Doctor Who: Season 5, Episode 12

The Pandorica Opens (17 Jul. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Family
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Ratings: 9.1/10 from 2,611 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 7 critic

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.



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Title: The Pandorica Opens (17 Jul 2010)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Marcus O'Donovan ...
Clive Wood ...
Christopher Ryan ...
Ruari Mears ...
Howard Lee ...
Barnaby Edwards ...


When an unknown Van Gogh painting is found in a house in France in World War II, it's pretty obvious who it's meant for. It's left to Prime Minister Winston Churchill to try and contact the Doctor and does so in a round about way via an imprisoned Dr. River Song. The work is called Pandorica Opens, the Pandorica being a mythical enclosure for the most dangerous thing in the universe. The Doctor soon finds themselves in Roman Britain where at Stonehenge they discover the fabled Pandorica. Rory, who was supposed to have been erased from time and never existed, is now a Roman soldier but Amy doesn't recognize him. River travels to the future in the TARDIS and discovers something important in Amy's room. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

17 July 2010 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Some scenes were filmed at the real Stonehenge, Wiltshire. The cast and crew had to abide by regulations; they were not allowed to touch the stones, bring heavy equipment in, and the lighting had to be done from the floor. See more »


When the Pandorica opens and the Doctor says, "The final phase. It's opening." the shot is flipped. The Doctor's hair, which normally flops toward Matt Smith's right, goes toward his left. See more »


The Doctor: People fall out of the world sometimes, but they- they always leave traces, little things you can't quite account for: faces in photographs; luggage; half-eaten meals... ; rings. Nothing is ever forgotten, not completely, and, if something can be remembered, it *can* come back.
See more »


Referenced in Doctor Who: Flatline (2014) See more »


Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

An unholy mess
21 June 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

So this is what the season has been building up to ? We have had the crack in time as the theme running through the season, akin to Bad Wolf in season 1. Unlike the episode Bad Wolf this is a let down primarily for a few reasons.

I do not wish to give any spoilers away. The return of various faces from the past made little sense. The episode started off trying to link strands from the previous episodes, then we had some padding in and around Stonehenge which felt rather laboured, then we had a bit of a fan overload with the assembled monsters from the past. A few namechecked were not there. The story carries on the theme from Human Nature about the Doctor being the threat. It also re-emphasises the point about the Doctor not being put into a trap. However it is rather clumsily done. I like Moffatt's work. Compared to the drivel from his predecessor his stories are well constructed but this just felt like it was a tick box of various elements to appeal to hardcore fans and new series junkies alike. All well and fine but that does not make good TV.

The twist about what was inside the Pandorica was interesting, indeed the best thing about it and no I am not going to tell you even though this review is spoiler marked. You will need to watch it. You can then suffer as I did.

13 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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