This episode covers “The Time of Angels” and “Flesh and Stone”. Join Deb, Katrina, and Lynne as they chat about these two generally lauded episodes.
Have you rewatched this story recently? If so, what did you think, and how did that compare with how you felt about it in the first place? Drop us a tweet or let us know in the comments!
- received new shelves for her Doctor Who room!
- ordered two of River’s diary!
- Kat – Doctor Who Pudsey bears!
- Deb – “Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins” handheld and mobile game coming spring 2021!
Extra-special thanks to this week’s editor, Steven Schapansky of Castria!
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Download or listen now (runtime 1:21:42)
Comments on: "Episode 238 – The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stoned" (5)
Stephen Moffat has admitted that playing that final scene for laughs was a mistake, and said that he should have listened to his (female) script editor, who told him so. I’d love to see/hear what a re-written version would have turned out like…
(It also leads straight into the equally played-for-laughs opening of “Vampires of Venice”, where the Doctor tells Rory – in front of all his pals – about the incident. A lighter foot on the humour-pedal for *both* scenes would have been preferable, IMHO.)
I started watching Who with Matt Smith so this was my first encounter with the Weeping Angels. When I went back later and watched Blink, I was so confused! The Angels in Blink didn’t seem scary at all by comparison – they just sent you back in time, that wasn’t nearly as terrifying to me as the murderous ones I had seen first. It’s amazing the difference that watch order can make in how an episode lands.
I really love these two episodes, the way they tell a weeping angel story that’s not just a repeat of blink, how the different characters develop, the slow creeping horror that comes with your supporting cast getting smaller and smaller over time.
But that final scene… even if Moffat had written it without playing it for laughs, I don’t see how it could ever be anything other than uncomfortable, upsetting, and out of place, and the fact that it is played for laughs makes it so much worse.
I was always impressed that Matt Smith’s first scene recording Doctor Who was, IIRC, the beach scene with Alex Kingston in full-on, no holds barred flirty River mode, talk about your baptisms of fire!
I confess I was not a fan of the Angels in this story though. They went from “lonely assassins” with a unique and memorable “weapon” as in “Blink”, to just another “murderous monster army” in only their second appearance.
The quantum lock thing is blown out of the water by having Angels still remaining stone if they even THINK they’re being looked at? (Why can’t they just pretend people are blind, and move when they’re being looked at?)
The “Anyone that looks at an Angel long enough becomes an Angel” seemed an overcomplicated answer to the “Why can’t you open one eye then the other so as not having to worry about blinking?”
Showing us an Angel moving on screen? Breaking the whole gimmick in only their second story? What were they thinking?
Their creepy silence was replaced by the not quite as creepy using a dead man’s voice, I mean, grotesque yes, absolutely, but an Angel explaining it’s complicated plot?
(I suspect it was down to “the Borg Problem” on Star Trek that ended up with the Borg Queen being such a fixture of their stories. Someone to explain things)
Overall, some stellar performances, and it looked fantastic but a plot that smacked a little too much of the nit-picking scene in Gremlins 2 where they mock the rules about feeding Mogwai, but applied to the Angels.
Well, since you asked, I hate “Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone.” Hate it.
The dialogue was lush and dextrous.
The acting was pitch perfect.
The visual effects and cinematography were better then most studio motion pictures.
What do I hate about it then? I hate that it begins a tradition of minimizing the true menace of the Weeping Angels through absurdity and storytelling shortcuts.
“Any image of an angel becomes an angel.” What kind of fairy-tale horse crap is that? It’s ridiculous and stupid. All you have to do is stop for a second and ask one question: “How?” And it all falls apart.
People complain about the Statue of Liberty Angel? Well, this episode opened the door for that.
Moffat also took away the one thing that made the angels unique. They were the only monster I’ve ever heard of that makes you “live to death.” What a brilliant idea! But no, no. We’re gonna toss that aside for cheesy 80’s horror movie stuff. I guess I should be grateful that Moffat didn’t really lean into that stereotype and give them all butcher knives and hockey masks.
How would I have preferred this story to be told then? Don’t. Make up a new monster and leave the Angels be. Just let the Weeping Angels be a one-off villain. Let them stay perfect. There are much better ways to bring back the astonishing River Song than this.