SciFi Weekend: The Pandorica Opens (Or As Amy Pond Would Call It, The Invasion Of The Hot Italians); Torchwood Casting News; Changes for Mad Men

The Pandorica has opened and the big surprise was that nothing was inside. Instead it was a prison designed to hold the Doctor. In recent years Doctor Who has ended with big episodes. Steven Moffat is ending the season by bringing together many of the Doctors enemies, including Daleks and Cybermen. Instead of them acting with evil intent, they believe they are acting to protect the universe by locking up the Doctor, who they think is behind the cracks in the universe.

The episode started out with scenes involving many of the characters from previous episodes as a message for the Doctor is ultimately rerouted by the Tardis to the prison where River Song is being held. A message is sent about a  vision from Van Gough demonstrated by a  painting showing the Tardis exploding. This was hidden away until found by British forces during World War II and taken to  Winston Churchill, who naturally tried to make a phone call to the Doctor.

A lot happened once the Doctor and River got back together. They traveled back to 102  AD, which Amy Pond described as the invasion of hot Italians–when ancient Romans invaded England. Later in the episode River returned to the present and found that the Romans were actually recreations from a book in Amy’s bedroom. This was all a trap created from images in Amy’s mind. The images included Rory,who was also revived as a Roman. Unfortunately the Romans turned into Autons and the episode ended with Rory appearing to kill Amy. Besides this fate for Amy, and the Doctor being locked in the Pandorica, River was aboard the exploding Tardis, as all the stars in the sky were going out and the universe was coming to an end.

I don’t want to say too much about the episode and risk spoiling the conclusion (which already aired a month earlier on BBC America). There’s plenty of time to talk about fez hats next week. I can’t resist one nitpick. If  the Doctor went back to 102 AD,  wouldn’t Stonehenge have looked different back then?

There’s also one key lesson from the Doctor to keep in mind: Nothing is ever forgotten, not completely. And if something can be remembered, it can come back.”

Next week: The Big Bang. I’ve also been holding back information on the Christmas Special as this would spoil the conclusion of The Big Bang.

Ausiello has some information on the new characters being added to Torchwood:

Among the casting intel I’ve gathered on the new season (airing on my new favorite cable network, Starz), the show is out to cast a new series regular — Rex Matheson, a wickedly funny (operative word: wicked) CIA agent born to make waves. Almost as key to the new season are recurring characters Esther Katusi, a CIA grunt in her early 20s who learns what she’s really made of only when she’s forced to, and Oswald Jones, a convicted murderer and pedophile who will be as shocked as anyone to learn how easily infamy and fame can be exchanged for one another.

There’s similar information from TV Guide:

And Starz’s new season of Torchwood is shaping up with the search for one series regular and two supporting roles. Rex Matheson is a white, twenty-something CIA agent who sounds sort of like FX’s animated Archer spy: a fearless, cocky thrill seeker. Recurring characters include Esther Katusi, a newbie Watch Analyst in the CIA who is deeply (and secretly) in love with Rex. And Oswald Jones is the dangerous psychotic villain. He’s a forty-something murderer and pedophile who gets sprung from the slammer into the spotlight. Rex — catch this sicko!

Mad Men is returning with major changes which were set up last season. Don Draper has lost Betty. Will this lead to better stories of Don Draper chasing women, or is an important element of the story lost when he is no longer cheating? There’s also a new start up firm, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

I hope they pull it off. Sometimes losing some of the stable anchors for a show hurts. Dallas was never the same when J. R. Ewing lost both Sue Ellen and Ewing Oil was broken up. On the other hand, Thirtysomething did fine after the Michael and Elliot company folded. This ultimately led to bringing in Miles Drentell, which was a big plus for the series. Of course Michael still was with Hope.

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