Doctor Who – The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone

Anyone still doubting Matt Smith’s Doctor or Stephen Moffat’s head writer credentials will have seen all they need to put their fears aside once and for all. Last week saw the return of the Weeping Angels, the one new villain that can stand alongside the Daleks and Cybermen as a hide behind the sofa addition to the Who universe. It is also worth pointing out that back in Series 3 these were Moffat’s babies in primarily Russel T Davies territory.

Now he had brought back the Angels in their multitude in this two parter. In the first part the Doctor was reunited with River Song, the woman last seen in Series 4 in another Moffat two parter that began with Silence in The Library. Together with River’s team they locate a crashed spaceship containing one of the Weeping Angels. It turns out to be much worse than that though when they find not one but many Angels, looking for power to regenerate themselves from a decayed state into beings that can bring about destruction of worlds.

As the story develops, there are more sinister powers at work than just the Angels. The schism that has followed the Doctor since the beginning of the series appears once again, this time more powerful than ever. As the Doctor realises that it is a doorway to the end of the universe (as you would expect in Doctor Who), connections to the past Series’s as well as indicators that Amy may, like Rose and Donna before her, have more to do with events than it first seemed.

The suspense of the episodes is cranked as high as in any Doctor Who episode of the last five years. The old “Don’t blink” around the Angels is used on more than one occasion, but then turned on its head as Amy is forced to walk through a forest of Angels with her eyes closed (it will make sense when you watch it).

As with all recurring characters, River Song parts with mention of another meeting between her and Doctor in his future (which also forms part of the Series finale), as well as frequent mention of her killing a man – the best man she ever knew. Could this be the Doctor in some future incantation? Remember that the Doctor has used 11 of his 13 lives (regenerations), so could his end be planned in some way for the day that arises?

After the excitement and drama of the two episodes, the final minutes are more relaxed – or perhaps very relaxed as Amy, back in her own bedroom the day before her wedding, decides she would like a quick fumble with the Doctor. His comical attempts at fending off her advances ends with his using a bad choice of words and telling her he needs to sort her out, then whisks her off in the TARDIS, pausing on his way out of the room to notice that the date of Amy’s wedding has arrived. The same date he discovered to be the source date of the schism that is following them around.

Next week’s previewed episode featuring Vampires in Venice seems to be a historical romp like the Fires of Pompeii episode of Series 4 and highly anticipated in a series that for many has proved to be more popular than they would ever have believed after the departure of David Tennant.