Previously: Amy saw a Weeping Angel and now there’s stone dust in her eye. Great.
Flesh and Stone
Kirsti: After the recap, we’re thrown straight into the credits.
DOO WEE OOO! (I still miss the old credits, to be honest.)
Marines: SHHHH. DOO WEE OOOO.
K: After the credits, everyone is standing somewhere different. Amy’s all “The fuck are we?” The Doctor tells her to look up. She’s still confused. He’s all “GOD YOU’RE SLOW GET WITH THE PROGRAM” and informs her that because the ship crashed with the power on, the artificial gravity was still on too. So he shot out some magic doohickey which gave them an updraft when they jumped, and the artificial gravity did the rest.
Basically? They’re standing on the bottom of the spaceship, staring down into the cavern full of Angels. (D: I want a dose of whatever Moffat was on when he wrote this.) Father Octavian points out that they look more like Angels now, and the Doctor says that they’re sucking radiation? Or something?? IDEK.
Mari: Of all the IDEK of this scene so far, the Angels feeding on the radiation is the least IDEK.
Dani: Sometimes I wish the Doctor would skip these nonsensical tech rants and just say “because science.”
K: YES OMG.
The Doctor sonics open a hatch and they all jump into the ship. The Doctor sonics it closed again, but the Angels have followed them.
Inside the ship, a door slams shut ahead of them. They’re trapped in a corridor. And the lights start to go out because of course they do. The lights flicker on and off, and four Angels appear in the corridor. The Doctor sonics something and presto! The lights are fixed. Except not for long. If they want to get through the door that magically sealed itself, he’ll need to reroute all the power to that door. Including the lights. DILEMMA.
Amy freaks out because they have no torches so, like, THEY’LL PROBABLY DIE. Father Octavian asks River if she trusts the Doctor, and she’s all “Uh, obvs.” Once the Doctor is working away again, Father Octavian whispers to River that this only works while the Doctor doesn’t know who she is, and if she’s not careful, he might just fill the Doctor in. It’s all very secret squirrel and I kind of don’t give a fuck about any of it?
Mari: We noticed.
K: Sorry not sorry.
Anyway. The plan is basically just to shoot the fuck out of the Angels when the lights go off. We get shots of the Angels getting closer and closer in the light of the bullets flying. The Doctor gets the door open and they rush through into another corridor. He yells at Amy to turn the wheel on the door four times. “Ten,” she replies. He’s all “WHUT, I SAID FOUR???” and she says that she heard him the first time.
The Doctor gets them through a second doorway and into a command room of some description.
Dani: It’s actually very suspenseful… unless you’re trying to recap it. Then it gets more wait-what-y.
The Angels start turning the wheel to open the door. Father Octavian puts a doohickey on the door and smugly says that nothing can open a magnetised door. The Doctor’s all “LOL U SURE BRO?” The wheel starts turning again. The handles on the other two doors into the room start spinning as well. The Doctor says they’ve got five minutes. “Nine,” Amy says. OH NO, COULD IT POSSIBLY BE AN OMINOUS COUNTDOWN?? (M: Sure seems like it!) But the Doctor’s just all “???” before getting back to the crisis at hand.
He says they need another way out, and there has to be one because galaxy ships go years between planet falls and there’s something they need. River’s all “Ohhhh, I see where you’re going with this.” Amy’s all confused because we poor dumb humans don’t know what galaxy ships need. Father Octavian asks if they can get in there. (M: The Humans know, just not Stupid Amy, apparently, though in her defense, she is the newest at space.) The Doctor locates some clamps, does some sonic-ing, and the whole wall slides up to reveal what River calls “an oxygen factory.” Amy says in awe that it’s a forest. On a spaceship.
Dani: This seems like the least efficient way to generate oxygen, honestly. Don’t expect me to chalk up all the IDEK moments to science and advanced technology, then turn around and tell me you couldn’t find a better way to isolate oxygen than building a city-sized forest on a spaceship. Consistency, please.
K: RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT????? I mean, they’re magic trees that have technology built into them, but STILL.
The Doctor says that it’s also their escape route. Obviously, it’s a misty and creepy forest, because what other kind would there be when Weeping Angels are involved? There’s some explanation about how the forest works (they’re trees that involve technology somehow), but really the only relevant thing here is that Amy says the numbers “Eight” and “Seven,” and insists that she hasn’t said anything. There’s creepy music both times, just in case you’re slow on the uptake.
The radio crackles. It’s Angel Bob. He and the Doctor exchange pleasantries about what the Doctor hopes to achieve, and mostly what he wants to achieve is making Angel Bob say “comfy chairs.” He succeeds and is very pleased with himself.
“Doctor, I’m five!” she says. It takes her a couple of goes to get the word “fine” out successfully. River says that she’s counting down (OMG WHAT THIS IS TOTALLY NEW INFORMATION) and Angel Bob says that they’re going to take her and they’ll “have dominion over all time and space.” The Doctor’s all “Bitch, please,” which the Angels find HILAR. Apparently there’s something he hasn’t noticed yet.
He turns around, and there’s a bigass crack on the wall, exactly like the crack in Amy’s bedroom wall. The crack gets bigger, and the room starts to shake. Father Octavian declares it time to get the fuck out. He and the clerics head into the forest, followed by Amy and River. The Doctor climbs up on a box and sonics the crack. That sentence sounds far dirtier than it actually is, believe me. (M: Gotta keep up the sonic screwdriver = penis thing.) He looks away from the crack and realises he’s surrounded by Weeping Angels. He clambers over a console, but he can’t look at them all at once. “Do. Not. Blink.” he tells himself. Then one of them grabs the collar of his jacket, and he screams.
Cut to the forest. Amy’s looking like she’s about to hurl. River asks her what’s wrong. Back to the control room. The Doctor’s surprised to find that he’s not dead. Some of the Angels are doing some weird “All Hail the Giant Crack in the Wall” routine, and he’s all “Uh, you can’t feed on that energy, it’s pure Time also don’t let me talk byeeeeeeee.” He slips out of his jacket and dashes off into the forest.
Cut back to Amy. River asks her again what’s wrong. “Four,” Amy says. Then she lies down on the ground, her hair over her face. (D: This is me after tequila.) (K: It’s me after having five year 9 classes in one day, TBH.) River calls for a med-scanner. Father Octavian insists that they have to keep moving, but River says they need to wait for the Doctor. Conveniently, he pops up. He scans Amy with the med-scanner and tells her that she’s dying. River is horrified. He snaps that sure, lying to her will make her aaaaall better. Amy says that she’s scared.
Dani: He’s being such a dick to her, and I hate it. He literally says “you’re dying” and “shut up” in the same breath.
K: Clerics call out that there are Angels right nearby. The Doctor rambles some more and eventually realises that there’s an Angel in Amy’s mind. “Three,” Amy says. There’s an Angel superimposed on her eye and it’s fucking creepy. Amy says she can feel the Angel and that she’s going to die. The Doctor tells her to shut up (D: For the second time in like ten seconds) because he’s thinking. I glare at my television.
He asks Angel Bob why the Angels are making her count, and the answer is “For fun, sir.” The Doctor throws the communicator away in disgust. The noise makes a cleric look over, and when he looks back, an Angel has moved closer.
Amy asks the Doctor to explain what’s happening. He says that there’s an Angel in her brain, and she’s gotten to the part where it’s about to climb out of the screen. If it was a real screen, they’d pull the power, and that would fix the problem. But if they knock her out, the Angel will take over. So they have to “shut down the vision centres of her brain.” Basically? She has to close her eyes.
Mari: That was really anticlimactic.
K: It really really was. And believe me when I say it’s even MORE anticlimactic when you’re recapping and it’s taken you like 45 minutes to reach this point…
Amy doesn’t want to, because it’s scary. The Doctor insists that it’s the Angel telling her that. She closes her eyes, and the med-scanner beeps. River says that she’s normalising. The clerics yell out that there are more Angels coming in. River says it’s too dangerous to move Amy just yet. The Doctor tells Amy that under no circumstances can she open her eyes. She’s used up her countdown, and if she opens her eyes, she’ll die. She is understandably not well pleased.
Father Octavian says they’re too exposed and they need to move, and the Doctor snaps that it’s not part of his plan. River is thrilled to hear that there’s a plan and wants details. The Doctor awkwards that it’s a work in progress. He tells Father Octavian and the clerics to stay put and look after Amy while he and River go in search of the primary flight deck, which will let him stabilise the wreckage, stop the Angels and save Amy, all by doing a thing that he hasn’t thought of yet.
Mari: He’s her jailer so I don’t think Father Octavian likes marriage.
Dani: Dude’s taking the whole “ball and chain” thing way too literally.
K: Amy begs to be allowed to come too, but the Doctor insists that she’ll be safer staying put and that he’ll be back ASAP. She grumbles that he always says that. He tells the Clerics to keep their eyes on the Angels and dashes off. A second later, he’s back and gets all up in Amy’s face telling her that it’s essential that she trusts him. “Remember what I told you when you were seven?” he says. She doesn’t. He says she has to remember for herself, then kisses her on the forehead and dashes off again.
As they make their way through the forest, the Doctor feeds data from his sonic screwdriver into River’s minicomputer. Again, not dirty. He asks Father Octavian how you can be engaged in a manner of speaking. River jokes that she’s a sucker for a man in uniform. Father Octavian glares a little and says that she’s in his custody because he released her from “the Stormcage Containment Facility” four days earlier and he’s legally responsible for her until she earns her pardon. The Doctor’s all “…huh”. (M: Not at all like being engaged, bro.) The minicomputer beeps. It’s given them a date of origin for the crack: 26 June 2010. Amy’s time. WOMP.
Back to Amy. She asks the clerics what’s going on. Just then, the lights start flickering. We get a shot of an Angel reaching into one of the techno-trees, grabbing the wires inside. The clerics tell Amy that the lights are going out. The Angels move closer.
Back to the Doctor. They’ve reached the Primary Flight Deck, but there’s no way in. River says that time’s running out. The Doctor is all “U WOT?” and tells her to hush. She gives him “how fucking dare you?” face, which is legit. Then he gets idea face, and asks what would happen if time COULD run out.
Back to Amy. The clerics shout back and forth that the Angels are advancing. The leader gives orders about when to shoot. Amy demands to know what the fuck is going on (legit). Just then, a bright light bursts out in the distance. The Angels all disappear, and one of the clerics checks a scanner thing and says that it looks like they’re running away and, like, do Weeping Angels have legs? I’m having a full of brain melt right now thinking about this. Because we see their arms moving, right? But they’re always wearing long toga-y robe things. So… how can they run? I AM CONFUSION.
Dani: I think the idea is they’re only made of stone when you’re looking at them. When you look away they turn fleshy and clothes-y.
K:Two of the clerics run off to investigate, and Amy’s all “UM HELLO EXCUSE ME PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ME HERE WHAT THE SHIT.”
Back to the Doctor. He rambles to himself about cracks in time and time changing and Amy not recognising the Daleks, and then comes up with “time can be rewritten.”
Back to Amy. The remaining two clerics are staring at the bright light, saying that it makes you feel weird. Amy says that if it scared the Angels, she wants to see it. She asks one of the clerics to point her at it. He’s all “Um, you can’t open your eyes though??” She says the Doctor told her not to open her eyes for MORE THAN A SECOND, so less than a second is totally fine. He reluctantly points her in the right direction, and she opens her eyes. For WAY more than a second.
Dani: Seriously. Why do they keep feeding us rules (you can’t change time, you can’t open your eyes for more than a second) just to break them with zero repercussions?
K: Seriously. It’s SO FUCKING ANNOYING. I know that every era of Doctor Who is guilty of this, but the Moffat era definitely goes above and beyond on this one…
She says in horror that it’s the same shape as the crack on her wall and how can it possibly be following her? She stares and stares until the lead cleric drags her down and closes her eyes for her. The other cleric says that he wants to get a closer look, and heads off towards the glowy light. Amy’s all “Uh, what about the other two guys who went before and haven’t come back?” The lead cleric is all “Which two guys?” DUN DUN DUUUUUN.
Back to the Doctor. Father Octavian’s worked out a way into the Primary Flight Deck. He hurries River inside. The Doctor, meanwhile, is doing weird little calculation-y movements in the air. “Time can be UNwritten!” he says.
Back to Amy. Lead Cleric tells her that there were never any guys named Crispin or Phillip on this mission. She’s all “BUT I HEARD YOU WTF” and says that it was before he sent Pedro, the third guy, off to investigate. He’s all “Who the fuck is Pedro?” and Amy freaks. Again, legit.
Back to the Doctor. He says that it’s been happening all around him without him noticing. Father Octavian says they have to move before the Angels arrive. The Doctor’s all “Pfff, there are worse things than Angels.” Tell that to Father Octavian, who’s just been put in a choke hold by an Angel.
Dani: See, it’s shit like this that really makes me dislike this Doctor. He had to prance around and do his stupid think-walking thing, ignoring Octavian’s pleas to leave, but of course it’s always someone else who pays the price.
The Doctor orders it to let him go. Father Octavian points out that it can’t move while the Doctor is looking. He counters that he can’t look away or it will kill Father Octavian. The Doctor asks if he can wriggle free, but it’s too tight. Father Octavian tells him to just leave.
Back to Amy. Lead Cleric says there’s only ever been the two of them there. Amy insists that there were five of them. Lead Cleric says that he’s going to go and get a closer look at the glowy light, and tells Amy to stay put. He leaves a spare communicator and says he’ll be in touch the entire time. Amy yells at him to listen to her, but LOL NOPE BYE GIRL.
Back to the Doctor. He’s sonic-ing the Angel as Father Octavian tells him to JUST LEAVE ALREADY. The Doctor insists that he’s not leaving. Father Octavian tells him that he can’t trust River, because she “killed a man. A good man. A hero to many.” The Doctor asks who, and Father Octavian says that he really doesn’t want to know. He tells the Doctor to leave, that he’ll die in the knowledge that his courage didn’t desert him. The Doctor gets teary, then dives through the hatch and slams it behind him.
Mari: And there is an awful bone cracking sound as he does, so RIP Ser Jorah Octavian.
Dani: The closed captioner thinks it’s more of a crunching than a cracking. But I agree it’s awful.
I really miss the Weeping Angels that sent their victims back in time (and yet were still scary af) instead of snapping necks and stuff. I’m sure the writers thought this would be more terrifying, but it feels kinda cheap to me.
Inside, River says that there’s a teleport they can use to beam the others to them. The Doctor tells her that Father Octavian is dead, and that he needs her communicator. He stomps off, leaving River looking shocked.
Mari: Because he’s awful and legit has NO patience for life and needs to stop yelling at everyone. Though, none of this should really shock River.
K: Back to Amy. Still sitting with her eyes closed, she asks Lead Cleric what’s going on via the communicator. He tells her that everything’s fine and that looking at the bright light is super weird. He cuts off in mid-sentence with a burst of static. “Hello??” Amy shouts into the communicator over and over again. There’s no answer. Until there is. It’s the Doctor. She fills him in on all the clerics walking into the light. He tells her that leaving her there was a mistake, and that he’s sorry.
Then he tells her that she’s going to have to come and join them on the Primary Flight Deck. She’s all “I CANNAE OPEN MY FUCKING EYES, CHUM”, and he tells her to turn on the spot and when the communicator sounds like the Sonic Screwdriver, she’s facing the right way. She just needs to follow the sound. I mean, that doesn’t help her go up stairs or not walk into trees, but pff.
He tells her that she has to start moving RIGHT THE FUCK NOW because otherwise the Time Energy will catch up to her. She freaks because there are Angels all over the damn place, and he snaps that the worst the Angels can do is kill her. She demands to know why she has to move so urgently, and he reluctantly tells her that if the Time Energy catches up to her, she’ll be erased completely, and she will never have been born. (D: How is that worse than being killed? If anything, it’s better — at least you’re not leaving behind scores of people who’ll miss you.) He tells her again to start moving.
On the Primary Flight Deck, River quietly tells him that it’ll never work. “What else have you got!” he yells at her. (D: omg, dude, STOP SHOUTING! Now you’ve got me doing it!) (K: SRSLY.) She looks offended, and GIRL. SAME. Amy starts making her way through the forest. There’s a clang in the depths of the ship. River asks what it is, and the Doctor says it’s the Angels. They’re running because they came to feed on the Time Energy, but now it’s feeding on them.
He tells Amy that he’s sending her communicator a proximity detector that will beep if something’s in her way on account of the forest being full of Angels. “You’re going to have to walk like you can see...” he says. Amy asks what the fuck that means, and he basically has no idea.
Mari: He’s just making random shit up to yell at people now. God dammit, Doctor.
K: River asks him what the Time Energy is going to do and how they stop it. He says they need to feed it, and that “A big, complicated space time event should shut it up for a while.” She asks WTF that means, and he yells “LIKE ME” at her. I am so over the Doctor and his yelling in this episode. Like… Ten yelled a lot. But it was always just general yelling. Like, AAAAAH THERE IS A BIG SCARY THING AND I AM ANGRY ABOUT IT yelling. This is far more I AM ANGRY AT YOU SPECIFICALLY yelling, and it makes me incredibly uncomfortable, especially because it’s consistently directed at female characters.
Mari: His lack of patience for people is in high gear this episode and it’s even pissing me off. While Ten also had these moments when he was sadmad at things going wrong, his sadmad came off way less insulting to the people around him. Eleven has a way of yelling at folks that makes it seem like they are all in his way and it’s so very un-Doctor-like that it does indeed hurt to watch. And they try to pepper it in with these tender moments where he’s showing true, Doctor-like, I will protect my loved ones and humans at all costs moments and so it just all comes off as… abusive. Like, your boyfriend yells at you because he loves you.
Make it stop, I wanted to enjoy this.
Dani: All of the above. I really enjoyed Matt Smith’s first episode; his scenes with the young Amelia were funny and poignant and all the things I love about this show. How the hell have we gone from goofy, Floppy Doctor to this horrible, Shouty Doctor in just four episodes?
K: Moffat, basically.
Thankfully, everyone is distracted by Amy’s communicator beeping. It’s informing her that she’s surrounded by Angels. Like eight of them. COOL. FUN. The Doctor tells her that the Angels are running scared and they’ll just assume that she can see. So all she has to do is walk like she can see and she’ll be fine. Amy doesn’t move. The Doctor yells “YOU HAVE TO DO THIS” at her, and dude, I am getting real fucking sick of your attitude right now. Back the fuck off.
Amy reluctantly starts moving, making her way through the first two Angels with the help of her communicator’s hot-cold proximity alert. She makes decent progress until she has to step over a pipe. We get lots of close ups of her feet, and she’s wearing high top Converse and IT IS TOO FUCKING SOON, MOFFAT. HOW DARE YOU.
Anyway, she trips on the pipe and face plants into the dirt, dropping her communicator. She flails around trying to find it, and calls out to the Doctor that she can’t find it. The Angels start to catch on. Amy stands up, and an Angel reaches out towards her. Just then, there’s a flash of bright light, and River hugs her tightly. She tells Amy not to open her eyes, but that she’s safe on the Primary Flight Deck thanks to the teleporter that she fixed while the Doctor was busy being verbally abusive.
Mari: Feed him to the space crack!
Also, I totally would’ve opened my eyes the instant anything touched me.
Just then, there’s a beeping sound. The Doctor says that the Angels are draining the last of the power, and so the shield between the forest and the flight deck is going to lift. It does, and there are masses of Angels on the other side. Angel Bob, who can inexplicably talk without a communicator now, tells the Doctor that the Angels want him to throw himself into the crack in time, which will close the crack and save them all. River’s all “NO, PICK ME. I’LL DO IT.” The Doctor scoffs that she’s about as complicated a space time event as one Weeping Angel, and it would take all of them to close the crack, so “get a grip.”
She insists that she can’t let him do this, and he repeats emphatically “get a grip.” She finally realises what he means, and hurries Amy over to a handhold. Angel Bob says that the Doctor has to sacrifice himself. He’s all “Nah” and points out that the Angels have drained all the power from the ship, including the artificial gravity. The console of the flight deck beeps with warnings, then the artificial gravity fails. Amy, River, and the Doctor hang from the console while the Angels – the vast majority of whom have no legs, I should add – plummet into the crack in time, with nice little smashing sounds. The crack glows brighter for a second, then fades away.
Cut to the beach where the TARDIS is parked. Amy’s wrapped in a blanket, complaining about her bruises. The Doctor tells her she didn’t have to climb out of the ship with her eyes closed because the Angels all fell into the crack and so the Angel in her mind never existed. That sounds a little like contrivance to me, but whatever. She asks why she remembers when the clerics didn’t, and apparently it’s because she’s a time traveller? Sure, whatever. Let’s go with that. She asks him if the crack is gone forever, and he says that it is, but that the explosion that created it is still happening. Somewhere.
Meanwhile, River’s back in hi-tech handcuffs. She says that she’ll be beamed up to the prison ship any second, and that maybe this time she’ll have done enough to earn a pardon. The Doctor asks who she killed, and she says it’s a story that has to be lived, not told. But she says they’ll see each other again soon, when the Pandorica opens. He chuckles and says that the Pandorica is a fairy tale. She says she’ll see him there just the same. She and Amy bid each other goodbye and River disappears in a swirl of smoke.
Cut to Amy’s bedroom, the TARDIS squeezed in by the door. The Doctor stares at her wedding dress. Amy picks up her engagement ring from a box by the bed, and says that she’s getting married in the morning. He asks who the lucky fellow is, and she says that he’s already met him. “Ah, the good looking one. Or the other one?” he replies, miming a long nose. She glares and confirms that it’s the other one. Poor Rory…
Amy goes on to say that nearly dying alone in the dark made her think about what and who she wants. She tries to kiss the Doctor, and he jumps away from her and is all “Um, NO. You’re getting married tomorrow.” She says that tomorrow is a very long time away. She pins him against the TARDIS and tries to undo his shirt. He insists that this can’t happen, and this whole scene is played as funny but it’s really fucking uncomfortable because imagine if their genders were reversed and a woman was repeatedly saying no and a man was still trying to kiss her and undress her against her will.
Mari: It’s awful. It’s also awful because:
– Eleven sucked in this episode.
– Nothing about his behavior to her today should’ve warranted all this hot and bothered.
– See all my previous commentary about how this comes off as an abusive relationship.
– I’m generally not a fan of Doctor/Companion romances, except Rose which at least felt like it developed.
I WANTED TO ENJOY THIS.
Dani: Dear every writer: stop trying to make people laugh at someone’s lack of consent. I don’t care what gender they are, or how strong they look. You’re normalizing abhorrence, and it’s Just. Not. Funny.
K: YES. To all of the things.
The Doctor insists that it can’t work between them, and Amy says she wasn’t thinking about anything long term. She kisses him. He pushes her away, and says with growing understanding that everything is about her and that the most important thing in the universe is that he get her sorted out immediately. Amy’s all “Oooh, I thought you’d never ask” and gets all flirty, but he just shoves her into the TARDIS and turns to stare at her alarm clock as it flicks over to midnight on 26 June 2010. Fade to black.
Look, this isn’t the worst episode of all time. But it’s definitely not one that stands up to being watched over the course of three hours while recapping. There were a lot of scenes that made me uncomfortable because a firm denial of consent was ignored or because the Doctor was shouting at female characters a lot. There was a hefty dose of contrivance. And the Angels just kind of… magically vanished without anyone doing anything.
Mari: There was a lot of that Moffat building up a real big thing and then being like “TA-DA, it’s gone in a second!” I still like/hate the Weeping Angels. But I’m too angry now to make any other commentary on this episode.
Dani: If you can watch the episode superficially, without having to think about it too deeply (and skipping the last three minutes entirely), then it’s mostly entertaining with some obvious exceptions. Unfortunately, those exceptions are super irritating, and those final three minutes are inescapable. The episode had pretty decent suspense, and some nice lines from Octavian in his final scene, but the good stuff was overshadowed by Doctor Shouty McShouterton and that whole abusive boyfriend/rapey girlfriend dynamic.
K: On the plus side, Rory’s in the next episode, so… there’s that.
Mari: Rory, SAVE US!
Next time on Doctor Who: Rory gets to hang out in the TARDIS, and the gang take a wee trip to Venice, which just so happens to be riddled with vampires in S05 E06 – The Vampires of Venice.