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Out Now: The Black Archive – The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang (by the DWC’s Editor)

The latest edition of Obverse Books’ Black Archive range of monographs is out now, examining the Doctor Who Series 5 finale, The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang – and it’s written by me!

I’ve been working on this book for around two years now, involving some writing and a lot of research. I’ve looked into quantum entanglement, anomalies, time loops, the heat-death of the universe, and theories about how the universe began. I’ve also invested in headache tablets. It’s been huge fun, and a very rewarding experience.

Here’s the blurb:

“Who takes the Pandorica takes the universe.”

The TARDIS explodes. The universe is cracked. Space-time is collapsing. The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang typifies Steven Moffat’s ‘timey-wimey’ take on Doctor Who. It draws on the legend of Pandora’s Box and exhorts the power of memories.

This Black Archive explores how time operates in the Series 5 finale, in Doctor Who as a wider narrative, and in real life. How do anomalies and paradoxes work in the show? What might the end and beginning of the universe actually look like? And what caused the TARDIS to blow up anyway?

Yep, I’ve assessed all the evidence and found out the possible reason(s) the TARDIS blew up! As far as I know, no one else has come up with a proper answer, so I think it’s an exclusive…

That appendix – ‘Good Question for Another Day’ – draws on clues from throughout the Matt Smith era, and the previous chapters of my Black Archive; those are:

  • ‘Balancing the Epic and the Intimate’, about narrative structure;
  • ‘Myths and Fairytales’, including Pandora’s Box;
  • ‘Anomalies’, which form a central part of the tale;
  • ‘When Time Travel Wouldn’t Help’, which questions why the Doctor doesn’t use time travel to get himself out of trouble more often;
  • ‘The Trouble with Time’, mulling over how the fourth dimension works in The Big Bang and Doctor Who as a whole;
  • ‘Endings and Beginnings’, looking at the Big Bang, the death of the universe, and what happens in between.

Sci-Fi Bulletin has published a lovely review, concluding:

“An affectionate dissertation on the many elements of this series finale, breaking them into well-considered and clearly explained topics of discussion. Unlike Pandora’s Box, this is a gift you can happily open.”

We’ll have a review very soon – and don’t worry, Jonathan Appleton is being impartial.

You can order The Black Archive #44: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang now from Obverse Books.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Out Now: The Black Archive – The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang (by the DWC’s Editor)

by Philip Bates time to read: 2 min
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