The Doctor (Matt Smith) is trapped in the escape proof Pandorica prison. The TARDIS has exploded with River Song (Alex Kingston) inside, and Amy (Karen Gillan) has been shot and killed by an Auton doppleganger of her fiancé Rory (Arthur Darvill). Oh, yes, and the universe is collapsing.

The universe, in fact, never existed, except for the Earth, Moon, and a kind of Sun. In Roman Britain, the Auton Rory mourns Amy. The Doctor appears to him and hands him his sonic screwdriver, which he uses to free the younger Doctor, who places Amy’s body in the Pandorica to be restored to life. He uses River Song’s Vortex Manipulator to jump 2000 years ahead. Rory, as an ageless Auton, stays to guard her body.

In 1996, seven-year-old Amelia Pond (Caitlin Blackwood) finds instructions from the Doctor to go to the Pandorica, which is preserved in a museum. Amy is revitalized and freed. The Doctor and Rory, now a museum guard, are chased by a Dalek. The Doctor goes back in time with the vortex manipulator and gives his screwdriver to Rory 2000 years ago. The universe is still collapsing, and Amelia disappears. The sun is really the still-exploding TARDIS. Inside, River Song is alive in a time-loop and is saved by the Doctor.

He diverts the Dalek and rigs the Pandorica to fly into the exploding TARDIS, using what remains in the Pandorica to create a second Big Bang and restart the universe. Amy is focusing on her family and Rory. The Doctor witnesses events in his life in reverse order as the cracks in the universe close. He enters the crack and disappears.

Amy awakens in her home to find that her parents and Rory are back in existence. They celebrate their wedding day. River leaves her diary for Amy and Amy remembers the Doctor. The TARDIS and the Doctor appear at the wedding. But there are still unanswered questions about the TARDIS exploding.

This and the previous episode won the 2011 Hugo Award. The writers thought that Rory’s waiting 2000 years for Amy made up for shooting her. Caitlin Blackwood (young Amelia Pond) is Karen Gillan’s cousin. Matt Smith invented his own stupid dance at the wedding—like a drunken giraffe—and Karen Gillan was really laughing at it. The opening sequence, filmed at Amelia’s height, was inspired by Stephen Spielberg. In fact, the entire episode is filled with Spielberg references. It is fast-paced and totally bonkers. This was the episode in which the Doctor discovered that the fez was cool. River and Amy destroyed it so the writers could get rid of it. The Big Bang was not just that of the universe, but the conceiving of Melody Pond in the TARDIS.