Throughout these five years, the series finale has had two parts - and sometimes they've been longer than usual. They've picked up on ideas and plot lines from earlier in the series, and more often than not they've had two very different feels to them. How do I rank them?
Why is it called Bad Wolf? It's not actually clear.
On a television station that we've seen before, the bored citizens of the future play lethal gameshows. It's a chance to show a comic twist on the television of the day, leading up to the big revelation of... Daleks.
And then the Doctor threatens them. And they look afraid.
Army of Ghosts
Torchwood. If it's alien, it's theirs. And the Doctor most certainly is alien. Alongside that we've got ghostly figures from another dimension appearing and cybermen lurking in the shadows of Canary Wharf. Tracey-Ann Oberman is a classy Doctor Who villain, blind to the dangers she faces as she enables the invasion of the Cybermen. And then there is a big revelation. Of Daleks.
The Sound of Drums
After the cliff-hanger ending of Utopia, we're suddenly back to contemporary Earth, and it's at its most gritty with every person, every security camera at the beck and call of the Master. It's a hopeless situation, and we get a Gallifrey flashback, for the first time.
And then, at the end, there is a big revelation when the Earth is invaded, and it's not the Daleks.
The Stolen Earth
Here we learn fairly early on that it's been stolen by the Daleks. But this is a big plan, the stakes are higher than ever before as the Daleks basically threaten to wipe out everything ever. Presumably including themselves. So we bring back every companion that's appeared in the new series. It feels like a big "event" episode. It feels apocalyptic. And the Doctor is about to be reunited with Rose when he's shot by a Dalek and regenerates...
The Pandorica Opens
The Doctor is, essentially manipulated all the way through this one by a gang of monsters, and ends up getting himself in to an impossible prison. And Rory is back from the dead (hurrah!) but he's an Auton (boo! because he's bad but Hurrah! because the Autons are back). And then he kills Amy. Boo, indeed. And River's in the TARDIS, which is exploding, causing the crack that's been following Amy for 11 weeks. It's all in all not a good situation, for any of them really.
And then the universe is destroyed.
Ranking for Episode 12
It's the big cliff hanger of the season. I'm going to try to judge on the episode as a whole though. Tricky. I love Army of Ghosts, for instance, but I'm having to rank it fourth here.
Rankings So Far: Series 4 > Series 3 > Series 5 > Series 2 > Series 1
No overall impact.