Doctor Who 5.04: The Time of Angels

Hmm, my cats are annoyed because I jumped several times and I’m slightly nervous about closing my eyes.

Looks like Moffat succeeded ๐Ÿ˜€ Don’t even blink!

Blink is one of my favourite Doctor Who eps. Not just my favourite new Who, one of my all-time favourites. On paper the premise – scary statues – sounds a bit pathetic, but the genius of that episode was the psychological terror and the shock you feel at suddenly being faced with a feral angel bearing down on you that only stopped because the lights came back or you opened your eyes. It’s what Moffat does really well: fooling your brain into being terrified without needing to resort to any big ugly monsters.

So obviously I was over the moon to see the Weeping Angels coming back, but slightly worried in case I wasn’t scared of them any more.

Er, do I have to turn the lights out tonight?

Yeah, they were scary again.

The pacing of a two-parter is really working. It gives us time to get properly scared and absorbed because nothing has to happen super-fast, so the ideas can work on our minds. I knew that it was working when Amy turned around to find the Angel projection appearing and I jumped, startling Annie into flight.

Also, Moffat put in one line that, for me, explains the River Song thing entirely. She knows all his faces (implying there are more to come) but he’s never told her what order they happened in. She knew that Tennant was one of the younger ones, younger than she’s ever met before. With Matt Smith, she knew who he was but not which order he came in.

That line has just solved a whole bunch of issues and enabled Moffat to bring her back whenever he wants to. I knew he’d come up with something ๐Ÿ˜€

I also rather liked the implications behind River having at some stage been a prisoner. Very interesting. This one seems a bit younger and brasher than the one we met in the Library, who felt as though she had lived a life and ending it when she did wasn’t all bad. Getting to see some of the things she mentioned when they were discussing her diary is great. This is a much earlier River, but she already knows the Doctor very well.

They were definitely bickering like a married couple.

The thought that all the statues could be angels crossed my mind when they first arrived, but I dismissed it for some reason. I figured that it was going to be scary enough having the possibility that each statue might be the Angel with no clear idea of where it was. An entire underground maze of half-decayed Angels is scary and also kind of horrific. They were weathered and beaten, the kind of status you get in graveyards that have been there for hundreds of years and eaten away until you can barely recognise them as human. Ew. And every single damn one of them is an Angel. Yikes.

The thing that really intrigues me? They’ve obviously got a plan. We’ll find out more next week, but right now I’m guessing that their plan really needed the Byzantium to crash so that they could get energy and rejuvenate. Angels with plans cannot be a good thing.

Loved that scene at the end. When Matt Smith asks us to trust him, he really is the Doctor. The trap speech was awesome, just right, with the urgency of the music ratcheting up the tension and the knowledge that the Angels were right there coming to get them. I really can’t wait to see how they get out of this!

I’m sure that I’ve missed a ton of stuff that I wanted to comment on. The episode was filled with fantastic lines and moments, it was tense and paced just right, and it was absolutely classic Moffat. Everyone was wonderful – Karen and Matt are settling into their roles nicely – and it looked utterly amazing. In fact, the only bad point was the BBC’s idiotic decision to put a little plug in for the next program over that beautifully tense final scene. What the hell?

Other than that, I can’t find any faults. I just hope that next week’s episode keeps up the standards!

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