Doctor Who: Big bang or damp squib?

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Doctor Who finale The Big Bang was a terrible let down, writes Dan Wainwright.

Doctor Who finale The Big Bang was a terrible let down,

writes Dan Wainwright


There. I've said it. I'm sorry. I really am so very sorry, but that's just how I feel.

Anyone who has read this blog more than a few times will know the good Doctor features heavily in my life.

So I don't say that lightly. I know I've said some rotten things about Matt Smith but I've also been willing to admit I was wrong I've watched the episode twice now and held off posting this straight away just to make sure I'm justified.

Steven Moffat let us down almost as badly as Fabio Capello with a very dodgy plot that seemed to be derived from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

From the moment a Doctor from the future popped up and handed Rory the sonic screwdriver the damage was done. Moffat had crafted an inescapable trap in the Pandorica from which even he, as the writer, could not find a way out without cheating.


To have spent all of the past episode wondering how to open the ultimate prison and then have Rory just buzz it with the screwdriver was lazy and dismissive of all the suspense that had been so brilliantly built up.

The Doctor does not cross his own timeline. That is the one constant that has been in place ever since William Hartnell first posed the question "Doctor who?"

If future versions of himself were able to just crop up and save the day then why did no-one ever go and get Adric off that spaceship back in the Peter Davison years? Actually I know the answer to that. Everyone hated Adric.

But the point still stands. It would be a very simple thing for the Doctor to do this every time things got a little bit hairy. He doesn't because he can't.


When Christopher Eccleston's Doctor failed to stop Rose saving her father a bunch of big alien bat creatures turned up and ate everything.

But Matt Smith's Doctor can just nip back and forth as he likes, even reminding Rory to leave the screwdriver in Amy's pocket.

The Pandorica can heal people. Why? It's a prison. And the Doctor now has the ability to communicate telepathically and place a message inside Amy's brain. It was all just too convenient.

That said, it had its good points. Little Amelia Pond, played by Caitlin Blackwood, was adorable and the scene where the Doctor talks to her as she sleeps was beautiful. Moffat, to give him credit, does the emotion brilliantly.

I also loved how just a single dalek featured as the main menace throughout the episode. But therein lies the problem. Where was the big baddie in all of this? We still don't know why the TARDIS exploded. I'm cross about that. I've invested 13 Saturday nights into this series I want a payoff.

It could be that this is where Moffat is setting up the events that will one day, perhaps years from now, finish off Matt Smith's Doctor. Will it be River Song who will kill the best man she ever knew?

For my two pence worth I am delighted at the quality of talent and storytelling we've seen this series.

But Steven Moffat has to raise his game dramatically for the next series and put an end to the Bill and Ted version of time travel.

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