The Fourth Dimension

The Big Bang

The Big Bang is the fifth series finale since Doctor Who returned in 2005. It's the first which doesn't end with either a change of Doctor or a companion departing. Parting of the Ways concluded with the Ninth Doctor regenerating, Doomsday culminated with Rose Tyler trapped in another universe and Last of the Time Lords saw Martha Jones leave the TARDIS. Journey's End finished with Donna's travels coming to a heartbreaking halt but The Big Bang sees the Doctor, Amy and Rory crashing forward into new adventures.

The read through for The Big Bang began at approximately 17.15 on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 at Upper Boat.

The Doctor wears a fez! The origins of this distinctive headgear are clouded in mystery but the hat certainly dates back centuries, with variants recorded as early as 1400. The origins of the name 'fez' are also unclear although some believe it's derived from the Moroccan city of Fez. The hat is most closely associated with Eastern Mediterranean cultures but is recognised throughout the world thanks to appearances in popular culture. Sydney Greenstreet's character wore a fez in the classic movie Casablanca (1942) and Indiana Jones' friend, Sallah (played by John Rhys-Davies) sported a variation of the fez.

The Doctor likes his hats. The First Doctor occasionally wore one and in his first adventure, the Third Doctor donned a wide brimmed hat although he later abandoned it. The Fourth, Fifth and Seventh Doctors were seldom without hats whilst the Second Doctor favoured elaborate headgear and on more than one occasion was known to admire other people's, saying 'I should like a hat like that!'

This is the second episode of Doctor Who directed by Tony Haynes who also helmed The Pandorica Opens. Several scenes in The Big Bang reflect moments from earlier adventures. The shots of young Amelia's garden mirror early scenes from The Eleventh Hour and we now see the truth of what happened in the forest between the Doctor and Amy in Flesh and Stone.

The Doctor finally gets to enjoy a wedding celebration! In the Runaway Bride, the reception for an albeit cancelled wedding was interrupted by alien intruders and in The Wedding of Sarah Jane (from The Sarah Jane Adventures), when the Doctor crashed the nuptials of Sarah Jane Smith, it ended in death. Donna's wedding did at least go according to plan although it was heavily tinged with sadness as she could not recall her travels in the TARDIS. But at last the Doctor's been able to kick back, hit the dance floor and celebrate in style!

Lead writer and Executive Producer Steven Moffat has revealed that aspects of The Big Bang were in his mind when he first started plotting the overarching ideas that run throughout the Eleventh Doctor's first series. He said he never felt constricted by the finale as he left room to improvise on the story's development and he confirmed he was delighted with the finished version of The Big Bang, calling it 'mad' and 'amazing'.

The name Pandorica is derived from the name Pandora. In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman on Earth. According to the ancient tales, Pandora was given a jar, or a box, by the gods but told never to open it. When curiosity got the better of her she disobeyed and opened the container, discovering too late it held unstoppable evils which escaped into the world. It is said that only one thing remained in the container for her - hope.