Doctor Who: Season 5, Episode 12

The Pandorica Opens (17 Jul. 2010)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family
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Ratings: 9.1/10 from 2,832 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 ...
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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

17 July 2010 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


When Dorium is talking to River at the beginning, they mention time travel. Dorium says he has a vortex manipulator that was taken off the wrist of a handsome time agent. This is a nod to Captain Jack Harkness, who was a character with the previous 2 regenerations of the Doctor. See more »


When Amy is left to hide behind the Pandorica alone, on her close-up the back wall of this perfect prison wobbles. See more »


The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a... trickster. Or a warrior. A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or... reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
See more »


Referenced in Doctor Who: Cold Blood (2010) See more »


Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
See more »

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User Reviews

Veers Wildly From Awful To Great
19 June 2010 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

This is the climax to season five of NuWho , , a season that I've found rather disappointing . I wasn't sad to see either Russell T Davies or David Tennant leave and was both open minded and intrigued as to how Steven Moffat would produce the show and how Matt Smith would interpret the title show . My disappointment of season five revolves around the fact we're watching something little different than what we've been seeing from the previous regime . We get a historical story , we get an oddball story and we get a two part story featuring old monsters and unfortunately we get a two part season finale where everything including the kitchen sink gets shoehorned in to mix regardless weather it fits or not

Every aspect of The Pandorica Opens veers wildly from wildly from the awful to the brilliant . Perhaps it's personified by Smith's performance . Several times in the episode he comes across as somebody impersonating David Tennant even down to the way he squeals elongated vowels as a mockney style geezer but at the climax where he's imprisoned he gives a quite remarkable performance so why was he so poor throughout the rest of the episode . There's three people who can take the blame : The writer , the director or the actor . Throughout the season Smith does seem to be trying to come across as " An old man stuck in a young man's body " so he's probably not to blame . . Possibly the director ? Maybe ? But it'd be very difficult to believe anyone thinks each Doctor is a clone with no idiosyncratic mannerisms which leads me to believe Moffat should take the blame . Indeed throughout the season you're often left thinking that Moffat's contribution to the series is to find some rejected scripts by RTD featuring the 10th Doctor and film them

The story itself is very similar to the more excessive finales by RTD . All the Doctor's enemies form an alliance to correct the crack in time and fearing interference from the Doctor imprison him for all eternity . Oh dear that's going to somewhat incredible to realise on screen . To be honest it's both brilliant and dreadful . Brilliant for the child in all of us who'd like to see an on screen monster cavalcade but dreadful in the way it crosses the border in to overkill with even the Silurians turning up to get in on the fun alongside the Autons who have the lion's share of the story even though the audience don't realise it at the time

The unfortunate thing is like RTD did with the cliffhanger of The Stolen Earth Moffat has painted himself in to a very tight corner here , especially since the whole Universe is at stake which will almost certainly mean we'll have a cop out ending where not only will Amy magically come back to life but the whole season will be revealed as either

1 ) Having taken place in an alternative universe


2 ) Amy has dreamed the whole thing up

Either of which will be a bigger cop out than anything we've seen under RTD . Actually there's only one scenario that sets up next season being worse than the one preceding it and that is next week the Doctor goes back in time and finds himself back in the season opener with Amy Pond as a child . He stands in the kitchen and hears footsteps and turns round to find himself facing Chris Hansen

( NB THe following will only makes sense or be amusing in a sarcastic way if you know who Chris Hansen is . Google him if you don't )

Hansen : Don't you think there's something wrong with a 920 year old man turning up to meet a ten year old girl home alone ?

The Doctor : I just came to get something to eat

Hansen : I just came to get something to eat ? So you just thought this remote house with a ten year old girl home alone was a Mcdonalds ?

The Doctor : I was confused . There's something wrong with the space time continuum .

Hansen : Right so you're just casually flying around in time and space and suddenly there's a rip in the laws of the universe that causes you to materialize in the house of a ten year old child left home alone . Can you see why it's difficult to believe ?

The Doctor : But I'm looking you in the eye and I'm telling you the truth

Hansen : .Well I'm looking you in the eye and I'm going to tell you the truth . I'm Chris Hansen and you're on Dateline To Catch A Predator and we're doing a feature on men who visit children home alone for sex . Now if you've nothing else to say you're free to go

The shock causes the Doctor to collapse . There's a blast of golden light and Matt Smith regenerates in to Paterson Joseph

The Doctor : Cor blimey , ain't this regeneration lark great fun I feel like a new geezer and hope to live for ever and ever ( The Doctor proceeds to fall over his feet amongst other zany hilarity ) Cor blimey guv , ain't I a geeeeeeeezer ?

This is the only scenario that would make me believe season six could be worse than the present one

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