Oh, these stories with their first parts that are almost entirely setting up the next. It’s not fair. On some level I feel cheated, since I’ve gotten 45 minutes of television that was reasonably exciting, generally thrilling, but had it easy because it didn’t have to wrap anything up. I’m not sure whether to be amazed or be overly harsh. For the same reason, I sometimes feel it’s unfair that The Fellowship of the Ring is one of my favourite films, given that it too gets to do the interesting setting up of mysteries and excitement and isn’t weighed down by annoying battle sequences.
But back to Who.
‘The Pandorica Opens’ does some really, really good stuff for characters that I until recently didn’t give a particular stuff about. River Song is far less annoying than usual. There’s something very cool about the recurring non-companion role. It was cool for the Brigadier, it was cool for Jack Harkness, and finally it’s starting to be cool for River. I think it’s the slow evaporation of her smugness. Also, dreary old Rory is just bloody amazing this week. Probably because he’s finally given something interesting to do, rather than just talk to a TV screen and get shot.
Also, Matt Smith is still awesome. Even in what could be a rather tiresome sort of “I’m fantastic” speech, he throws in peculiar moments that really lift it, like “you, with your silly… guns”. The opening was also cool, though really, when I can’t get through on the phone to someone, I usually just try again in an hour.
I found myself almost disappointed that the various horribles in the sky were given a motive, though, other than “we hate this bastard, and we’re going to get rid of him once and for all”. What more do they need?
And even with those nasties, and the twists, and a contender for most horrible cliffhanger ever, there’s so much left to explain. Which is the source of my tension; what if they mess it up? There’s so much here that’s specifically to set up next week, and it certainly doesn’t stand up as a story all by itself. So I’m not judging. We’ll just have to wait.
But I don’t want to. So I guess ‘The Pandorica Opens’ did it’s job.