Trying to answer the questions raised by Doctor Who: The Pandorica Opens

Is your head still hurting after The Pandorica Opens? We try and puzzle it out, along with some of the clues for the Doctor Who finale, The Big Bang...

There were so many questions raised by this weekend’s Doctor Who, The Pandorica Opens, that we’ve mixed together some of yours and our theories in one place.

Let the questions and speculation begin, then. And don’t blame us if most of this is wide of the mark. This is all speculation on our part, and our head was really hurting trying to put most of this together…!


Who is River Song?

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Well, we picked up – as we noted in our review– a fairly major hint that River Song may be the Doctor, when the episode made it clear that only the Doctor can fly the Tardis. However, as Den Of Geek reader SpeakerToAnimals noted, “I don’t know how many times we’ve been told the Doctor teaches River Song to fly the Tardis at some point in his future.”

That’s a fair point, but there’s clearly a lot more going on than the Doctor’s wife argument of old here. And given the Valeyard theories that have been circling over the past few weeks, some major crossover with the Doctor’s own timelines is a keen argument right now. Is River linked to that?

Or, is the argument from icanthinkofone correct? Is River Song, in fact, the Doctor’s daughter? Or – even better – is she, as blur10 theories, Amy Pond? And are we going to find that out next week, anyway? Don’t be surprised if the mysteries of River Song are locked away for another series or two…

Was it the real Rory that we saw?

Well, in Doctor Who Confidential, they suggested that the Rory we’re seeing is a duplicate, rather than the real one.

But is he? There was actually logic to Rory’s argument that he’d died, and been dropped back into another point of time as a Roman. And we did see him die, before the crack in the wall had its wicked way with him. However, the logic also runs that he’s a creation from Amy’s memories.

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Either way, we expect Rory to make it to the end of The Big Bang intact.

Why has Amy got a picture of Rory in his Roman gear?

Because he was re-constructed from Amy’s memories, and Amy’s memory of Rory now is of a Roman.

Or how about this: if you look into the photo, isn’t Amy in her kissogram outfit? Could they have been at a fancy dress party, or something as simple as that?

But Amy’s head is the bigger problem here?

Oh lordy, yes. Let’s not forget earlier in the series she had a Weeping Angel in there too. Did that do some damage? Is that going to come back to play, we wonder?

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Either way, however convinced you are by the alliance of monsters coming together (and, indeed, if they’re real), the heart of the mystery does seem to lie in the head of Amy Pond.

How does Rory know of his own death, then, if he’s made up of Amy’s memories? And doesn’t Amy seem to know things she shouldn’t?

Er, this is where our head starts to hurt a little. Because Amy, we were categorically told earlier in the series, didn’t know who the Daleks were either. Or the Cybermen. In fact, she didn’t know of all the threats that had been made over the previous series of Doctor Who. And yet here they all are, having controlled her mind. Was it they who blanked themselves out of it, or – more likely – is a much greater, thus-far unseen force at work here?

All of it is clearly not as straightforward as it may first appear. We wonder if Rory is the straight clone that he’s coming across as, and if the wedding ring could yet prove even more pivotal as a plot device…

The Doctor’s jacket in Flesh And Stone, then…?

If you were paying extra close attention to the Doctor’s jacket in Flesh And Stone earlier in the series, then there was a moment when he was wearing it, then he wasn’t, then he was again. Continuity error? We think not.

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Could there, in fact, have been two Doctors in that story? Because as has been widely noted, the Doctor’s demeanour changes with the jacket. It’s not just a brief costume change, it’s a brief tonal change as well.

That’s led to rampant speculation that we’ve seen more than one Doctor this series, which could mean we have a Rory-esque Doctor clone created out of Amy’s memories too. Or it could tie back into the Dream Lord.

But it still might just be a continuity error. We really, really doubt it, though.

Where else did we see the Pandorica?

Right here…

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How will the Doctor get out of the Pandorica?

Who says he will anytime soon? Den Of Geek commenter ThisLeeNoble wonders if the Doctor may be trapped in there for a couple of thousands years yet. There’s been little physical indication, after all, that The Pandorica Opens is set in the present day. Could the Doctor be facing a long spell in there, only to be let out next Saturday?

As uberGribbler noted, the Doctor did say earlier in the series that “I’m most definitely a madman in a box.” That looks like being literally true.

A further theory is that it’s the young Amelia Pond who gets him out of the Pandorica in the end. And given all the messing with perception, just because we saw everything as Stonehenge, after all, it doesn’t mean that it is. Could the Pandorica actually be closer to Amy’s home?

Because her house is important, isn’t it?

Very much. Not least because Prisoner Zero was lurking in there for some time, and that’s likely to have ramifications. But also let’s not forget in The Lodger that an entire top floor of a house was actually a Tardis prototype. The Doctor has made the point that Amy’s house is big and empty, considering that there’s just her there. Could, therefore, there have been a ship as part of it all that time? Making it bigger than it ordinarily would have been, and accounting for the emptiness?

So what landed outside it, then?

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All roads seem to be leading back to the very young Amelia once again here. It wasn’t dwelled on, but as Den Of Geek reader Viridis rightly pointed out, something has landed outside her house in the past, and it wasn’t the Doctor.

But what was it? Whose space craft could that have been? Could it be something to do with River Song? Could the Angels have got there? Could it have been the ship that flew off at the end of The Lodger? In fact, who says it has to be a ship at all – could those marks be some monster (unlikely, given that we’d expect some kind of tracks if they’d walked into the house)?

Our feeling is that it is a ship, and that it’s likely to tie into whoever’s voice is being heard in the Tardis…

Could Amy’s Choice prove to be a pivotal episode?

We’re wondering this more and more. The Dream Lord is ripe for reoccurrence here, we’d wager (especially given the amount of things being manipulated in people’s heads). And furthermore, what if the events of Amy’s Choice don’t quite turn out to be the dream that we’ve been led to believe?

Just saying.

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Weren’t there two versions of Amy and Rory in the same episode earlier in the series?

Indeed, there were. Back in The Hungry Earth we saw them waving at ‘future’ versions of themselves from across a valley. And by the concluding episode, Cold Blood, future Rory was gone. Could it be that we were looking at duplicates, all tying into the big master plan, right there?

Why has Amy got a Tardis in her bedroom, and lots of things relating to the Doctor?

We figured this was because, in the years between her seeing the Doctor in The Eleventh Hour, that she’d made things from her memories. That she’d always strongly remembered the Doctor, and thus, she’d drawn pictures and made models from those memories.

But look what else is in there: there are two Angels (one is just out of our screenshot), for starters. And we’ve got a small figure in a red cape too (the Queen, from The Beast Below?)…

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Is Amy a villain?

We doubt it, but it would be one of the best episodes of all time if it turned out she was all along an agent of one of the many foes lining up against the Doctor. It’d be a bit like Turlough from the old days in reverse. We’d be shocked if it happened, though.

Will we see David Tennant/Christopher Eccleston/an earlier generation of the Doctor appear next week?

We’d be genuinely, genuinely shocked if that happened. You can cross a regeneration off your list too. Matt Smith lunchboxes still need to be sold, after all.

Is something else controlling the Tardis?

Almost certainly. We’re going to quote Viridis again here, who sums it up better than we ever could. “Remembering the episode ‘Amy’s Choice’ maybe this is all a dream, the Doctor’s worst nightmare realised. Did the TARDIS really travel in time? How did the aliens know about the co-ordinates on Vincent Van Gogh’s painting? The aliens used Stonehenge to draw in the Doctor, BECAUSE the TARDIS would explode and cause the cracks, but Vincent drew both the co-ordinates and the explosion. Something else is controlling the TARDIS. The alien alliance can’t be in both places at once (well, time-travel) and it’s debatable if even the Daleks have the technology to influence the TARDIS.”

What was in Van Gogh’s picture?

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Ah, this could be crucial (and thanks to PTDN for highlighting it). Because if you look at the picture, it looks like there might be two blue boxes in there. Could it be a collision of two Tardises that causes the big explosion that kills the Universe? Or is it just one Tardis with the doors flying off? Here’s the picture…

Why was River Song in prison?

The strong hint is that she killed the Doctor at some point in her life. The chronology of River Song is worthy of an article in itself, to be fair, but she’s clearly done something to the Doctor to get herself into trouble. But could it be a duplicate Doctor that she killed?

And while we’re here…

From gotheek: “Did anyone else notice the design on the face of the Pandorica – the same as the displays on the Dalek ship back in Victory of the Daleks.”

So whose is the voice in the Tardis?

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This is the big guessing game right now. The Black Guardian? Davros? A future iteration of the Doctor? Perhaps even, given how well The Pandorica Opens linked back to the rest of the series, it’s something to do with Prisoner Zero back in The Eleventh Hour (we strongly think that Prisoner Zero, or his captors, have a big part to play with all of this )? Perhaps even Omega if you want to dig back into Old Who still futher?

Or maybe it’s the Dream Lord? In fact, could the Dream Lord himself be a construct from the Doctor’s own memories? That would really fry our heads in one go.

We can’t see it being someone as obvious as The Master or Davros, to be fair. And we don’t see a huge passion to bring the Time Lords back, either.

Could it be a different version of the Doctor? Or, heck, of River? Your guess is as good as ours…

Leave your theories in the comments below! And our review of The Pandorica Opens can be found here

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