Doctor Who Reactions: "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone" (SPOILERS)

1)This story sees the return of the Weeping Angels, although I have to admit that I'm not perfectly happy with how they are handled. To me, the interesting thing about the Angels was their unique way of despatching their victims - sending them back in time to live out their lives - and all but eliminates.  They were dangerous because you didn't dare look away from them - now they're dangerous if you do look at them.   It makes them much less interesting to me.  That said, some things were quite good - Amy's slow countdown was quite creepy, and the whole thing of the chief Angel being called "Bob" was amusing to me, for some reason.

 

2)We also get the return of River Song. I'm not a big fan of the character, but she's reasonably non-obnoxious here.

 

3)We also get the first appearance of the Church Militant -  an interesting idea, I can't picture Derrick Sherwin approving "Doctor Who and the Space Anglicans", that's for sure.

 

4)More temporal shenanigans from the Doctor here, if you watch the scene where he talks to Amy in the forest closely.  Another thing you may notice if you watch closely is that at some point during his exciting adventure with the Weeping Angels, the Doctor appears to havr gone and gotten his bangs trimmed.

 

5)Gillan plays the victim here - she does a good job of playing "scared Amy", and is amusing when she quizzes the Doctor about who River is.  Little does she know!

 

6)The treeborgs were an interesting idea.  Actually, I just like saying "treeborg".  Treeborg. Treeborg. Treeeeeboorrrg.  Heh.

 

7)I'm not wild about the "time can be re-written" idea. It's essentially a "Get Out of Continuity Free" card.  Oh, well, it's not as though this show ever worried about continuity all that much.

 

8)Cliffhanger for "The Time of the Angels":  The Doctor shoots out the gravity globe!  Resolution: This somehow enables them to jump up to the ship!

 

9)Some fun quotes:

  • "They're blue boring-ers."
  • "It's not supposed to make that noise - you leave the brakes on."
  • "I am definitely Mr. Grumpy Face today."
  • "I'll never get done saving you."
  • "So's Virginia Woolf - I'm on her bowling team."
  • "You bit me!"
  • "We have no need of comfy chairs."
  • "Get a life, Bob."

 

Overall:

A passable two-parter. Again, not the best use of the Angels, in my opinion.

 

[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]

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I recently re-watched “Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead” and was surprised to discover that nowhere in the episode did it hint that the Doctor and River Song might be married (although I can see how some might have leapt to that conclusion). I found it particularly surprising because it wasn’t at all the way I remembered it. I think what I remember was, in fact, the discussion of these episodes from the old board, and I let that inform my opinion.

“The Time of Angels / Flesh and Stone” certain dances all around the possibility that the Doctor and River might be married (which was certainly the intention behind “Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead” I have no doubt), but the fact they it’s bandied about so openly in this two-parter illustrates that the notion had certainly taken hold in fan consciousness by this time.

Speaking of “temporal shenanigans,” re-watching these episodes has brought to mind a couple of things you said over on the “Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon” discussion thread: first, that “when you first see it, the momentum carries you along unquestioning, but when you watch a story on disk for the third or fourth time, you realize that the new show has a lot of ‘wait a minute… " moments’; and second, that “we always knew that the whole ‘River keeps meeting the Doctor in the wrong order’ thing had a limited shelf-life.’

This two-parter marks only the second River Song story, yet already some of those “wait a minute…” moments are starting to creep in. River asks the Doctor how early it is (in their shared experiences) for him, and he replies that it’s “early… very early.” Yet when he explains to Amy who River is, he tells her that he and River are both time travelers who “keep meeting out of order” implying at least one other meeting since the end of “Forest of the Dead.”

There is certainly opportunity for the Doctor and River to have met… possibly several times (she demonstrates the ability to fly the TARDIS, remember)… between “Journey’s End” and “The Eleventh Hour,” but this is almost certainly the first time the Eleventh Doctor met River face-to-face. The fifth series finale (“The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang”) had already happened in River’s timeline by this point, but there are certain lapses in storytelling logic which don’t quite jibe when considering River’s timeline in the order she experienced it.

If “Silence/Forest” didn’t drop any explicit hints that the Doctor and River might be married, “Angles/Stone” certainly implied (no spoilers here) that River would kill the Doctor at some point in his future. “Flesh and Stone” reveals that River is actually in Father Octavian’s custody. She says something about never going back to that prison again, but as we shall see (slight spoiler here) she would have already made a habit of escaping from prison any damn time she felt like it by this time. Also, the end of the episode indicates that she is transmatted back aboard the orbiting spaceship, but as we learn in a later episode (again, slight spoiler here), she actually goes somewhere else entirely.

Am I expending too much time and effort trying to establish a logical, constant timeline?

Perhaps.

Wait’il I get to “The Wedding of River Song.”

“Whatever holds the image of an Angel becomes itself an Angel.” Oh, really? What about a photograph? Apparently even a drawing, because the book didn’t have any illustrations. I’m curious how, exactly, that would work.

Regarding the precept that “time can be rewritten,” I think the caveat is “…with consequences.”

The DVD tacks on an extra scene after the end credits of “Flesh and Stone.”

The Doctor may have said "Get a life, Bob" in this episode, but in “The Eleventh Hour” he said “Get a girlfriend, Jeff.” (I don’t think Tracy would approve of that.)

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