Doctor Who
The Pandorica Opens

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 2 USERS: A+
This Must Be The Place

The Hot Italians approach and hail the Doctor as Caesar, and the Doctor is just loving this, ironically, and the guy's all "we're honored by your presence" and he grins: "Well, you're only human. Arise... Roman person?" Why does he think the Doctor is Caesar? It could have to do with the lipstick smeared all over his face. They take our heroes to "Cleopatra," which is just so complicated and hilarious, because the only real upshot is seeing River Song in a nutty Cleopatra outfit, like they just released a new round of adorable paper-doll outfits to dress her up in.

Amy is, as usual, happy to see River. The Doctor is, as usual, wary and charmed in equal measure by her. I like the way Eleven acts with her, because he's so intrigued by the unknown quantity that she represents. I imagine when you know everything about everything that comes at a bit of a premium. Scary and exciting at once. And I like that no matter how creepy her mysteries get, she's also always so affectionate and kind about things.

(I mean, I'm wary of it, being that kind of thing which so very easily goes to the noir place -- Lena Olin in Romeo Is Bleeding as a sort of feral personification of the world and all its hassles and frights and delights -- which in Moffat's hands skips over any sort of mystery and becomes basically a very clean and plasticized fetishization: As Amy is a USB drive and the Library was a little girl and the Mme de Pompadour was a spaceship, so River is the cruel universe, touching the Doctor in unseemly ways from various relative angles in time and space. Which, put women on a pedestal or don't, but when your options are personality-free automaton or Universal Mommy-Womb? We never had a chance.)

The Doctor's like, "Girl! You totally wrecked the oldest cliffs of time!" And she's like, "You wouldn't answer your phone!" And I had to kiss dudes, and take calls from Churchill, and all kinds of bullshit. She hands over the painting, finally, and says the dreaded thing about Vincent I was hoping they'd leave out -- "He had visions, didn't he?" -- because it sort of craps on the very carefully non-sentimental thing that was the best part of the Vincent story -- but in any case, there it is: One of his last works, we finally see, was of: The TARDIS exploding.

Credits and then a complicated sort of frame where the three of them -- River dressed normally of a sudden -- are riding horses very quickly toward somewhere, while we go back to a second ago to pick up the conversations they had immediately preparatory to the ride. I think this serves two purposes, in that it serves any purpose, by first making this all seem very exciting in spite of the exposition, and giving the impression that they've been riding for a long time when they get there, and also in making us more curious about where we're going than why we're going there. All of which are good ideas, maybe even necessary, but I'm still not sure about this as an editing choice because the exciting horseback ride is not that exciting, unless grim faces with a strong sense of purpose are something you're into -- and even still, we don't know what the grim faces are actually about until the end of the parallel scenes, so it's just sort of fraught with this meaningless meaning.

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Doctor Who




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