Doctor Who – The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone

I like the two-parters. Being an old fan, sometimes the quick-fire nature of the new format gets to me a little and I find myself wishing an adventure could last longer. Fortunately, the return of the Weeping Angels was given a nice spread.

This really was a brilliantly-written story that was very well realised in so many ways. The opening scenes gave a very good sense of the scale of time-travel that isn’t always clear in Doctor Who. From kooky space adventure, the audience is then quickly rolled into a terror-fest, a horror story where the monster really is a threat to the Doctor and Amy, and where there is a real sense that they could meet their end. The cliff-hanger between the two episodes is, I think, the best in any episode of the show ever. The pacing and the drama building up that final gunshot was edge-of-the-seat stuff that left you guessing for the whole week in-between.

In some respects, I don’t think the second episode was as strong as the first. The sense of menace was there, but the way it started revolving around the Crack detracted from the feel of the world a little by making the whole affair just a part of the meta-plot. Mind you, I still feel that the way this crack business is being handled – like a slow-running story in itself – is a lot less clumsy than some of the show’s previous story-arcs.

I’m a sucker for questions, and the reintroduction of River Song has drawn me in hook, line and sinker. What is the nature of her future relationship with the Doctor? Does she kill him, or was that just a red herring? And when do they meet for the first time in her timeline? For that matter, how does she travel in time? It helps that she’s a charismatic enough character to be worth worrying about.

As for the ending, I have to admit I have mixed feelings. I’m a little bit bored of the romance-with-companions thing now, mostly because it reinforces this awful TV trope that the lead characters have to have some kind of sexual tension. As much as the final scene played it for laughs and wrote the thing off as a mere one-off lust, in the context of the last four seasons I found the whole thing a little depressing. The damned horse is dead. Stop flogging it. On the other hand, it was funny…

So, five episodes in and the series has definitely not lost its way under the new production team. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that, in many ways, Doctor Who keeps getting better. Given that the end-of-episode spoilers feature gives us the promise of more from Rory, perhaps my criticism above was a little unfair. Moffat’s tales are never straightforward. Maybe there’s one last gasp in that horse after all.

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~ by Scary Rob on 3 May, 2010.

2 Responses to “Doctor Who – The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone”

  1. I agree with your point about the dead horse. It is boring to have a series of unrequited crushes. That said I can see the reasons behind this particular situation.
    From Amy’s point of view he’s this amazing, larger-than-life figure who came into her life for an evening and removed the danger before disappearing. It sounds as though he became a kind of imaginary friend and then perhaps more as she grew older. Having him reappear and save the world in adulthood probably had a profound effect. Then he reappears on the eve of her wedding, that’s gotta be a sign, right?
    From the Doctor’s point of view she was a 7 year old about a week ago. Which may explain how freaked out he was when she started kissing him, it was obviously the last thing he expected. When he left her in the forest, unable to see, he kissed her on the forehead. That struck me as a paternal or perhaps avuncular gesture.

  2. My main niggle about the second part was when we got to see the angels moving, removing a bit of their scariness, since up untill then (including in don’t blink), they only moved when not even the audience could see them.

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