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May 3, 2010

Doctor Who - Flesh and Stone

After last week's thrilling "The Time of Angels", could the second part of the story stand up to all of that? Thankfully, "Flesh and Stone" does that and more. Only an ending to the episode (as opposed to the ending of the story, which is great) that felt a little off mars this excellent episode.

WARNING: Spoilers for "The Time of Angels" below!

The Doctor's brilliant plan as the Weeping Angels are closing in on the group works to perfection, giving the entire party a chance to run into the bowels of the ship "Byzantium." However, the Angels are still on the move, as relentless as zombies and even more aggressive. They can only move when they're not being watched, but they can move lightning-quick when that does happen. What exactly do the Angels want? Why does the crack on Amy's wall (from "The Eleventh Hour") keep appearing, and what does it mean? And why doesn't Amy remember some very public occurrences like a full Dalek invasion of the Earth? Strap yourselves in, because it's going to be a wild ride!

Enough can't be said about the brilliance of Steven Moffat's writing, as this two-part episode attests to. Combine that with the great acting and spooky effects and you have a winner of a story.

When asked for favourite quotes from the episode, you could legitimately hand that person the script and say "here," but this one is my favourite:

Doctor: "I wish I had known you better."
Octavian: "I think, sir, you know me at my best."

Part of the power of that scene is what's happening around it, but the words themselves are wonderful too. I could go on, whether it's when the Doctor first hears again from "Angel Bob" (a dead cleric whose voice is being used by the Angels) and he says "Angel Bob! How's life? Ohhhh, sorry, bad subject" or when it's River Song foreshadowing her own death from last year when she says "Me. You. Handcuffs. Does it always have to end this way?"

Considering this was Smith's first story to shoot, he does a phenomenal job as the Doctor. He's got the almost manic energy of Tennant or Troughton as well the ability to show intensity when he's really angry. Occasionally he goes over the top, but not nearly as much as Tennant did. Karen Gillan is also very good as Amy. Alex Kingston as River Song and Iain Glen as Octavian are also phenomenal. While the quote above is great, it's Smith and Glen's performance of that whole scene that makes it riveting.

The Angels are still as creepy as ever, being so relentless and horrifying. They're still the creepiest monsters ever created, in my opinion. Director Adam Smith just adds to the intensity with the flickering lights, and a moody, dark atmosphere in the forest. I just can't say enough about the episode.

The only thing that's mildly annoying about the episode is something I can't get into, which is the very end of it. Amy's acting in a very strange way, and I know that it will be explained at some point. Thus, I'm not complaining that Amy acts out of character. However, it was kind of jarring and wasn't as funny as I'm sure Moffat intended (then again, maybe I was just in shock, maybe I should watch it again).

"The Time of Angels" and "Flesh and Stone" make up a great story, once again told by the master of all Who. I can't wait for next week.


  1. Good one. Feel like watching that

    Doctor: "I wish I had known you better."
    Octavian: "I think, sir, you know me at my best."



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