Doctor Who (2005– )
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The Pandorica Opens 

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.


Toby Haynes


Steven Moffat

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Smith ... The Doctor
Karen Gillan ... Amy Pond
Alex Kingston ... River Song
Arthur Darvill ... Rory
Tony Curran ... Vincent
Bill Paterson ... Bracewell
Ian McNeice ... Winston Churchill
Sophie Okonedo ... Liz Ten
Marcus O'Donovan Marcus O'Donovan ... Claudio
Clive Wood ... Commander
Christopher Ryan ... Commander Stark
Ruari Mears Ruari Mears ... Cyber Leader
Paul Kasey ... Judoon
Howard Lee Howard Lee ... Doctor Gachet
Barnaby Edwards Barnaby Edwards ... Dalek


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


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

17 July 2010 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (DTS HD MASTER AUDIO 5.1 Mix)



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The Chelonians from the Virgin New Adventures novels get their first mention in a TV episode. 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: [transmitting to the alien fleet at and using Stonehenge with the local effect as though through a loud speaker] Sorry, sorry, dropped it. Hello, Stonehenge! Who takes the Pandorica takes the Universe! But, bad news everyone, 'cause guess who! Ha! Except, you lot, you're all whizzing about, it's really very distracting. Could you all just stay still a minute because
[shouts louder]
The Doctor: *I* *am* *talking*!
[all ships stop]
The Doctor: Now, the question for the hour is, "Who's got the Pandorica?" Answer: I do. Next...
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Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

The Box of Tricks Opens and Explodes
14 January 2019 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

The Pandorica Opens is the first part of a two part story which together form the season finale of Matt Smith's first series as the Doctor and Steven Moffatt's first series as Showrunner. Moffatt wrote this two parter and both include his strengths of exciting, interesting storytelling but there are also signs (mostly in the second part 'The Big Bang') of his major fault of throwing too many ideas in without ensuring logic and making sense. In this episode characters actions are rather too convoluted and the story is slightly too contrived but there are not many clear major faults yet and it is so much fun and has so much excitement and interest that the positives far outweigh any flaws.

For reasons that are not revealed the TARDIS is going to explode and the Doctor is lead along a convoluted journey to find the Pandorica, a mythical 'prison cell' which appears to have some role in averting disaster. It turns out this is an even more convoluted trap set by many of the Doctor's enemies. Amy and her exposure to the crack in time turn out to have a large part in events.

Acting, script, action and effects are all strong and the ambition of such a complex story is admirable. In my view things turn out to not all make sense once things pan out in the final episode but at this stage things are very thrilling, intriguing and epic. Having so many enemies and so many threads all coming together is impressive and the cliffhanger is superb.

Overall 9.5/10.

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