The Big Squib
Acres of irrelevant grumbling about the Series 5 finale.
Oh great. River’s back. Again. Un-yippee and un-hurrah. Still, Moffat must have his opportunity to present female characters as self-involved, smug enigmas who lead men around by their noses, put them through hell for the sake of hapless devotion, boss them about and remain pretty little puzzleboxes that men have to try and solve. In these episodes, he does this with no less than two man/woman couples.
The first episode is just loads of portentous narrative procrastination, albeit to a less egregious extent than ‘End of Time’ Part 1. There is some pleasure to be taken in the cobwebby, Indiana Jones-film look of the underground chamber, and River’s pleasantly spooky trip to Amy’s empty house… but, really, how generic is all this? A secret chamber under Stonehenge? An ancient artefact that has something scary inside it?
Mind you, they could’ve turned it around if the contents/purpose of the Pandorica hadn’t been so obvious right from the start. I can honestly say that I knew, ages before we were told, that the Pandorica would either have the Doctor inside it, or would be empty and waiting for him (especially since this story seems to owe so much to Alien Bodies). The only thing worse than what we got would’ve been a gateway into another universe (a universe of evil, natch), which lets loose unspeakable ‘Old Ones’ or some other ‘horror from before time’ when opened. So it could’ve been worse. But could also have been much better.
Sadly, we are soon confronted with a huge alliance of returning monsters who, in line with Moffat’s usual disinterest in evil, are trying to save the universe… by locking the Doctor up in a box rather than just killing him. For some reason.
The Doctor indulges in his now customary bit of ludicrous, embarassing and deeply inappropriate macho posturing. What a bad-ass I am, he essentially shouts to a sky full of heavily armed battle cruisers. Laughably, they bottle it rather than just zapping him. This is so dumb it defies description. I mean, I know the Doctor always wins… but surely they don’t need to be scared of him when he’s standing in plain view under their laser beams, waggling his weaponless hands? Just zap the silly sod! You don’t even have to go anywhere near him!
On the subject of that speech… really, when did the character turn into this kind of person? When did this become the point of him? I hate this depiction of the Doctor as a bumptious, boastful, mouthy, showoff incredibly aware of himself as a Hero. I realise the scene in question is meant to show him bluffing, but still…
The Doctor always used to occasionally be a bit big headed (i.e. “he’s almost as clever as I am” etc) but it always seemed like self-mockery or good humour. These days the Doctor seems to seek out opportunities to talk like a lame-ass ‘tough cop’ cypher (i.e.…