Doctor Who (2005– )
14 user 8 critic

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




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
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The gun River Song uses is a painted guncon light gun controller which was compatible with a game called Time Crisis. See more »


River Song successfully impersonates Cleopatra VII Philopator in 102 AD, though Cleopatra died over a century earlier in 30 BC. See more »


The Doctor: [walking away from the Pandorica] Yes, OK, OK, OK, OK. Dalek fleet. Minimum twelve thousand battleships armed to the teeth.
The Doctor: [turns around and walking back] Aaaah! But we've got surprise on our side. They'll never expect three people to attack twelve thousand Dalek battleships.
The Doctor: [turns again] 'Cos we'd be killed instantly, so it would be a fairly short surprise.
The Doctor: [taps forehead with sonic screwdriver] Forget surprise.
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
See more »

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User Reviews

A phenomenal start to the finale
1 September 2015 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

Some nice links back to the Series, Vincent, Liz ten etc find a painting which is intended for the Doctor. River pulls out all the stops to get hold of it. The Doctor tracks River back to an Ancient Roman settlement. The painting depicts a vision Vincent had, the destruction of the TARDIS. A date and map reference sends The Doctor, Amy and River to an ancient stone circle. Underneath lays the Pandorica, which is opening, and nobody knows what may lay inside. A secret underground opens and the three travel to an underground vault, where lays 'The Pandorica.'

First test for Steven Moffat, it's all about the finale, they had so far been a little hit and miss, The Stolen Earth was rather fantastic, The Master story a little off.

So many little elements are brought together, there is so much going on at the same time. Alien invasion pending, Romans, Pandora's box, Amy's ring, disembodied Cyberman, Amy's empty rooms.

We had been spoiled in previous finales with huge effects, but as I mentioned in my review for Vincent and the Doctor I've never needed to be overwhelmed with effects and stars, sometimes it's all about the story. I actually love the Pandorica opens, it just works, there is mystery, suspense, fear, tension and lots of surprises. The cliffhanger is totally amazing. The alliances at the end were a little dubious.

So many mentions of the show's mythology, talk of daleks, cybermen, sontarans, nestenes, attraxi, drahvin, zygons, slitheen, sycorax had me thinking we were in for something enormous!! It felt like they were building up for a huge finale.

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