Saturday, 26 June 2010
We're all stories in the end
'The Big Bang' starts by undercutting the scale of the first part with some misplaced jokes and a box that's apparently easier to open than you thought. It then goes on to explain itself in a very timey-wimey way. Almost too timey-wimey. The episode is groaning under the weight of its own explanations. Every few minutes someone stops to try and make us understand it all, which isn't easy. It's extremely convoluted, not entirely coherent, and sort of breaks the promises of the episode before. But it gets by on delivering what Doctor Who is so good at - the emotional finale. Yes, I don't understand why the universe is collapsing, but the relationship between Doctor and assistant stays at the heart of the story. I don't want either of them to die in their past's future's present or anything. It gets itself out of holes in unclear and slightly dubious ways, but the power of the characters means that you don't really care.
Like usual this has been a season of remarkable planning on foresight. Episode one creates a puzzle and the rest are the pieces. Admittedly, its a puzzle with strange answers, but it does come together eventually. Sort of. In an unusual decision, some of the story has been left untold. It seems the show is becoming less closed off and more open to a running story. Even more unusual still is that the next season will apparently keep the same cast. No change this time. The Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond live on. Which is nice. Apart from one mid-season dip the quality has remained high and has rarely resorted to action set-pieces. A confident new era has started and it isn't interested in slowing down. Doctor Who is in good hands.