“Time of the Angels”, the 4th episode of the new series of Doctor Who brings back one of my personal favorites of the new monsters; the Weeping Angels. In the episode “Blink” from the 3rd Series with the 10th Doctor and Martha Jones, Steven Moffat introduced these eerie beings that move in an instant, but quantum lock when they are looked at by a sentient being. ”Blink” was such an awesome episode, that we were all dying for their return. And they do, but with some missteps.
The Doctor and Amy are visiting a museum, and find a Home Box, with the ancient language of the Time Lords burned into it. The Doctor translates it into the worlds, “Hello sweetie.” Stealing the device, they discover a recording of River Song stating co-ordinates. The Doctor follows them and rescues her. She leads them to the space ship Byzantium, which has crashed. After calling in re-enforcements, River and the leader, Father Octavian, explain they are hunting a Weeping Angel.
There isn’t a lot of Angel action as in their first episode, “Blink”, as the Weeping Angel is trapped in the ship. But it’s revealed that there is still a way for the Angel to attack. The whole scene with Amy in the shuttle, watching the recording of the Weeping Angel was filled lots of drama and suspense. It was very much what you’d expect from the Weeping Angel, with the quick cuts and slight movements. Easily the best scene in the episode, both from the acting and directing. The potential for more Angel action is promised by the end, and is pointed out in a rather humorous way. It also leads to the cliffhanger.
The end of this episode also brings out a potential weakness for this current incarnation of the Doctor; his arrogance. We see traces of it at the end of the 10th Doctor’s run, in “Midnight”, and “Waters of Mars”. It also probably doesn’t help that other races have given him names like “The Oncoming Storm” and “The Dark Lord”. We first saw it this season when he faced the Atraxi in the first episode when he told them to run. We see it again in this episode when the Doctor, Amy, River and the Church soldiers are surrounded by the Weeping Angels, and they tell him he’s trapped. He responds calmly, “…there’s one thing you never put into a trap. Me.” It’s another awesome scene for the Doctor and Smith, but the arrogance he shows could prove to be his downfall later.
The biggest problem I had with this episode is the return of River Song. In “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead”, River was a great character. She knew the Doctor and had a journal of her adventures with her even through he didn’t know her. ”Forest of the Dead” was her last. In “Time of the Angels”, she’s back as a younger version of herself. She’s only a Doctor, and not yet a professor. And this past River is really obnoxious. She practically flaunts her knowledge of the Doctor’s future and it really, just plain annoying about it. She’s brash, and very forward with the Doctor. Yes, I know they were married, and he’s trusted her some really important things (like his name), but seeing her in this episode really makes you wonder what he saw in her in the first place.
I know Moffat has a plan for River and the Doctor, and we will no doubt she her again. In SitL, River mentioned several adventures that it turns out Moffat has all planned out, and this story is the first of those mentioned. I just hope it’s not this incarnation again. It’s almost like she’s a Time Lord that doesn’t change appearance, only personality. And it really bugged me that she had that journal. Sometimes I don’t deal too well with all the “timey-wimey” stuff, and all this with River and her journal just makes my head hurt. I could handle Blink because I could see the progression from beginning to end. This whole thing with River having all the Doctor’s future in a journal that he can’t see while she gets to jump around his lives like nothing’s different from one to another? I don’t like it.
I’m really looking forward to the next episode, and hope we get a lot more Weeping Angel action. They’re who I really want to see more than River Song. And Moffat better have something good set up with the “eyes aren’t the windows to the soul, they are the door” thing, or I’ll be really disappointed.