time and he wouldn't be able to sleep and he'd go mad. But yes, obviously, she'd be safer. Then why would Rory leave?

The Doctor: Why do you have to be so... human?
Rory: Because right now, I'm not.

The Doctor leaves Rory a few instructions: he's living plastic, but not indestructible, so stay away from heat and radio signals. And for God's sake, however bored he gets, stay out of — zap!

And so Rory draws his sword, sits down beside the Pandorica and waits.

In the museum, Amy looks over the Pandorica's history, all 2000 years where it's been across the Earth; Stonehenge, then Rome, then Italy, then Germany... A short film accompanying the exhibit narrates that throughout its long history, there would always be an iconic Centurion there guarding it, warning people of the consequences if it was opened before its time. It explains that the last time he was seen was in the London Blitz, dragging it away from the fire that destroyed its storage place, his final act saving the box he'd pledged loyalty to for 2000 years. It is believed he perished in the fire that night.

Cue the audience: "Oh, Rory."

Then suddenly: exterminate! The stone Dalek has come to life and zap! " — trouble." The Doctor is here from the past. "Come along, Ponds!" A museum guard shows up and the Dalek goes after him, while the three run.

Dalek: Scan shows intruder is unarmed.

"You think?" Museum guard Rory, having taken quite a few levels in badass during the last 2000 years, shoots the Dalek with his Arm Cannon and disables it for a while. Amy freezes, then runs toward him and they have a tearful reunion which consists mostly of babbled endearments and quite a lot of kissing. The Doctor tries to break them up, but neither of them really give a damn about much of anything right now — including the end of the world. Or breathing. Oh, and little Amelia is thirsty.

They lock the Dalek in the room, while the Doctor zaps back (to Rory at the beginning) and forth for a while, getting himself out of the Pandorica, fixing time loops and leaving messages. And Amelia, here's a drink. He's grabbed a fez from a mannequin in the museum. Then, suddenly, another Doctor appears on top of the stairs, burnt, jacket torn, dishevelled, and collapses. He whispers something into our Doctor's ear and... dies. The good news is, they have twelve minutes.

And little Amelia has vanished. Meanwhile, the Dalek has been Restooorrrrred.

They go up to the roof, where it's day. The sun's gone, since no stars ever shone, but there's a big ball of light in the sky. It's the TARDIS exploding, exploding at every point in time and space, keeping those who still exist on Earth warm. The Doctor grabs a satellite dish and it picks up River's voice. The TARDIS has trapped her in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, freezing her in time so she relives her last moments over and over and over again. The Doctor zaps to her and brings her to the roof.

River: Right then, I have questions, but number one is this. What in the name of sanity have you got on your head?

Yeah, he wears a fez now, fezzes are cool. Amy and River immediately decide otherwise, tearing it off his head and blowing it up with a laser pistol.

And then: Exterminate!

Back downstairs! The Doctor blocks the Dalek beams with the satellite dish. They have exactly four-and-a-half to go before he's shot, so he takes some time to exposition: the light from the Pandorica was a restoration ray, it repaired Amy because it had her DNA but it managed to partially restore the Dalek too. There are millions of atoms in that box, and theoretically, it can restore everything given enough power. Like cloning a whole body using a single cell.They're going to reboot the Universe. The Big Bang 2.

Exterminate! The Doctor's down! And he's zapped himself away again.

Rory and Amy run for it and get back downstairs, while the Dalek faces off with River, who's unamused that the Doctor is (apparently) dead.

Dalek: You will be exterminated.
River: Not yet. Your systems are still restoring, which means your shield density is compromised. One alpha-meson burst through your eye-stalk would kill you stone dead.
Dalek: Records indicate you will show mercy. You are an associate of the Doctor's.
River: I'm River Song. Check your records again.
(beat)
Dalek: Mercy?
River: Say it again?
Dalek: Mercy!!
River: One. More. Time.
Dalek: Mercyyyyy!!!

River glares. A couple of seconds later she comes strolling around the corner, alone.

Amy: Where's the Dalek?
River: It died.

Back downstairs, the Doctor's gone. They find him in the Pandorica, having dragged himself there. The rest of them were a diversion, so he could work down here. Reality continues to collapse around them and it's speeding up; the museum room they're standing in is now much emptier. But the Pandorica has a restoration field; powered by an explosion happening everywhere in space-time, it can act as a Reset Button. The Doctor's wired the Vortex Manipulator to the box, so he can send it into the heart of the exploding TARDIS and give the spark that reboots the Universe. Then they'll all wake up where they ought to be, and none of this ever happened.

The Doctor will be at the heart of the explosion, River explains. Trapped in a never-space, the void between two worlds. All memory of him purged.

The Doctor wants to speak to Amy. She asks why her instead of River. River says it's because the Doctor doesn't really know her yet, and now he never will. The Doctor asks Amy about her family, that big, big house she lived in all alone when he picked her up, those empty rooms, her parents nowhere to be seen. She's lost her parents, she says, but she can't even remember them, or even how. That crack in her bedroom wall has been eating away at her life for a long time now, the Doctor says. The girl who didn't make sense. "Nothing is ever forgotten, but you have to try."

That crack in her wall, the Universe pouring into her head, she'll be able to remember them. She just has to remember, and when she wakes up, her family will be there. The Doctor won't, but she'll have her family back.

"You won't need your imaginary friend any more."

And hey. "Gotcha." Bye-bye, Pond.

The Pandorica lifts off and the Doctor sends a message to River's transmitter: Geronimo.

The Doctor powers the Pandorica into the explosion. Things rewind, events unhappen. And he... wakes up in the TARDIS. Okay. "I escaped, then. Love it when I do that." Legs? Got it. Bow tie? Cool. Fez?... He can buy one. Until he hears his own voice from the console, babbling about a beach with automatic sand. He's in last week, when they were going to Florida IN SPACE!. He's rewinding within his own timestream. The crack in the TARDIS wall is sealing.

He rewinds again, to Colchester, where Amy is putting the card in the window. The Doctor calls out to her; she turns but doesn't see anything. The crack in the pavement is sealed. Rewind again to aboard the Byzantium, in the generated forest, until after jacketless!Doctor leaves. He tells her to remember what he told her when she was seven. So it wasn't an error, the whole jacket thing! We knew it!

Rewind again, to Amelia's house (note the scary open door), where she's fallen asleep in the garden atop of her suitcase. He picks her up and tucks her into bed, then sits beside her. When she wakes up, he says, he'll be a story in her head but it's okay; they all are, in a way. Just make it a good one, because it was, you know. A daft old man who stole a magic box and ran away. Did he tell her that? Well, borrowed it, really, and he meant to give it back but never had the chance. She'll dream about the box that's big and little at the same time, brand new and ancient, the bluest of blue. Adventures they had. Would have had. Never did. The Doctor and Amy Pond and the days that never came. The crack in her wall is closing now, but they can't close properly until he's on the other side. Oh, well. He skips the rest of the rewind note .

The Doctor: I hate repeats. Live well. Love Rory. Bye-bye, Pond.

Amelia wakes up. Outside her window, the stars are back.

In the morning, we're back to Amy's wedding day and her mum's brought her breakfast. Amy is surprised at first, then confused about why she's surprised. Her dad's downstairs but it's like she's never seen them before.

Wedding dinner! Amy's dad fails to give a speech, and Amy is laughing until she sees River walk past the window. And suddenly, she's crying, but she doesn't know why. Because she's happy, Rory tries, but she's not; it's because she's sad — but why is she sad?

There's a blue notebook on the table in front of her with nothing written in it, a present a woman left. It's just a present, a wedding thing. Her eyes fall on a bow-tie, a man's braces, the notebook that looks like a blue box. She cuts off her dad's speech:

Amy: There's someone missing. Someone important. When I was a kid I had an imaginary friend. The raggedy Doctor. My raggedy doctor. But he wasn't imaginary, he was real. I remember you! I brought the others back, I can bring you home too. Raggedy man, I remember you and YOU ARE LATE FOR MY WEDDING!

She remembered him through words. "Something old, something new, something borrowed... something blue."

For a moment nothing happens, but then the glass vibrates, there's wind from somewhere and...

Vworp, Vworp, Vworp

He's back! And wearing a spiffy tux with top hat, to boot.

The Doctor: Hello, everyone! I'm Amy's imaginary friend, but I came anyway.

She's so happy she's ready to kiss him again, but the Doctor insists that the only one doing the kissing will be Mr Pond. Rory briefly objects that that's not how last names work, then has to agree that in their case, it just is.

The Doctor's only here for the dancing note . And he does it really... creatively. Later, Rory and Amy slow dance, while the Doctor watches from the doorway. "Two thousand years. The boy who waited. Good on ya, mate."

The TARDIS is parked in Amy's garden. The Doctor goes back to it, and River shows up. He gives her back her notebook and her Vortex Manipulator. He asks her a series of questions, she gives back a series of non-answers. Is she married? Is she saying yes to being married or does she think he's asking her to marry him? Was that a yes or yes?

He's going to find out who she is very soon. That's when everything changes. And zap! she's gone.

He's about to run again, but Amy and Rory catch up. There are things left unresolved; the Big Bad still hasn't been revealed yet, someone brought the TARDIS to this point in time-space and blew it up, that voice from nowhere still hasn't been explained. Then he gets a phone call. Another Sealed Evil in a Can has escaped on the Orient Express. IN SPACE!! He has to go, something's come up, so this is goodbye. Amy and Rory agree:

Amy: (standing in the TARDIS doorway, waving back at the house) Goodbye!

And vworp, vworp...


Tropes:

  • Act Of True Love: the Plastic-Man-which-thinks-it-is Rory's absolutely epic and yet secret two thousand years of warding of his beloved while she was... stuck.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head:
    Amelia: I'm thirsty. Can I get a drink?
    The Doctor: Oh, it's all mouths today, isn't it! (puts his fez on her, covering most of her head)
  • And the Adventure Continues: At the end, the Doctor receives a phone call regarding an Egyptian goddess and the Orient Express, IN SPACE!
  • Alternate Universe: The immediate effects of the previous episode are no Doctor and no stars, but then the rules of time and space start breaking down. Also, if a brief exchange between Amy's aunt and her friend is to believed, apparently well-known atheist (at least in this universe) Richard Dawkins is now involved in a star cult.
  • Apocalypse How: Metaphysical Annihilation. Death of reality. This is an inversion of the death of reality as threatened in the last few major climaxes: Earth itself is, more or less, perfectly fine. Everyone else, on the other hand, is nothing.
  • The Atoner: Rory's making good on his failure to save Amy writes him into the myths and legends of many civilisations.
  • Back for the Finale: After the Continuity Cameos of the last episode, 7-year-old Amy makes another appearance. And the actress has a cameo (presumably as Amy's cousin or something) at Amy's wedding. Well, she IS Karen Gillan's real-life cousin....
  • Back from the Dead: Rory (for real this time) along with the rest of the universe thanks to the spacetime-wide Reset Button, and also Amy's parents.
  • Badass: River Song has officially earned the title. As has Rory, for that matter.
  • Badass Boast: "I'm River Song... Check your records again."
  • Bad Vibrations: That scene near the end where wine-glasses vibrate, then things start blowing around. Although since they herald the return of the Doctor, they're arguably Good Vibrations.
  • Bait and Switch: At the beginning, the viewer thinks that young Amelia is going to open the Pandorica to free the Doctor... and then it turns out to be her older self inside.
    Older Amy: (to Younger Amy) Okay kid. This is where it gets complicated.
  • Batman Gambit: The Doctor relies on Amy's memory recall for him to come back to reality.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't ever tell Rory that his girlfriend isn't important.
    • Don't kill the Doctor (seemingly) and expect River Song to leave you alive.
  • Big Damn Villains: Without the Alliance of villains the universe still would have been destroyed, but with no active Pandorica, or even a Pandorica at all, there would have been no way to reboot it. Which means they succeeded in saving the universe! In a roundabout way, at least, since they probably didn't plan it this way.
  • Blatant Lies: In the ost wonderful way.
    Amy: Okay Doctor, did I surprise you this time?
    (the Doctor appears in a pimped out tuxedo, with matching Nice Hat)
    The Doctor: Uh, yeah. Completely astonished. Never expected that.
  • Break the Cutie: When Amy watches the video about the Last Centurion never being seen again after the Blitz (fire + plastic = not good), she breaks down completely.
  • Brick Joke:
    • "However bored you get, stay out of... trouble."
    • The dialogue is clearer thanks to Amelia deciding to go by Amy at some point growing up.
  • Call Back:
    • The Doctor calls Rory a Nestene duplicate. Living plastic.
    • "I'm River Song. Check your records again." sounds similar to "I'm the Doctor, and you're in the largest library in the universe. Look me up." This is also technically a Call Forward from River's perspective. Bonus points for the addition callback to Children of Earth, where a similar threat is made to the 456.
      Ianto: Check your records. His name is Captain Jack Harkness. Go back a hundred and fifty years and see what you're facing.
    • Also the Vortex Manipulator the Doctor puts on. He calls it rubbish, just like he did when Jack used it, but says that, because the universe is so small, it will suffice.
  • Cardboard Prison: As powerful a prison the Pandorica is said to be, the sonic screwdriver opens it easily. This is a Call Back to the previous episode when the doctor points out that prisons are easy to open from the outside, but hard to open from the inside.
  • Catchphrase: Had all gone to plan, the Doctor's Famous Last Words to his companions would have been "Geronimo!"
  • Chandler's Law: The Dalek serves this purpose repeatedly — every time the plot gets bogged down, the Dalek will arrive again and start shooting. It happens four times.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The Doctor was erased from existence, but Amy remembered him and somehow magically brought him back. It... sort of makes sense in context.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The stone Dalek shoots on sight, seemingly giving the Doctor a mortal wound in the process. However, he survives as the blast wasn't at full power.
  • The Constant: Amy to the time-consumed universe, post-"Big Bang 2".
  • Continuity Nod: Many:
    • "Fezzes are cool" to "bowties are cool".
    • "You're Mr. Pond" to the "We're not her boys." "Yeah, we are" line in "The Vampires of Venice".
    • Rory's ~2000 years staying out of trouble "unsuccessfully" references the Doctor saying the same thing.
    • The scene where Amy starts crying at her wedding party oddly echoes the one where she meets Rory again.
    • "He was the stripper at my stag do."
    • "Gotcha."
    • Legs? Yes!
    • The Doctor calls Rory the boy who waited.
    • When Rory blasts the Dalek the first time he shoots it in the eyepiece, blinding it. This has happened several times in previous stories. ("My vision is impaired!")
    • The Doctor, Amy, Rory, and River are the only ones who remember what happened, because they were at the "eye of the storm". That sounds somewhat like "Last of the Time Lords". Instead of it being a "rewind", however, it's more like the alternate timeline without stars and any species other than those on Earth was restored to the ordinary universe.
    • The episode's opening strongly echoes the opening of "The Eleventh Hour", right down to repeated dialogue. The only thing that's different is the background music, and even that is a variation on the same tune.
    • The Doctor Dances.
    • Rory saying "She is [important] to me!" as he cold-cocks the Doctor is reminiscent of the Doctor's dialogue with the Atraxi in "The Eleventh Hour" — "Is this world important?" "Important? What's that mean, important? Six billion people live here; isn't that important?"
    • The Doctor is hit by a Dalek blast and turned into the Raggedy Doctor of Amy's youth.
    • Amy was given unusual mental abilities by her exposure to a crack in the Universe — like Mrs Tyler and Gwyneth.
    • This isn't the first time that the Doctor has worn a fez while holding a mop.
    • In "Voyage of the Damned", the Doctor says that bad things always happen when he wears his tux. In this episode, he arrives at the wedding in a top hat and tails!
  • Cryptic Conversation: The Doctor and River's final conversation before he leaves. See Mathematician's Answer below.
  • Delayed Ripple Effect: The whole "eye of the storm" thing.
  • Description Cut: "I only came for the dancing." Cut to the Doctor tearing up the wedding dance floor... really really badly.
  • Determinator:
    • The Dalek, repeatedly recovering after being shot by Rory.
      Dalek: "Restore... Restore... Restore!"
    • Rory himself for surviving the 2000 years.
  • Deus ex Machina: The Doctor is permanently sealed inside the Pandorica with his Sonic Screwdriver, which is the only thing that could be used to open it from the outside. Suddenly, a future Doctor appears to give Rory the Screwdriver, allowing him to open the Pandorica, thus allowing the Doctor to escape and give the Screwdriver to Rory.
  • Disney Death:
    • No, Centurion Rory didn't die in the fires of the Blitz.
    • The Doctor fakes his death from the Dalek's death ray as a distraction.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: And how. Compared to the Downer or Bittersweet Endings of previous revival seasons, the whole of reality, the Doctor and his current companions manage to catch a break for once.
  • Everybody Lives: And then some. With Rory and Amy's family brought back by the Doctor's action, Steven Moffat's kill count is firmly in the negative by now.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: The museum display Amelia hides in.
  • Faking the Dead: The undeleted Dalek, and the Doctor. Also the TARDIS. Its been keeping everyone on Earth alive in dying.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    The Doctor: Today, just dying is a result.
  • Fantastic Religious Weirdness: Richard Dawkins' "star cults".
  • Flying Dutchman: Rory as the Lone Centurion.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • Exhibits you can blink-and-miss include the Penguins of the Nile. And Dinosaurs in Ice.
    • And if you look closely, as Amelia shoves her way through the crowd to see the Pandorica, you can see the Doctor edging out of shot, presumably so he can prepare to steal her drink.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Rory punches the Doctor to remind him Amy matters. Subverted, in that the Doctor is feigning disinterest in Amy to ensure that Rory's personality is stronger than the Nestene part of him.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • "I dated a Nestene duplicate once. Swappable heads. It did keep things fresh..."
    • The episode's title, given that the episode ends with Rory and Amy boarding the TARDIS on their wedding night.
  • Good Is Not Nice: River may be on the Doctor's side, but she's not interested in being merciful at all... at least around a Dalek.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: River blowing up the stone Dalek, which only makes it more awesome.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Close. We're given a few small insights into Rory's time guarding the Pandorica, but 2000 years must have had some good stories we'll never hear.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Well, 10-Second Loop. River is trapped in this to prevent her dying in the TARDIS explosion.
  • Henpecked Husband:
    • Rory is one of these both before the wedding:
      Amy: Do you get the feeling that you're forgetting something important, something incredibly big and monumental?
      Rory: ...yep.
      Amy: Are you just saying that because you're afraid of me?
      Rory: ...yep.
      Amy: I love you.
      Rory: ...yep. Wait, no! I love you too!
    • ...and after.
      The Doctor: From now on, I'll leave all the kissing to the brand new Mr Pond.
      Rory: Wait, what? No, I'm not Mr Pond, that's not how it works.
      The Doctor: Yeah it is.
      Rory: ...yeeeaah, it is.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • The Doctor pilots the Pandorica into the exploding TARDIS, allowing it to re-extrapolate the entire universe from the atoms preserved within it. This very nearly erases him from history, but the memories of his companions — specifically Amy — restore him.
    • Rory was more than willing to risk life, limb, and sanity to ensure that Amy stays safe, going so far as to pull the Pandorica out of a fire by himself, during the London Blitz. Even the Doctor is astounded to find him alive and virtually undamaged some 2000 years later.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: When Rory shoots the Dalek, he hits its eye-stalk with just two shots. He's had nearly 2000 years to practice his aim.
  • In Medias Res: Played for Laughs when the Doctor zapping back to 102 AD intermittently is "explained".
  • Internal Homage: Someone who was a Roman soldier in Britain living for centuries while time is being ripped apart? The remains of a Dalek being found there? Happened in "Seasons of Fear".
  • Just Plane Wrong: The "German bombers" shown in a picture of the Blitz are actually American B-17s. Of course, this may be deliberate to show how wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey Earth's history was or an archivist screwed up at some point in time.
  • Kubrick Stare: Amy looking down at Amelia when the Pandorica opens in the museum.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • "Goodbye!"
    • "I hate repeats."
    • "Okay, kid. This is where it gets complicated." She's looking directly at the camera.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: River Song and the Doctor:
    The Doctor: Hi honey, I'm home!
    River: And what sort of time do you call this?
  • Lost In Transmission:
    The Doctor: And for God's sake, however bored you get, stay out of—*zap!* —trouble.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Amy keeps making statements along this line, though she may just be joking about the time she tried to bang the Doctor. May.
      Amy: You absolutely definitely may kiss the bride.
    • And later:
      Amy: Oi! Where are you off to? We haven't even had a snog in the shrubbery yet!
      Rory: Amy!
      Amy: Shut up, it's my wedding!
      Rory: Our wedding!
    • River may or may not make it a Love Square (see Mathematician's Answer below).
  • The Maiden Name Debate:
    • Inverted; Rory becomes "Mr Pond" psychologically because Amy wears the trousers. (Even when she doesn't.)
      The Doctor: I'll leave all the kissing to the new Mr Pond.
      Rory: Oh, no, that's not how it works!
      The Doctor: Yeah it is.
      Rory: (enthusiastically) ...yeah it is!
  • Mathematician's Answer: The conversation River and the Doctor have at the end:
    The Doctor: Hang on. Did you think I was asking you to marry me, or asking if you were married?
    River: Yes.
    The Doctor: No, but was that yes, or yes?
    River: Yes.
  • Merlin Sickness: The Doctor gets a mild case right before being erased from existence.
  • Mind Screw: What this episode is if you can't make sense of the various timey-wimey paradoxes.
  • Minimalist Cast: As far as one can tell, at one point the entire universe is reduced to the planet Earth, only inhabited by the four principal characters and a half-existent Dalek.
  • Mood Whiplash: The entire episode is full of them:
    • Auton!Rory crying, holding (an Only Mostly Dead, but Rory thinks he's killed her) Amy in his arms... only for the Doctor, wearing a Fez and carrying a mop, to appear from nowhere.
    • There's the myth of the Lone Centurion; it's a heroic and tragic tale, and it's said that the Centurion was never seen again after the Blitz... Then there's Rory, entering in the most awesome way possible.
    • Amy grabbing the Doctor's Fez, throwing it up in the air and River shooting it is awesome, which then becomes terrifying as you hear the Dalek.
    • The scene where the Doctor zips around creating a bunch of Stable Time Loops to position things the way he needs them is pretty funny, until, abruptly and without warning, it isn't: a singed and nearly dead Doctor pops in from the future and, to the gang's horror, apparently dies right in front of them.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: River and Amy move like a single unit to destroy the Doctor's fez. Makes much more sense, while being no less awesome, after season 6. Well... as much as things can make sense in Doctor Who.
  • Mythology Gag: The Doctor solves the trap in similar fashion as in Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death. Steven Moffat's Timey-Wimey Ball is Older than You Think.
  • Nice Hat: The Doctor thinks his fez is cool. River kills it forever. Later at the wedding he wears a spiffy top hat.
  • The Night That Never Ends: Sort of. There's day and night, thanks to the exploding TARDIS standing in for our sun, but no stars.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The teaser at the end: an Egyptian goddess, on the Orient Express, IN SPACE!
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: River Song to the Daleks.
  • Noodle Implements: When we first see the Doctor time travel to see Rory at the start, the fez and mop definitely come across as these (though we do get to see where they come from later on).
  • Noodle Incident:
    • How Rory stayed out of trouble. "Unsuccessfully."
    • Space Florida.
    • Also, we never do find out what happens after the phone call at the end of the episode. That one is kind of an inverse Noodle Incident...
  • Not Quite Dead: Amy and the Doctor both get one.
  • Not Using the Zed Word: Autons are referred to only as "Nestene Duplicates", perhaps because the name doesn't make much sense without the context of the original setting.
  • Oh Crap:
    • The Doctor's Bill & Ted hijinks come to a screeching halt when his future self pops in and promptly collapses.
    • The Dalek assuming that River Song is just any old companion:
      Dalek: MERCYYYYYYYYYYY!
  • Old, New, Borrowed and Blue: The phrase helps Amy remember the Doctor during her wedding because, among other things, the TARDIS is all four at once.
  • Once More with Clarity: All over the place. In addition to returning to earlier scenes from the episode with new information, there are also flashbacks to other episodes from Series 5.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Amy, and the trope is name checked too.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "I'm River Song. Check your records again."
  • Reality Warper: Growing up near a time crack seems to make you a moderate form of this, whatever the heck moderate is supposed to be on a universal scale.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Rory, mentally at least. It's probably safe to say he retained his memories from when he was an Auton. The Doctor even says that the Nestenes "got more than they bargained for" when they made Auton Rory, like his heart and his soul. Later when the TARDIS appears at the wedding he can be heard saying "I was plastic!" in the background.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: In-show examples; We learn that the Doctor had previously taken Amy to "Miami IN SPACE" (with "automated sand"). At the very end of the episode, the Doctor is informed of an "Egyptian Goddess on the Orient Express--IN SPACE".
  • Reset Button: Turns out throwing the Pandorica into the exploding TARDIS reboots the universe. It Makes Sense in Context, and unlike most reset buttons, can't really be considered much of a Deus ex Machina, thanks to the series-long set-up of the cracks stretching through time and space.
  • Ret Gone: Due to the cracks, all of existence has been erased from history. The only things to have ever existed in this timeline is Earth, an exploding TARDIS and presumably the Moon. And they're also fading away. Everything got better, though.
  • Running Gag: Apparently the gag made a transition from bow-ties being cool to everything the Doctor wears being cool.
    The Doctor: I wear a fez now. Fezzes are cool.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Ordinarily the Doctor cannot go backwards in his own time-line. Word of God states that the Doctor's willingness to break his normal rules is due to the very serious nature of the situation. Or for cheap tricks. It's also justified — as the Doctor himself puts it, the laws of the universe aren't worth much a damn when the universe is now just one planet and an eternally exploding police box.
  • Secret Test of Character: The Doctor baiting Auton!Rory in the beginning of the episode.
  • Sequel Hook: Whoever is behind the TARDIS exploding is not explained, nor are the Arc Words "Silence will fall."
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shrouded in Myth: The legends of The Centurion.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Literally; after Rory and Amy are reunited, the Doctor tries to interrupt their reunion, then Amy interrupts it.
    Amy: The Doctor said shut up! (kiss)
  • The Slow Path: Auton!Rory, in an episode by the man who named the trope.
  • Stable Time Loop: So... many...
    • But not so stable in some senses. The Doctor is rescued from the Pandorica by Rory using the Sonic Screwdriver, which Rory only had because The Doctor escaped from the Pandorica to give it to him.
    • In-universe, the TARDIS' attempt to keep everything from never being.
  • The Stars Are Going Out: A variation: the stars in the alternate time line have not only gone out, they have never existed.
  • Stealth Pun: The Doctor, to Rory, after Rory punches him. "Hell of a gun arm you're packing there."
  • Time Travel Tense Trouble: When the time-travelling Doctor is trying to explain to Rory at the beginning.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Oh so very much. It's scaled up to a Timey Wimey Universe as literally the only thing that's holding it in place is Amy and her memories. Fortunately, as the Doctor points out, the Universe has gotten a lot smaller after last episode.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Rory does it again. The first time was in the last episode, when he came back as a Roman. Now, in addition to his Roman... stuff and his arm cannon, he's also got two millennia of experience guarding the Pandorica. To put it in perspective: In two episodes Rory single-handedly takes out a Cyberman and briefly blinds a Dalek. Compare that to how badly he did in "The Vampires of Venice".
  • Tranquil Fury: River after Eleven's first Disney Death. "MERCY!" "Say it again?"
  • The Unreveal: The cause of the TARDIS' explosion is hinted as a Driving Question for the next series.
  • Villains Want Mercy: A Dalek of all things asks for mercy from River Song. It doesn't receive it.
  • Visual Pun: The Doctor Dancing (Badly). Take that as you will.
  • Wham Episode: So many important and mind-bending things happen in this episode, your head will spin.
  • Wham Line:
    • "You know there's no such thing as stars."
    • "OK kid. This is where it gets complicated."
    • Amy's parents are there!
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Auton!Rory makes the choice to stay on the slow path and spend 1894 years alone guarding a box because his human values are even more important now he is not human.


Doctor Who S31 E12 'The Pandorica Opens"Recap/Doctor WhoDoctor Who 2010 CS 'A Christmas Carol"

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
79964
7