Doctor Who: Flesh and Stone (Series 05, Episode 05) Review

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What’s It About?

Surrounded by Weeping Angels, the Doctor and his companions must find their way through the crashed Starship Byzantium, save Amy from becoming an Angel herself and discover a way to stop an army of Angels from rising …

Review It

Something about this episode really left that “epic” impression. A small cast and not too much on the effects front probably meant this was a fairly cheap two-parter but at no point did it feel cheap. The writing and direction of this second part were simply marvellous. Steven Moffat is proving he definitely has the chops to oversee a story arc, executively produce a show and still write tightly plotted two-part stories. A possible complaint is the conclusion to the cliffhanger – it was all tell and no show, but even this was mitigated by a superb pan-shot reveal that quickly quelled my disapointment.

I really liked the Bishop in this episode, particularly his obvious dislike of River as evidenced by his willingness to betray her trust and try to warn the Doctor away from her. The semi revelations about River were also a delight and seem to be taking us in a different direction than we fans may previously have thought. And I’ll be honest, I’m glad. I love the idea of meeting people in the wrong order as a plot device but the thought of River simply being the future Mrs Time Lord sort of irritated me. The more I see of this season, the more I find myself delighting in the Mind of Moffat.

Again, the entire ensemble played their parts at the perfect level for this almost movie-like conclusion episode. I particularly thought the soldier who remained with Amy in the forest managed to convincingly portray indignant confusion in that scene. Matt Smith demonstrated a vulnerability in this episode that was particularly endearing. I’m reminded of early Davison, and that’s precisely what I wanted to see this season as a change from David Tennant’s almost infallible Doctor. Again, this Doctor is shown to snap when he doesn’t know the answers and can’t clearly see a satisfactory conclusion. To me it seems he remembers being almost Godlike and feels like he’s lost something that he has to work to find again.

I personally found the image of the angel statues in a forest quite chilling. Particularly given that we know the nature of these particular statues! In addition to this image, we’re given enough information about the cracks in time to sate some of our appetite, while given yet more questions – somewhat like Season 1 of Heroes. In fact that sums up this episode: It answers, but gives us more questions.

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And the niggles?

Seeing the angels move seemed to detract from their fear and creepiness factor some what. I still think they’re a marvellous invention and realise that they were still coming to full strength and were trying to battle their instincts to determine if Amy could see them or not … but even still. The flash moves and freezes work on a more primal level, I feel.

In summary: *Applaud* The first two parter of the season knocks it out of the park. This episode didn’t let me down at all and even managed to pull off a Davies like reset button device (the Crack defeating the Angels) without feeling like it was a “oh, um … how do I wrap up plot here?” fix as has often been the case in the past. Truly marvellous and enough strands hanging to leave us wanting more!

Rate It: 5 / 5. I’m giving this top marks for being a brilliant conclusion and leaving me wanting more at the same time.
Dry Slaps: 0.
Reviewer: WedgeDoc

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