Doctor Who “The Big Bang”
It’s about Time.
I often find myself forgetting that this series is predicated on the use of Time Travel. That’s probably because it’s mostly just used to get our heroes to the setting of their next adventure, and then away from it at the end.
But one thing Steven Moffat is great at, and has been in almost every episode he’s written, is the use of Time Travel as a plot device. So I was surprised that I was surprised at the constant back and forth the Doctor employed throughout the story, via the aid of River’s wrist-bound Vortex Manipulator. At first, I was scared this whole episode was going to take place out of order, necessitating multiple re-watches just to understand. But thankfully the time skips were confined to the first part of the episode, and used mainly for comedy after that.
After destroying the universe last week, there was the fear that some kind of deus ex machina would be employed to restore it this week, and make everything better, as has happened in the past. Technically that is what happened, but thankfully it didn’t seem as lazy has it has before, like it wasn’t born out of desperation so much as that’s just how things went.
The best endings enrich the whole story and make it fresh again. They make you want to go back and reread or rewatch the whole thing with this new information or twist in mind. This was certainly the best episode of the season, not just in terms of achievement, but just in plain enjoyment. The characters are vibrant throughout. The threats are real, the emotions high and the whole thing was just a joy to watch.
Matt Smith has totally owned the role of the Doctor. At times in the season, he was a little too mild or reserved for my taste. But in this and the previous episode, he was simply perfect. Perfect at his version of the Doctor, that is. And really, that’s what we want. Hopefully he has found his Doctor’s voice now, and next year we’ll get an even more defined version.
When Rory first took up with Amy and the Doctor, I was worried. But honestly, I think they work best as a team. They balance each other out and their relationship here at the end just makes all those older episodes more enjoyable. Now it seems like the team wasn’t complete until Rory joined.
Rory guarding Amy for 2,000 years was beautiful and a truly great fairy tale on its own.
River was as enigmatic as ever, while also playing the role of a consummate bad-ass. Making a Dalek beg for mercy. Glorious and sacrilegious all at the same time. She and Smith seem to have genuine chemistry, and I’m glad that if the Doctor HAD to have a wife or something similar, it’s a woman who’s as suitably larger-than-life as he is.
Although the main mystery is never solved and the real villain, if there is one, is never revealed, who cares? I get the sense that this will be a story that spans Smith’s whole career as Doctor, or Moffat’s whole time as show-runner, assuming those don’t end up being the same thing.
No, what was really important in this episode was that this version of the show has finally found its voice. There were a few growing pains, getting from the Russell T. Davis years to now, but I think they’ve finally done it. And even if they had it all planned out ahead of time, at least now we, the audience, have an idea of what’s really going on, and what we are really in for.
It’s about time.
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A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|The series and the characters finally find their voice and make the show their own.||Maybe a little too much ‘magic’ in the happy ending, but it fits the tone of a fairy tale|