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Mâvarin and Other Inspirations

A Fantasy Writer's Journal

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NuWho Review Redux: The Big Bang
Crack, Doctor Who, Cayenne
And so we come to the end of the season...

Re: Rate / Review "The Big Bang"
Okay. Okay. I'm back from a real life wedding, very exciting, my first-ever gig taking pictures for money. Although I wasn't qualified to be a wedding photographer, I did my best. Now I've come home to a very different wedding, also very exciting!

Whatever else you say about Steven Moffat, he's full of surprises. This isn't quite the story we expected, is it? At least half of the questions we've been asking are deferred until next series. How did any of this happen, and why? How does one TARDIS destroy the Universe, who made it explode, and what is the Silence? We still don't know. There was no Omega (yet) or other Big Bad (I didn't think there would be); and almost none of the little continuity glitches and other possible clues that we pored over and debated endlessly paid off. I suppose if you're a half-empty sort of person who believes that if the answer isn't right there on the screen, today, that it's a plot hole, then to you The Big Bang is probably one massive plot hole.

This definitely wasn't the episode in my head, at least not before I clicked on one too many spoiler boxes.

And I don't care in the least. I feel like dancing in the streets!

The Doctor cheating his way out of the Pandorica, his wait minimal, courtesy of plastic Rory and River's vortex manipulator! Amy with her life restored, Amy as she should have been, thanks to the Doctor, emotionally connected at last! Faithful Roman Rory, protecting his beloved for nearly 2000 years, and rewarded with his human life back, only better, and a marriage that isn't built on shifting sands. The Pandorica, its original purpose subverted, put to use restoring the universe! The Doctor, very nearly most sincerely dead, wiped from existence and then brought back by a story and a wedding tradition! River, one step closer to being the Doctor's wife, and quite possibly his killer. Little Amelia, believing in the last bits of reality as they disappear from her world, with no raggedy Doctor to help, just a couple of mysterious notes. Come along, Pond! Shooting the Fez! Weddings, family, crazy dancing and happy endings!

I won't make the claim that this is the greatest story in the history of Doctor Who, although just at this moment it's my very favorite. I will, however make the claim that Doctor Who is the greatest television series of all time, from the original Big Bang to the end of the Universe.

Just three bits of advice to others, now that I've had time to read some of the comments on Gallifrey Base:

1. When a Doctor Who episode is as highly anticipated as this one, people tend to speculate wildly in advance of the airdate, building up a scenario in their heads of how it will play out. This is a lot of fun. I do it myself. BUT. Once you do that, there's a danger that your expectations will get in the way of enjoying what's actually on the screen. Steven Moffat is under no obligation to match up to the episode in your head. Nor was RTD, or Robert Holmes or any other Doctor Who scripter ever. It doesn't have Omega in it, so it's bad? There is no villain, so it's boring? No, and no. Let go of expectation, and enjoy what's there on its own terms, not according to some fannish checklist. Oh, and btw, it's perfectly possible to praise or criticize RTD or the Moff without saying nasty things about one's less preferred writer by comparison.

2. This is a more complicated episode than usual. The season finales generally are. If you don't follow exactly what happened the first time through, that doesn't mean it was badly plotted. It means a second viewing is likely to enhance your understanding and enjoyment - unless of course this kind of story is so completely not to your taste that soaking in more of it won't help.

3. Every single episode, a certain number of people will absolutely hate it and others will absolutely love it, with some episodes doing better than others in the polls or in AI. If someone hates it and feels the need to say so in an over-the-top way, people who love it sometimes feel as if something they care about has been attacked, or even as if they personally have been attacked. If someone's posts consistently upset you, feel free to put that person on your ignore list. But please realize that we're all human (as far as we know), with a right to basic courtesy even if our opinions are completely at odds. Suggesting that someone stop watching may seem like a perfectly reasonable point of view, but it turns out that it's not at all helpful. (It also won't have the desired effect. You're not going to convince the other person to stop watching or stop "attacking.") Nor are personal attacks ever justified, against a fan, a writer or anyone else. There are lots of fans here I nearly always disagree with, but what of it? That doesn't justify rudeness. Ever. End of rant.

"It's a Thing; it's like a plan, but with more greatness."
Find me using that magical word, Mavarin.

TEH: 10.
TBB: 8.
VotD: 7 (but should have said 6).
TToA: 10.
FaS: 10.
TVoV: 8.
AC: 8 (should have said 9)
THE: 9 (should have said 8)
CB: 8
VatD: 9 (should have said 10)
TL: 9
TPO: 10
(I don't grade on a curve.)