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Doctor Who 5×12 “The Pandorica Opens” Review

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River Song returns to deliver The Doctor a serious warning from his allies: the mythical Pandorica, said to contain the most feared creature in the entire Universe, is opening.

Here we go, part one of the finale! Who’s ready?

This episode can’t really escape some Indiana Jones overtones that I’m sure were intentional. There’s a definite feeling of exploration to this one, and it doesn’t hurt that secret underground crypts are involved.

We get a return visit form River Song, who, at this point, is still in her “can’t possibly disappoint” set of appearances. Seeing her in full Cleopatra getup is pretty hilarious, and fits really well with her character.

Also, Rory’s back! Sure, he’s an evil plastic robot thing (okay, yes, he fights his evil instincts, but still), but the bumbling everyman gets some screen time. And of course there’s Amy and The Doctor, wandering through Stonehenge, trying to crack open a nefarious safe/cage, and being attacked by just about every bad guy known to man on this show.

The themes of series 5 come to a head in this episode with all these bits and bobs about stories and how real life compares to the version that’s been passed down through the ages. It happens with Amy and the world of Ancient Rome that’s built up in her mind and used against her, and it happens with The Doctor, who’s imprisoned by his enemies to protect the universe (they get it wrong, of course).

It’s no mistake that the Daleks, Cybermen, those pig things, the potato heads, and the Silurians react to the Doctor’s presence by believing the stories they’ve been told, rather than actually listening to the evidence laid out by our hero – and they get the universe blown up by doing so. Gee, what is Moffat’s opinion of believing fairy tales over hard evidence placed in front of you? I guess we’ll never know…

These are all great themes to be explored, but I can’t leave out the Cyberman arm – creepyawesome!

Rating: A+