The Time of Angels

Season 32, episode 4.

The Return of Future-Woman

The episode opens with River Song breaking into something. If you're wondering who the hell River Song is, you're not alone, because I spent the first part of the episode asking that same question. It was obvious we were supposed to know who she was, but I eventually had to go look it up on Wikipedia. Turns out she's that woman who apparently meets the Doctor in his future which is her past, from that episode with the library. Why's she back? Fucked if I know. Obviously I wasn't terribly impressed with her last time, as you may be able to tell, so her reappearance is pretty much a non-event for me.

So anyway, she's breaking into this vault, which it turns out is on a space ship, in order to write a message for the Doctor, which she knows he'll get, because of his well-known habit of visiting museums. A habit which has never, ever been mentioned before in the last 47 years of the show. Why bother establishing character traits when you can just make them up on the spot and pretend they've always existed? After all, it wasn't horribly incongruous when you did that with the "no interfering except to save children" thing the other week. Oh wait.

Also, we never actually find out why she was breaking into this ship. She wanted to follow it, but apparently she needed the Doctor's help for that even though she had a whole team of space marines

clerics with her. Having sent the message to the Doctor she then executes the riskiest, most poorly thought-out escape in the history of the universe. If your plan involves, at any stage, sending a message you have no way of knowing if anyone will ever receive and then ejecting yourself into space and hoping that the person you were hoping would get the message will be there to catch you, you need a better plan.

But against all reason and believablity, the plan works and she lands in the TARDIS. Which, of course, she can fly better than the Doctor can. I hadn't caught her name at this point or realised we were supposed to recognise her, so I kind of hoped she might be Romana, but no, she's just some human who's inexplicably able to fly a TARDIS, write in Gallifreyan and knows the Doctor really well.

Chasing Angels

For some reason the Doctor seems to have no problem with just blindly doing what this woman tells him, so when she tells him to chase the space-ship she just fell out of, he does it. Obviously it this point no one's actually said what the terrible thing on that ship is, but thanks to the spoilers at the end of the last episode, we know it's a Weeping Angel.

So they chase the ship, which crashes into a planet. They land there and meet up with River's "clerics". The only explanation we get for why clerics are now soliers is that in the grim darkness of the 51st century, the church has "moved on". So basically it's just random change to make it more future-y.

River tells the soldiers
clerics that she's brought the Doctor to help them catch the Angel, and for some reason he immediately decides to help, even though he was all set to bugger off a moment ago.

Amy is Still an Idiot

River has a 4 second loop of video of the Angel, which she shows to the Doctor and Amy, then she and the Doctor go outside to have a pointless discussion, the only purpose of which is to leave Amy an opportunity to make a second attempt at winning a Darwin award.

Apparently Amy finds this 4 second loop of a statue standing in one spot fascinating, because she keeps watching it. Keep in mind that the Doctor has already told her that the Angels are incredibly dangerous and can only move when you're not looking, it's important.

Amy notices that the Angel on the video changed position while she wasn't looking.

If you're smarter than a potato, you probably realise this is a bad sign. Amy doesn't. She just keeps watching. Even as the Angel moves more and more. It's practically crawling out of the TV before she thinks of doing anything. Like, you know, leaving. Or making more than a token effort to call the Doctor.

You Will Die in Seven Days

This all leads to the revelation that the Angel can turn anything that shows its image into a new Angel. Or something. Maybe it's just projecting itself? It's really not clear. In any case, the Angel from the video teleports out of the screen and locks all the doors and stuff. Even though there are no locks. And it makes the remote contrel not work and makes it impossible to unplug the TV or cut off the power. What the fuck? How? How does it do this? How does this make any sense at all?

Fortunately, Amy realises that there's a small point in the video loop where the screen goes blank, and she is able to use the romet control to turn it off at that moment. But not before the Angel has infected her eyes with its telepathy or whatever. Because she looked into its eyes. When did they get that power?

Actually, when did they get any of these powers? Why could they not do all this stuff last time? And why are you acting like they're so dangerous? They just send you back in time a few decades. You have a time machine. Surely this is a pretty low-risk situation?

Fuckloads of statues

Naturally, the Angel is hiding in some catacombs that are full of statues. A suspiciously fortuitous crash site, but no one seems to find it particularly interesting. Naturally they decide to split up to search for the Angel, because, hey, what could go wrong, right?

As they wander casually about, looking for the Angel I guess (they didn't really seem to be looking very hard), the Doctor casually mentions that he's been to this planet before the native civilisation was wiped out, and that they had two heads. The fact that the statues all had one head immediately leapt out at me, but apparently no one within the show made this observation. Because they all seemed so oblivious to it, I put it down to the "two heads" line being some random bit of dialogue taht got added late without anyone realising how stupid it was, given the statues, but no, it's actually a plot point.

It actually takes three people being killed by the angels, for no apparent reason (they feed by sending people back in time, right? Was that how they worked? I think it was) before the Doctor makes this connection and realises that all the statues are Angels.

Where's Aslan When You Need Him?

It's at this point, when they're trying to run away from all the Angels, that the whole "infected in the eye" thing comes back into play. Amy's hand has turned to stone. But she can turn it back with the power of positive thinking! Or maybe The Secret. Who knows. In any case, she just has to think it's not stone and it won't be stone any more because it's really not stone. Even though it very clearly is stone.

So the Doctor bites her. Why a pinch wouldn't have worked is not clear, but apparently biting was the best option he could think of, and that's enough to convince her her hand is not stone and so it suddenly isn't again. But she's still infected, so I guess he'll have to bite her again later.

The Doctor is Still a Badass, I guess?

So they all run away in teh only direction they can, I suppose, even though you would think that in the right formation you could just awlk around with impunity because if you have enough people to watch all the directions, no Angels can get near you without turning to stone. But anyway, they go further in, because they're too stupid to think of that, and arrive at the space ship. Or under it. Or something.

Then the Angel leader radios the Doctor again, and for some reason it's trying to make him angry. Which it does. Which makes the Doctor go all action-hero-y and shoot the sights out. And then it's over and we have to wait for next week's episode, in which Amy's eye infection gets life-threatening and there's a lot of running through a jungle.

Overall Impressions

I guess this one wasn't so badly paced as the previous ones, but it was still pretty shit. Amy being such a retard is pretty fucking annoying, and absolutely no one realising that two-headed people would probably make two-headed sattues is just unbelievably stupid.

The main things I want to focus on here tohugh are River and the Angels. Firstly, River. Why? Was she actually a popular character or something? She just annoyed me, with her smug superiority and her "spoilers". Seriously, no word could have seemed more out of place than that. It just stuck out like it had flashing lights and sirens.

And the Angels. Last time, they were scary as fuck. This time, they were just random monsters. And last time there were certain facts established about them, but those have been arbitrarily changed here. Like for example the entire resolution to the plot. In Blink, they defeat the Angels by tricking them into looking at each other. In this one, they're all looking at each other all the time and it doesn't seem to bother them in the slightest. And they've pulled a whole bunch of new powers out of their arses. Some of those powers you'd think would have been handy last time, but apparently not.

I doubt an episode could be written that would justify bringing the Weeping Angels back, because all you can do now is repeat the first one or just fuck with things and make it worse. And if such an episode could be made, this is certainly not it.

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