The Big Bang (TV story)

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The Big Bang was the thirteenth and final episode of series 5 of Doctor Who.

It concluded many aspects of the story begun in The Eleventh Hour — most obviously by marrying Amy and Rory and by seemingly closing the cracks in time — but it left the audience wondering what "the Silence" was and why it wanted the TARDIS to explode.

The series 5 finale kickstarted several overarching stories that would foreshadow major conflicts yet to ensnare the Doctor. While the identity of the Silence was a major topic explored in series 6, the question of why they wanted to blow the TARDIS up remained what the Eleventh Doctor called "a good question for another day" until the 2013 Christmas Special The Time of the Doctor answered it, while the mention of "an Egyptian goddess loose on the Orient Express in space" at the episode's end would later be picked up again in the series 8 episode Mummy on the Orient Express.

The Big Bang had an impact upon Torchwood as well, allowing it to, at least in Russell T Davies' mind, escape the confines of Cardiff. He said that closing the cracks in time also resulted in the closing of the Cardiff Rift.[1] Although Davies did not explicitly make this point in his subsequent Torchwood: Miracle Day scripts, neither did he allow the Rift to be central to that series, as it had been to previous Torchwood outings.

It was the final story for production designer Ed Thomas.

In February 2013, Steven Moffat revealed that The Big Bang was likely his personal favourite of all the Doctor Who scripts he had written. He further revealed that the title was deliberate sexual innuendo, and referred to what happened just after the credits rolled. Though contemporary Bang viewers wouldn't have known it, TV: A Good Man Goes to War would later explain that River Song was conceived within minutes of the conclusion of the episode. Moffat therefore claimed that the story had "a filthy joke in the title only I knew about at the time".[2]


The Alliance has trapped the Eleventh Doctor in the Pandorica, the TARDIS has exploded with River inside, Rory has shot Amy and the cracks have swallowed everything but the Earth and Moon.

The fate of all existence lies in the hands of a little girl who still believes in stars.


In 1996, Amelia Pond sits in her bedroom, praying to Santa Claus for help mending the crack in her bedroom wall. Believing she has heard something in her garden, she runs to her window. The garden is empty. Later, she gives a drawing she has done of the night sky — complete with stars and the moon — to her psychiatrist, Christine. Christine explains gently there are no stars. The night sky is empty save for the Moon. That night, Amelia overhears Christine and her aunt talking about her. As she eavesdrops at the top of the stairs, she sees a pamphlet advertising the National Museum slipped through the letterbox by a familiar figure wearing a fez. He flees when she notices him. There is a circle drawn around a notice of the Pandorica exhibit and a note reading, "Come along, Pond".

Amelia and her aunt go to the museum. Amelia runs off and makes her way to the Pandorica exhibit, passing a variety of strange machines on display; other exhibits are quite wrong as well, such as penguins in the Arctic. Someone also steals her soda before she can notice who did it. At the exhibit, Amelia sees another note stuck to the face of the box. It reads, "Stick around, Pond". This prompts Amelia to hide out in the museum to find out who is leaving notes for her.

The Pandorica opens, revealing Amy Pond.

After the museum's close — and Aunt Sharon's failure to find her — Amelia returns to the Pandorica and curiously sets a hand on it. Mechanisms on the face of the box glow green, scaring Amelia enough to make her back a few feet away. The Pandorica opens, but instead of the Doctor still being imprisoned inside, the occupant is instead Amelia's older self: Amy Pond. Noticing her younger self, Amy tells the confused Amelia, "Okay, kid, this is where it gets complicated..."

In 102 A.D. the Auton duplicate of Rory Williams cradles a dead Amy Pond, comforting himself by telling her how the universe ended; it would mean they never get born, twice in his case. Amy would laugh at that; he begs her to laugh. Suddenly, a fez-wearing Eleventh Doctor appears in front of them, holding a mop. He tries calming Rory by saying it is not the end of the world but then corrects himself by saying it's the end of the universe. The Doctor vanishes and reappears without the mop. A confused Rory is instructed to free the Doctor from the Pandorica; the Doctor is already out. The Doctor explains that he is already out, but back then, which is the present for Rory, he is yet to escape. Giving Rory his sonic screwdriver, the Doctor wishes him luck and informs him to put the sonic in Amy's top pocket when he's done with it.

The energy discharge that convinces the Doctor it is the same sonic screwdriver.

Rory follows the Doctor's instructions, opening the Pandorica with the sonic where the Doctor is revealed to still be trapped within. Exiting the prison, the Doctor deduces he will set up the chain of events that lead to his release. Rory questions the Doctor about the stone remains of the Alliance. The Doctor explains that they are the after-images of the races that now never existed due to the destruction of the universe. The Doctor wonders where Amy is; Rory gives a remorseful look.

Showing Amy to the Doctor, Rory asks if there is anything he can do for her. The Doctor says he could if he had the time, angering Rory. The Doctor explains that all lifeforms except for them and humanity have been deleted from existence; "Your girlfriend isn't more important than the universe." Enraged, Rory punches the Doctor, knocking him down. The Doctor quickly pulls himself back up, laughing, and relocates his jaw, welcoming Rory back; he had to be sure Rory wasn't acting, but genuinely loved Amy like the original.

Putting Amy in the Pandorica, the Doctor explains that she is not an ordinary girl due to having the universe pouring through her dreams every night because of the crack in her wall, so when the Nestene took a memory print off Amy, they got a bit more than what they bargained for — Rory's soul inhabits his Auton replica. Sealing the Pandorica once more with Amy inside, the Doctor explains to Rory that it prevents people from dying as it's a form of escape; it can stasis-lock Amy in a near-death state until it gets an external sample of her DNA to revive her, which will take around 2000 years. Recovering River Song's vortex manipulator from the ground, the Doctor sets it for the future. Offering Rory a lift, the Doctor is bewildered when he decides to remain behind to guard the Pandorica. Despite the warning that he may go mad from never sleeping, Rory insists; the Doctor relents but warns him he isn't indestructible and gives him fair warning of all the things he knows can cause an Auton to be destroyed or become faulty before vanishing into the future.

Adult Amy figures out what year it is.

In the museum, Amy compares Amelia's height to herself, Amy guesses its 1996. Sure of the year, Amy looks around the exhibit, paying no mind to the younger version of herself. She finds a video on "the Lone Centurion" — a man in Roman armour who protected the Pandorica wherever it went for 1839 years and prevented anyone from opening it. He was last seen in 1941, dragging the box away from a burning building; it is believed the Centurion died in the inferno as no body was recovered. Amy realises he was Rory, having retained her recovered memories of him, but there is no time for her to dwell on this. The restorative light from the Pandorica has reactivated a stone Dalek in the exhibition and it's heading straight for the Ponds.

The Doctor appears, having used the vortex manipulator to travel 1894 years into the future. The Dalek shoots at him and Amy, prompting them to take cover with young Amelia; they're trapped. A museum guard appears and the Dalek deems him unarmed. However, the guard uncaps his hand, revealing a laser gun to disable the Dalek. Amy rejoices when she sees that the guard is the Auton Rory. They kiss while the Doctor realises the "light" from the Pandorica revived the Dalek partially. He also takes a fez from a display, putting it on Amelia, who refuses it; the Doctor dons the hat himself. The Dalek begins coming back to life once more due to the Pandorica still being open.

The Doctor leads the group away from the Dalek, blocking the door with a mop to buy time. When Rory recognises his appearance, the Doctor establishes the timeline by travelling back to 102 A.D. and ordering that version of Rory to let him out of the Pandorica. He leaves the notes for Amelia, all of which led her here. The Doctor even fulfils Amelia's request for a drink while running around the timeline, snatching it from the earlier version of herself at the museum. A bewildered Amy wonders how the Doctor keeps vanishing, making him explain what the device on his wrist is: "cheap, and nasty time travel; it's bad for you. I'm trying to give it up."

The Eleventh Doctor whispers to himself.

As they head for the roof, another version of the Doctor appears at the top of the stairs, near-dead. He falls down the stairs and whispers in the younger Doctor's ear before dying. The Doctor announces he has only twelve minutes to live. Amy is confused, but Rory points out that they can't just leave his body there. Feeling challenged for who's in charge, the Doctor asks Rory what they're going to do about Amelia. They look back to see nothing but Amelia's spilt drink. The Doctor explains history is still collapsing, and now there was never any Amelia Pond, confusing Amy; how can she be there when her younger self isn't? The Doctor answers that they are just the last light to go out. They head for the roof. After they've left, the Dalek begins to restore itself.

On the building's roof, Rory and Amy are confused by the sudden daylight; the Doctor retorts that he already told them that the eye of the storm is closing up, so time is speeding up. Rory questions the Doctor as to why the TARDIS exploded; "Good question for another day." The Doctor then makes them think; the sun was erased with every other star in the universe, so what's burning in the sky? The Doctor picks up a satellite dish and sonics it, revealing the sound of the TARDIS. The object keeping the Earth warm and lit is his TARDIS, exploding at every moment in history. Rory's Auton-enhanced hearing picks up a voice in the sky, which the Doctor amplifies with the dish. It's River Song's last words — "I'm sorry, my love" — repeated over and over. The TARDIS' emergency protocols have locked the console room in a time loop to save her life. The Doctor gives a smile to a shocked Amy and Rory.

River is seen repeating her attempts to open the TARDIS doors three times, each time failing and saying she is sorry to the Doctor as the TARDIS begins exploding. On the fourth attempt, the Doctor appears via her vortex manipulator, saying he's home. River looks at her watch and gives an annoyed look; she's been aware of the time loop the entire time and has been waiting for him to come and get her. They travel back to the roof, the Doctor introducing River to Rory. River explains she has questions, but number one is, "What in the name of sanity do you have on your head?". The Doctor explains he wears fezzes now since they're cool; Amy removes it from his head and tosses it in the air, where River blasts it to pieces. However, the regenerated Dalek elevates onto the roof and shoots at the group. They retreat to the museum below.

The Doctor runs through the museum, deducing that, along with the restoration field, the Pandorica contains a few billion atoms of the universe as it was, hence how the Dalek returned despite being erased from history. River tells him there's tiny fault of the Pandorica not being able to properly restore a single Dalek. The Doctor proposes getting the Pandorica to the exploding TARDIS, not only giving it unlimited power, but allowing it to scatter the atoms of the original universe throughout time and undo total event collapse. When asked how they can do this, the Doctor smug tells his friends to listen before turning to lead them back to the Pandorica; however, he is shot by the laser blast of the Dalek, which managed to locate them. The Dalek briefly powers down due to the amount of energy it expended, while the Doctor uses the manipulator to vanish into the past. Amy and Rory head back to his body, while River stays behind. As River is an associate of the Doctor's, the Dalek believes she will show mercy; she tells it her name and to look her up in its database, knowing one blast from her gun to its eyestalk will kill it. After seeing its information on River Song, the terrified Dalek begins begging for mercy.

Downstairs, Amy and Rory find The Doctor's corpse is not where they left it. River returns to remind them the Doctor lies, informing them the Dalek is dead as well. The Doctor had pretended to die to make them decoys to buy him time. They return to the exhibit and find the dying Doctor has strapped himself into the Pandorica. River realises he plans to use the vortex manipulator to fly the box into the heart of the TARDIS, exploding at every point in history. The explosion will release the atoms of the preserved universe, restoring it. River admits gravely that the plan will work only if the Doctor seals himself on the other side of the cracks. The entire universe will be restored, but not the Doctor. He will never have existed at all. However, all the good he has done for the universe until now will remain.

The Doctor's message to the Ponds.

The Doctor and Amy say their goodbyes, and he admits that he took her with him because her life didn't make sense... living in a large house with only her aunt. He then asks Amy what happened to her parents, and she answers that she lost them but is alarmed when she cannot recall the specific details. He explains that they weren't killed when Amy was young, but consumed by the time field in her bedroom wall which has been eating away at her whole life. He assures her that as long as she remembers her parents, she can bring them back like she did Rory and with her family around her she won't need her imaginary friend. He pilots the Pandorica into the explosion, texting River "Geronimo!" on the way, and resets the universe, disappearing from existence...

...and sits up on the floor of the TARDIS console room. He rejoices he has survived being erased — until he sees Amy and himself from a week earlier, travelling to Space Florida; his timeline is unravelling, meaning, "Hello, universe, goodbye, Doctor." He calls over to Amy. She hears him, but cannot see him. His life rewinds further. He is in a street in Colchester, watching Amy leave a note for him underneath Craig's advertisement for a new lodger. She still cannot see him. The Doctor notices a crack in the road behind him, sealing itself.

He rewinds to the Byzantium; he approaches Amy — her eyes shut to avoid being killed by the Weeping Angel — and encourages her to remember what he told her when she was seven. He rewinds to 1996 and finds Amelia asleep in her back garden, awaiting his return. He carries her to bed and tells her the story of how he stole — or, rather, "borrowed" — the TARDIS, describing it as "ancient and new, and the bluest blue ever." He sees the crack in her wall and tells her it can't close properly until he's on the other side and steps through, preferring not to see the rest of his life rewind. The crack in her wall closes. She wakes to an empty room and quickly goes back to sleep.

In 2010, Amy wakes on her wedding day, surprised when her mother brings her breakfast. Her mother informs Amy she may toss the breakfast out the window as her father's a terrible cook. Amy races downstairs to see her father, studying a joke book for his speech at the reception. Amy finds her reaction to her parent as odd and she has the lingering feeling there is someone or something else missing. When she phones Rory to see if he feels the same way, he agrees with her because he loves and fears her. Excited, Amy gets ready for her wedding.

At the reception, she enjoys listening to her mother whisper insults about her father or giggles that her father is taking time to correct his speech. Amy then spots River Song outside, walking past the window. Rory presents her with a wedding gift someone has left — River's blue TARDIS diary, all its pages now blank. Amy begins to cry, wondering why she is sad. Rory tries to explain away the diary by reminding her of the old wedding saying: "Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue." She notices some of the guests at the other tables; a bow tie and braces catch her attention just as a tear hits River's diary.

Amy interrupts her father's speech to announce that her imaginary childhood friend, "the raggedy Doctor," is real and he is late for her wedding. Her mother and aunt sigh, remembering how many psychiatrists they sent her to. Amy continues yelling that she brought everyone else back from the time field, so she can for him as well, which is why he told her that story when she was little, about the ancient, brand new box. The TARDIS — old and new, borrowed and blue — materialises in the middle of the room. Amy walks up to the TARDIS and asks the Doctor if she's "...surprised him this time." The Doctor steps out in a top hat and full evening dress, admitting that he is completely astonished. Everyone at the wedding is shocked to discover that the Doctor wasn't a figment of Amy's imagination, while Rory now remembers everything that happened to him and doesn't understand how he could have forgotten, especially being nearly 2000 years old. The Doctor introduces himself to the crowd; no doubt Amy's parents are feeling like apologising for not believing Amy.

Amy imitates part of the wedding ceremony, telling him he can kiss her. However, the Doctor stops Amy, informing her the brand new Mr Pond will be taking care of the "kissing duties" from now on. Annoyed, and thinking the Doctor doesn't understand earth customs well, Rory tries explaining that marrying Amy gives her his last name, but relents when the Doctor says his version is correct. The Doctor says he'll move the TARDIS as they're gonna need the space for dancing, which is why he came. When everyone starts dancing, the Doctor does so badly, making Amy giggle ("You're terrible! That is embarrassing!" she shrieks) and amusing the children present; he even tries teaching them his moves. Later, watching Amy and Rory slow dance, the Doctor notes to himself that Rory is 'the boy who waited' and, after guarding her for two thousand years, deserves his happiness.

The Doctor leaves to return to the TARDIS, now parked in Amy's garden. River Song appears behind him. He returns her vortex manipulator and her diary, explaining that the writing has come back, but he didn't peek ahead. As River thanks him, the Doctor asks if she's married herself. She wonders if he is asking, and he says, "Yes," then stammers when he realises he accidentally proposed to her. River teases him with further affirmations. The Doctor wonders who she really is. She says he will find out very soon when everything changes. She leaves abruptly via her vortex manipulator.

Amy says goodbye to her backyard before returning to her travels with the Doctor.

Exasperated, the Doctor enters the TARDIS, placing his scarf on a nearby lever. Amy enters, trying again to entice him into kissing her; Rory follows after her, annoyed she's still trying to kiss the Doctor. Rory reminds the Doctor that he just saved reality, so he should take the night off and relax. He is reluctant — they still do not know what led the TARDIS to the date of the temporal explosion and destroyed it, much less why. He also has not figured out the meaning of the "silence." As he ponders, he takes a TARDIS phone call: an Egyptian goddess is on the loose on the Orient Express in space and the being on the other end is concerned. The Doctor turns to bid Amy and Rory goodbye, but Amy runs to the door, bids her former life "adieu" and closes the TARDIS doors. The Doctor smiles and fires up the engines, sending the TARDIS spinning through the time vortex...


Uncredited cast[[edit]]


General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics



General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.

This story had no direct Visual Effects credit, which means that it unusually didn't credit The Mill. Instead, the roll credited many more workers from The Mill than usual, and even changed Will Cohen's normal title to the grander, "Executive Visual FX Producer".


Cultural references from the real world[[edit]]

The Doctor[[edit]]



  • The Doctor wears a fez during the episode. He believes "fezzes are cool". Neither Amy nor River are impressed - Amy grabs it and throws it in the air, and River destroys it with her blaster.
    • The fez has become a popular part of the Eleventh Doctor's outfit - at the 2010 Doctor Who at the Proms, for example, the TV version opens with a shot of Prince Albert's bust wearing a fez.

Theories and concepts[[edit]]

  • There is a small explosion when the Doctor taps the two versions of his sonic screwdriver together. It is possible to read this as an expression of the Blinovitch Limitation Effect, though this term is never used in the episode. Moreover, no such explosion occurs when both Amy and the Doctor touch their younger selves. No explanation for the discrepancy was provided by the script. (It is possible that the collapsing of the universe would allow this the closer to the end it got).


  • River's main costume in this story was designed deliberately to evoke both Princess Leia and Han Solo, so that she looked like, according to Toby Haynes, a "female Han Solo". (DCOM: The Big Bang)
  • The opening sequence featuring young Amelia is filmed from her height, and was inspired by Steven Spielberg films in which people would look at things in awe.

Story notes[[edit]]

  • The broadcast and narrative dates were the same: 26/06/2010. This is one of only four times in the revived series in which the date of broadcast and narrative date are the same. The others are TV: The Impossible Astronaut on 22 April 2011, part one of TV: The End of Time on 25 December 2009, and TV: Resolution on 1 January 2019.
  • This was the first BBC Wales finale which featured neither David Tennant nor the departure of a main character.
  • According to the DVD commentary, director Toby Haynes continued to use playback while recording this episode, just as he had for The Pandorica Opens. In particular, it was used with Caitlin Blackwood's solo scenes in the museum.
  • According to Toby Haynes, this episode had no bigger budget "and maybe even a little less" than other episodes in the series. (DCOM: The Big Bang)
  • According to the episode commentary, Karen Gillan was genuinely laughing at Matt Smith's dancing at the reception scene.
  • Alex Kingston was having trouble walking in heels during the scene where River gets her diary back from the Doctor; due to the ground being too soft after rainfall. So they avoided long-range shots, allowing Alex to wear practical footwear. She can subtly be seen sinking down after walking up Matt Smith.
  • The closing credits play over a textless version of the opening title sequence rather than the usual closing title sequence.
  • In the script it was written that the Doctor was a "terrible dancer" and danced like a "drunk giraffe", and Matt Smith additionally came up with his own routine.
  • Steven Moffat named this episode as his personal favourite among the episodes he wrote. "I thought it was just a great, fun, funny, witty episode. I was proud of that."
  • The opening sequence featuring young Amelia is filmed from her height, and was inspired by Steven Spielberg films in which people would look at things in awe.
  • Originally there was a scene after the four had been reunited in the museum where Amy had a "meltdown" and Rory assured her it was okay; this was cut due to pacing issues, which pleased Arthur Darvill as he disliked his performance in the scene.
  • Steven Moffat was inspired to use the idea of a character travelling backwards along his own timeline from The Making of Doctor Who.
  • A stunt performer for Matt Smith performed the sequence in which a future version of the Doctor who had been shot by a Dalek fell down the museum stairs three times before Toby Haynes captured the angles and shots he wanted. On the DVD commentary, Haynes stated that the shot in the episode is mostly the first take.
  • During the cold open, Amelia overhears her aunt Sharon expressing concern that Amelia will join a "star cult", saying that she "doesn't trust that Richard Dawkins." In real life Dawkins was actually married to Lalla Ward.
  • Karen Gillan revealed in the episode's commentary that during Amy and the Doctor's farewell scene, before he leaves in the Pandorica, she actually turned the sonic screwdriver on by accident. This can be seen in the finished episode.
  • Karen Gillan found wearing the dress strange, while Arthur Darvill felt as if he was gate-crashing someone else's wedding, as he did not know any of the extras there.
  • This is the first time a season finale does not feature a change of cast since Season 25's TV: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy: both the Doctor and this season's companions stay on at the end.
  • Steven Moffat had suggested that Matt Smith wear a fez in this episode to give the Doctor some character, as well as for comic relief. Others on the production staff, who had seen Smith's enthusiasm for costume items for the Doctor, were concerned that the fez might become a permanent part of the Doctor's wardrobe. Moffat had, however, already written the fez-destruction scene (in which, in one fluid movement, Amy throws the fez in the air and River shoots it) with this in mind. Piers Wenger said that Smith is one of the few people who could pull off a fez.
  • Steven Moffat stated that the title is his favourite dirty joke in the series as it is a reference to the fact that Amy and Rory conceive their child on the TARDIS that night, as revealed in A Good Man Goes to War.
  • Karen Gillan stated that the episode was the "most difficult" for her, as it was "a big climax for Amy and her story that's been building through the just required a lot of kind of concentration and emotion." In August 2011, she stated that the Doctor and Amy's farewell was the most emotional scene for her to film.
  • Toby Haynes wanted to first show the revelation that the TARDIS would appear at the reception in a small way with minor changes such as the glasses tinkling and chandelier shaking, and build it up from there.
  • When Amy meets her younger self, she lifts up the girl's hair on either side of her head in what seems to be an odd gesture. She's checking to see if her younger self has had her ears pierced yet, which would be a good way of determining her age.
  • The bride figurine on the wedding cake has red hair, and both the bride and groom figurines are wearing the same outfits as Amy and Rory.
  • During the scene in which the Doctor and Rory are talking after Rory has let him out of the Pandorica, one of the stone Daleks was originally supposed to move, operated by Toby Haynes himself. However, the scene was cut from the final episode.
  • This two-parter was originally meant to form Block Seven of season five. However, it became clear that this would give The Mill insufficient time to complete their contributions to what would no doubt be an ambitious pair of episodes, so it formed Block Six. Steven Moffat lost two weeks' writing time as a result.
  • Steven Moffat wanted to exploit chronology by having the Doctor use time travel to manipulate the course of events more explicitly than had previously been depicted. To this end, he incorporated the complex sequence in which the Doctor hopped back and forth through time in order to save Amy and then gain access to the Pandorica. Moffat acknowledged that this kind of paradoxical business could undermine the drama, but he felt that the story's cataclysmic stakes warranted the Doctor breaking the rules by which he normally lived.
  • A late addition to the finale was the stone Dalek, which Steven Moffat devised after realising that the script lacked an imminent, tangible threat.
  • To help viewers navigate the complexities of the Doctor's time-bending, Steven Moffat included the elements of the fez and the mop, which would serve as visual clues.
  • The two stone Daleks were modified versions of the blue and orange Paradigm Dalek casings created for Victory of the Daleks.
  • Steven Moffat thought that Amy would want a big wedding with a lot of dancing. In the script it was written that the Doctor was a "terrible dancer" and danced like a "drunk giraffe", and Matt Smith additionally came up with his own routine.
  • According to Toby Haynes, Matt Smith nailed the Doctor's goodbye to Amelia Pond on the first take. He repeatedly listened to Johnny Cash's rendition of "Hurt" to put himself in the right frame of mind.
  • The part of the museum where the future Doctor teleports in was previously used as part of Library in Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead.
  • There was originally a shot of the village when Amy and Rory take off with the Doctor, which would have shown a family of ducks in the pond, as a bit of a nod to The Eleventh Hour, where the Doctor notices the "duck pond" doesn't have any ducks, implying they were taken by a crack in time too, but have now been restored. The scene had to be relocated to Amy's garden.
  • Karen Gillan described Rory's vigil for Amy as the "ultimate romantic gesture" which showed how much he loved Amy, and was where Amy realised how much she loved him. Steven Moffat thought that standing guard for two thousand years would make up for shooting her.
  • Steven Moffat had always intended for Amy and Rory to get married "from the off".
  • Steven Moffat described the conclusion as the story of how Amy has been changed by the Doctor and the Doctor's success at restoring her spirit to the girl he first met, believing that a man could drop out of the sky and "fix everything". However, he did not return for her as he had promised and she grew believing that he was a liar and could not be trusted; Amy returns to her original belief when she stands up at her wedding and proclaims that the Doctor is real and that he will arrive.
  • It was Toby Haynes' idea for the TARDIS to appear in the time vortex during the closing credits.
  • The scenes in the TARDIS were the first material filmed for the episode.
  • As the episode was filmed near the end of production of season five, it had a smaller effects budget than other episodes, but this was compensated with cinematic lighting.
  • Toby Haynes wanted the museum to feel "massive and eerie", and coached Caitlin Blackwood to "live in the moment".
  • The museum set was filled with things that would seem like typical exhibits in the daytime, but appeared spooky at night. The exhibits also included historical anomalies which were the result of history collapsing, such as penguins on the Nile.
  • Though Caitlin Blackwood appeared as the seven-year-old version of Amy in The Eleventh Hour, the episode marked the first time she acted alongside her cousin Karen Gillan. Gillan initially found this "weird", but she commented that they quickly got used to it.
  • The two versions of Amy were purposely dressed in similar colours.
  • As the production had run out of time filming in the museum, all of the shots looking into the Pandorica were filmed three weeks later in the Pandorica chamber set.
  • After seeing the rushes, Steven Moffat ordered the scene where Amy tells her younger self that this is where it gets complicated to be reshot, as Karen Gillan had said "really complicated", which conveyed a different meaning.
  • The scene in which the Doctor gives a final speech to young Amelia was not filmed with Matt Smith and Caitlin Blackwood on the same set. Smith's dialogue was shot first in the bedroom set, while the corner with the bed was recreated and filmed with Blackwood as a pick-up. Blackwood fell asleep during filming.


  • 6.7 million. (UK final)[4]
  • This marked the first time in the new series that the final episode of the series did not get higher ratings than the penultimate episode of the series. This occurred in every series finale episode before this one, this would not occur again until Series 9's Hell Bent in December 2015.


  • The Internet Movie Database incorrectly stated that Doctor Who veteran actor Philip Madoc would guest star. He did not appear.

Filming locations[[edit]]

  • Miskin Manor - Cardiff

Production errors[[edit]]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • When Amy is praying as a child when the TARDIS should have crashed and she runs to the window you can see it crashed out of the window before she sees the shed.
  • In the museum, when the trio see the "future" Doctor die, Amy walks up the stairs. The camera cuts to the Doctor, then back to Amy, when she walks up the stairs again. It was too quick for her to go back down the stairs.
  • When the Amy that has just come out of the Pandorica compares height to younger Amy and guesses the date, you can see a shadow back away from the side of the camera when it pans out.
  • In the museum, the Doctor is talking but a shot of him turning around shows that his lips are not moving.
  • The museum scenes are set in 1996, but when the Doctor and crew make it to the roof, you see the Gherkin in the skyline - a building that was built in the twenty-first century.
  • While travelling backwards, the Doctor is seen wearing the vortex manipulator in the TARDIS on the way to Space Florida. In the next scene, while telling Amy to remember, it is absent. It returns in the following scene when he picks up the younger Amy.
  • In the museum, after the two Amys, the Doctor, and Rory escape the stone Dalek, we see the Doctor use the vortex manipulator to go back and talk to Rory, as seen at the beginning of the episode. The third time, in the wide shot of Rory and Amy, Amy's abdomen moves from the actress's breathing. During Rory's speech at the beginning of the episode, there is faint breathing heard during his dialogue, probably from Amy.
  • Directly after the Stone Dalek shoots the Doctor, his clothes remain unscathed as he collapses, when they should appear frayed and scorched as they do in the closeup showing him collapsed on the floor of the museum. This exposes that Matt Smith is wearing two different versions of his costume- the normal attire and a battle-damaged replica- and switched clothes in between takes, which the special effects crew neglected to hide.
  • In the scene where Rory opens the Pandorica with the sonic screwdriver, you can see he stops using it, however in the next shot, he is still using it.
  • During the wedding, guests change places.
  • In the same scene, Amy's father is NOT writing anything, let alone a speech as he claims.
  • During the last scene, a crew member can be seen at various points. This crew member also wears glasses, and you can see the glasses reflecting under lights.
  • Amy's wedding dress varies from the one seen in The Eleventh Hour.
  • Amy's room also varies from the one seen in The Eleventh Hour and Flesh and Stone.
  • The Dalek in the museum actually slides sideways when it halts.
  • A crew member can be seen slightly in the dancing scene, amongst the wedding guests.


Home video releases[[edit]]

Series 5 Volume 4 DVD Cover

DVD & Blu-ray releases[[edit]]

  • Series 5, Volume Four was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in region 2/B on 6 September 2010 and region 4/B on 7 October 2010. The volume features Vincent and the Doctor, The Lodger, The Pandorica Opens and The Big Bang, and the featurette The Monster Diaries.
  • The episode was later released in the Complete Fifth Series boxset on both DVD and Blu-ray, in region 1/A on 9 November 2010, in region 2/B on 8 November 2010 and in region 4/B on 2 December 2010.
  • A DVD-only release of Series 5, Part Two, containing the latter seven episodes of the series, was released in region 1 on 26 July 2016.

Digital releases[[edit]]

  • In the United Kingdom, this story is available on BBC iPlayer.


  1. Berriman. Ian. "RTD on Torchwood". SFX #199. July 2010.
  2. Ed Stradling (20 February 2013). Gallifrey One 2013 - Steven Moffat interview. YouTube. Retrieved on 20 February 2013.
  4. Doctor Who Ratings - UK final

External links[[edit]]