Doctor Who: The one thing you never, ever put in a trap.

KT is trying not to blink.

DOCTOR WHO:  5.04 “The Time of Angels”

I love the beginning of this one.  Not only the beginning, mind you, but I especially like the way the opening is put together:  intercutting two seemingly unrelated sequences, until they merge and turn out to lead to the same place after all.  Plus, there’s River Song being very suave and clever, and there’s Amy chortling over how the Doctor apparently uses museums as a way of keeping score.  Fabulous.

I’m happy to say that I liked River a great deal more this time around than I did when she was introduced in season four’s “Silence in the Library,” where I felt she came off as smug and unpleasant.  Plus, the footing between River and the Doctor is more equal this time:  she may know things in his future, but he knows how she dies.  (Sort of.)

Both of these are things that just make the Doctor cranky, but the rest of us can enjoy his bickering with River over how to fly the TARDIS and share Amy’s bemusement at who this strange woman with secrets really is.  There was a lot of speculation after the library episodes over whether River could actually be his wife, so Amy’s suggesting it and the Doctor’s juxtaposed agreement to a different comment is tantalizing.

At the moment, at least, River is working with a group of men who seem to be priests in name, but soldiers by trade.  Goodness knows what they do when they’re at home, but here they’re tracking down something very dangerous:  one of the Weeping Angels from season three’s “Blink,” the angel statues that come alive, but only when no one is looking.

It’s when no one is looking that something odd happens to Amy.  The great creepiness of the Angels is that you glance away, and when you look back, they’ve moved, just like a statue shouldn’t ever, ever do.  And when all you have is a four-second clip of an Angel which you’ve seen several times over, it definitely shouldn’t change if you turn your back.  But it does, and what’s more, it does something to Amy as she’s watching.  Eek.

All told, Amy’s scene with the Angel on the screen went on a bit long for my tastes, what with everyone repeating the same things about not blinking and not looking at its eyes and images of Angels becoming Angels, but presently we move away from base camp and get into the catacombs made by a dead civilization.  Let’s move up to Creepy, level 2, shall we?  And did I mention that these catacombs are full of eroding statues?   Eroding statues that don’t have the right number of heads to have been made by the indigenous Aplans — meaning that it’s a whole maze of desperate, dying Angels.  Make that Creepy, level 3, and it’s brilliant.

We hit Creepy, level 4 as the episode goes into overdrive.  The bishop gets a call from a monster bait cleric who, we find out, is already dead — handlily guilt tripping the Doctor and heightening the tension between Doctor and bishop.  Then as everyone is fleeing, Amy’s hand inexplicably turns to stone, which is all very strange, but luckily the Doctor has a clever low-tech answer to that — next week perhaps we’ll figure out what that’s all about.

And then the Doctor’s new theme is pounding away, the Angels are advancing , and the Doctor is about to show us all how he’s going to get out of the trap this time… but!  We’ll have to wait for next week to find out.  And from the look of that preview, I think that, like the lady said on the dance floor, you might want to find something to hold onto.

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3 thoughts on “Doctor Who: The one thing you never, ever put in a trap.

  1. I just put a monster amount of Dr. Who on my instant queue to see if I can possibly get into this show. But there are so many seasons and specials–not including the original series (there was an original series, right?). Suggestions on where to start and where to go from there?

  2. For the moment, ignore the original series — the beginning of the new series is written to make sense to viewers with no prior knowledge.

    If you want to go straight through the new series, your order goes like this: season/series 1, Christmas special (“The Christmas Invasion”), season 2, Christmas special (“The Runaway Bride”), season 3, Christmas special (“Voyage of the Damned”), season 4, bunch of specials (“The Next Doctor,” “Planet of the Dead,” “The Waters of Mars,” “The End of Time 1 & 2″), season 5.

    If you’d rather hit some highlights to see how you like the show before investing a lot of time in it, here are some of my favorites to pick and choose from. There show does stand-alone episodes really well, so don’t worry about spoilers.
    Season 1:
    “Rose” (first ep; a good introduction)
    “The End of the World”
    “Dalek”
    “The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances” (a two-parter)
    Seaon 2:
    “New Earth”
    “The Girl in the Fireplace”
    Season 3:
    “Smith and Jones”
    “The Shakespeare Code”
    “Gridlock”
    “Human Nature/The Family of Blood”
    “Blink”
    Season 4:
    “The Fires of Pompeii”
    “The Unicorn and the Wasp”
    “Midnight”

    The first little bit of this post may also be helpful to anyone getting into the show. Enjoy!

  3. Pingback: Doctor Who: A goblin or a trickster or a warrior « Raked

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