The Time of Angels: SPOILERS!!!!

Idiom's picture

Idiom - Posted on 24 April 2010

“It didn’t make the sound!”

Well, that was more like it. It felt like we watched the whole thing without blinking and suddenly the 40 minutes had gone and we hadn’t looked at the clock once. That was fantastic. I loved the Eleventh Hour but wasn’t a great fan of the last two episodes. However, this felt like a direct continuation of the style and pace from episode one. It was funny, pacy, clever, very atmospheric and, hooray, it was scary. My daughter hid under a blanket for most of the episode

I loved:

·         The pre-credits scenes – fabulous – like being thrown into the middle of a feature film.

·         The line about the Doctor keeping the brakes on when he lands the TARDIS. We laughed out loud.

·         The Church of the future.

·         The Angels’ new powers – didn’t understand them but didn’t care – now even watching an angel on the TV can be spooky.

·         River Song – excellent let’s have her back again and again. Still a lot of interesting ambiguity about just who exactly she is.

·         Oh and next week looks great! Good to see that the crack will be addressed rather than just appearing at the end of every episode.

·         And, you know what, the music is growing on me. We hummed along!

The only thing I hated:

·         The bloody animation advertising the bloody Dorothy programme in the last 60 seconds and completely ruining the cliff-hanger!!! Bloody bloody BBC. No. Don’t do this! Don’t become like a lot of American TV channels!!! Just don’t.

10 out of 10!!!!!!!!!!!

This was fast-paced and exciting.  Looking forward to next week!

Cheers, PerryG

TerryLightfoot's picture

I'm with you on this. Dittoooo! 

Best character entrance EVER! and beginning!..all in one.

The guy with the lipstick stain tripping out, the dude in the tux..soldiers...on a spaceship that looks like a Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon rocketship! = Coolness. It all sucked me in instantly!

Last week I loved the Doctor getting on Amy's case with "Amelia!" and this week I loved it even better when he calls her "Pond!"

He's great....really very much the Doctor. Very natural, acting from within. Loved all his irritation and rebellion against River Song swanning in, being a know-it-all. 

fun fun fun.

Smith making groaning TARDIS sounds? Maximus Coolness.

Score a 10 for Smith this week and a 4.5 for the ep from me.

The Lightfoot

Yes I'd give this a 9/10 or a 10/10. Matt Smith, never the problem, was just great; Amy was good; RIver Song was not annoying as some people suggest; the angels looked terrifying and I cared about all the characters and there was obvious danger. Or was there? Just what do the angels do to the soldiers and when poor Bob died and the African man before him...uhm, what did the angels do to them and how did they kill them as the men had their lights on and shining at the angels. I'm sure Bob was looking right at them. Another annoying thing is: uhm, the dialog was great BUT that's not annoying, there was a fair amount of mumbling going on, mostly from Amy Pond. I am SO gonna need subtitles for this one when I watch it again and yes, this is the first DOCTOR WHO since MIDNIGHT that I want to watch again. With the possible exception of David Tennant's last 20 min of the otherwise HORRID END OF TIME part two. SO anyway, the fast pace is faster than the others which is ironic as they were not part ones. Say, I'm making even a good review sound like a bad one, aren't I?

Okay, the Amy stuck in the ship was amazing. That scene was pure DW; River seemed to care about Amy, too and there was none of that bickering stuff as in SCHOOL REUNION between someone and someone else; really River and Amy here have made me forget about Sarah and Rose. The visuals are interesting if nothing new, the sets nice and the statues different from the last time but not so different as to not make sense with the BLINK story. I still think it is scarier if the statues don't send you back in time but rip you apart. It's nice that DW once again...thanks Moffat...uses a common thing such as an itch in your eye or something in your eye and makes it...something scary and disturbing and only slightly the thing in Amy's eye actually? Her turning to stone was disturbing, not very original but used to fill a great need in the show: care between characters. To save her, the DOctor bit her! He's just great!

River: I care now about the guest character so anything not stated or said is only fodder for imagination, another thing DW should be doing but hasn't in a long time. So is River a past companion? Benny? ROmana who's been in prision? The Rani? His wife? Truth is even if I don't find out in the second part (or ever? Maybe not ever, I'd like to know some time...unlike the woman in END OF TIME and Jack's possibly being the Face of Boe...I'd like to find out what happens to River and who she is...but even if I do not...this makes me care. It's really down to the writing, the writing of the set pieces, the Bishop and his men (I liked Bob!), the Doc's care of humanity and of Amy and RIver...the actors convey it all wonderfully but it is the writing that sells this whole thing. ANd I can just say I'm so happy about it: FINALLY!

What else: the sound effects and music make those jumping angels very very scary. They are still DWs or maybe just New DW's best monsters/aliens. I like that they used Bob to communicate and the Doc's right: they are nice, very polite in their talk to him.

I didn't quite understand the cliffhanger: the Doc shot at what? The bottom of the ship to do what? Create light? Cause a flood to get water down there so they can swim? I didn't get why the angels killed the men they did when those men were looking at the angels...or were the ones behind Bob  the ones that did him in? Were their angels behind him and the other men that died? Either way, this was very good and yes, some of it reminded me of EARTHSHOCK, REVENGE OF THE CYBERMEN (Sarah alone being attacked and infected), and even the movie ALIENS but I felt it might just be better than all of those put together. Like ALIENS it followed up a more gothic first bit (ALIEN and BLINK) but was more action oriented and more military minded but the religion bit works here.

Okay so I"m gonna say 9/10 or 10/10 which means I loved it and would watch it again, something I won't do with the first three stories (maybe just the first two, which were awful and the third one was just so so but this one was terrific).  




Simon's picture

Great episode. I felt that after quite a few years of inconsistent quality, this was a great and familiar Doctor Who story. Every episode should start with the originality and sophistication of this one - much better than the Doctor and co. just leaping out of the TARDIS and throwing the viewer into an increasingly predictable storyline. Instead, this one throws you off track in a very rewarding way. I like River Song's return and the ‘Aliens’ style soldiers being picked off one by one is a very nice element that keeps the tension going. All in all I really enjoyed this, but I do have a couple of problems that slightly took away from my viewing experience:

1) Matt Smith's Doctor in the 11th Hour was far more exciting that in ANY of the last three episodes. It’s almost like the writers don't quite know what to do with the character. Matt Smith is a terrific actor, but all that shouting and fast dialogue in the library scene (and throughout) seems as if Matt is just channelling David Tennant. As the series progresses I'm finding it hard to move away from RTD and the 10th Doctor as the grammar, pacing and general frantic ‘shoutyness’ seems just the same. Come on Moffat, give us a truly unique take on the Doctor that is as different as Troughton was to Pertwee, and Pertwee to Baker. The same man yes, but let’s have a different interpretation.

2) I’m really getting fed up of the musical score. Murray Gold has done some wonderful music for the show, but I really wish they had chosen someone new. His loud brash music keeps washing out all of the dialogue so I keep missing key plot points, or lines that are just too good to be competing with a soundtrack that is now too big for its boots. The new ‘Doctor action theme’ that was introduced in the 11th hour is also starting to grate on me. I loved it in episode 1, but it detracts from the tension when it cranks up as if to tell the viewer ‘keep watching, the Doctors gonna do something brilliant…’. It worked for the rooftop scene in ep1., (wow how it worked!) but I wish we could have some more subtle music that let the scripts, lighting, cinematography and directing have a chance to shine as well.

3) As Idiom says above, the banner for ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ during the last few seconds was shameful! Shame on you BBC! Why promote a flagship show only to ruin the tension with a stupid colourful banner?  Sigh.

Overall, 4/5 TARDIS groans. More like this please (with quieter music and a varied pace in the dialogue).


Troy Baker's picture

The episode was wonderful overall but I agree that there were some problems with the sound. In some points the sound dropped off so much it was almost unhearable (is that a wordUndecided).

On the music: I don't know - I just feel that the music is only OK as opposed to the wonderful scores we had in the past, something doesn't sit quite right. It's not "BAD" bad , but it's not up to the standards we had before.


For more of my thoughts read further down.

Linquel's picture

I have to say I mostly enjoyed this episode. That's a relief after being somewhat disappointed with the last two. I have to admit trying to keep the River Song/Doctor relationship straight makes my head hurt. I want to go back and re-watch the Silence in the Library two-parter again. I guess with the actress being stuck in plain old linear time we won't get to see her first meeting with the Doctor ever, unless they cast a younger actress.

I loved seeing the Angels again. The recording of the Angel coming alive was pretty creepy and cool. I've been avoiding all spoilers so I didn't know this was a two-parter. I can't wait to see how they resolve the Amy with the Angel in her eye situation.

And while the line about the TARDIS groaning noise being due to the Doctor keeping the parking brake on was funny, it really doesn't make a lot of sense since we've seen other TARDISes come and go making the same noise (and we heard the same sound when the Time Lord appeared to the third Doctor in Terror of the Autons).

I'd probably give this one a 3.5 to 4 rating. It will probably depend on how good part 2 is.

Linquel's picture

I have no idea how this got double-posted. I don't see any obvious way to delete the second one, so I'll just edit it to say the following.

I also was really irritated by the pop-up ad near the end. All of a sudden, I thought "am I watching the Sci-Fi channel??" I hope the BBC stops doing this on Doctor Who.

I haven't been too distracted by Murray Gold's music. At least I don't think I've heard the annoying ringing alarm bell sting he used to use so much in the first 1-3 seasons.

Chase, do you not remember seeing River Song before in the 4th season two-part episode Silence of the Library/Forest of the Dead?

Troy Baker's picture

I noticed that the pop-up ad you were referring to appeared on the regular channel. The "rainbow promo" didn't appear on the HD channel version but it was still advertised with a voice-over during the closing credits but they usually advertise over the credits anyway.



Since I wrote this I've discovered a story on Digital Spy that talks about this very thing. Acccording to the story the BBC had put it in by mistake and that they were  making sure it doesn't happen again.


Here is a link to the story on Digital spy:

BBC apologises for "Doctor Who" trail


here is another story on the Guardian:

BBC Apologises to Doctor Who fans...

This episode pretty much hit all the right notes for me. It certainly had the creepiness we expected with the return of the Weeping Angels.

I love the fact that the meetings between the Doctor and River are not both linear, from their POV's. I'm curious to see where this leads; obviously the two have spent a lot of time together in her past. But will their meetings continue to be out of order in relation to both of their POVs? Or will it be that with each appearance of River, it's simply reverse order for her.

For example, for the Doctor it's going to be A (River's death), B, C, D (1st meets River). Would for River their meetings be D (her death), C, B, A (1st meets the Doctor)? Or would Moffat make it even more convoluted, such as D, B, C, A?

Phew!  I was afraid they'd do to the Weeping Angels what they also did to The Ood, but I was pleasantly surprised and we got a great story (so far).

- I still don't completely buy the whole Angel-appearing-from-the-TV thing, or how the dead soldier was able to talk to The Doctor, but at the same time I don't care.  Suspend disbelief for 40+ minutes and it's all good.

- I like where The Doctor's relationship appears to be headed with River Song.  I'm betting one of the last times he meets her, will be her first meeting with him (as also suggested by a previous post)...and I suspect that there'll be some dark secret about her that The Doctor will be shocked about and regret all (his previous/her future) encounters with him.

It's always tough to rate individual pieces of a multi-episode story, but if I had to, then this probably gets a 4 out of 5.  It's's's the way Who should be!  Can't wait for next week!

Troy Baker's picture

Well, now that part one has aired (in the UK), we now know what the Doctor was shooting at in the promos for the season - that should be a big relief to everybody who was worried about where the gun was being pointed.

I think I know how this cliff-hanger is resolved but I'll say nothing so the surprise will be kept intact, but if you think about it you can probably figure it out. Two hints: What was he shooting at?... and what was the Doctor's instructions before he fired?


River Song:

What else can you say about her except - Wonderful. She still knows more than the Doctor, but still keeps her secrets, but to couterpoint that the Doctor let out too much information by saying "Professor River Song" and remember her response.


The Angels:

I don't know how I like the idea of the Angels coming through the images into reality, but that idea created a good moment with Amy so I can't complain too much about that. It also provided a good way to create more danger for her as well, but what will the (for want of a better word) "infection" from the angel do to Amy?


The crack:

Wonderful! It wasn't mentioned in this episode, so we get a brief respite from it but the promos for next week show it and it actually becomes an issue. Maybe we'll get some more important information about it sooner instead of having to wait until the end of the series.


The Doctor:

Is it my imagination or is he more reckless than his previous incarnations have been? He seems to be doing things without a second thought and taking longer to do them. ex.: He spent must of the show talking about how the previous inhabatants had two heads and it takes near the end of the episode to realize that the statues had one head... getting "slow on the uptake" Doctor.


Can't wait to see the conclusion.


PS I didn't mean for this posting to be so large. Sorry about that.

Kristine Kochanski's picture

I think I know who River Song is. I won't say more yet, need to see the second part.

Zombie's picture

I think she might be the Rani. It would explain her TARDIS skills.

Doctor Whoovie's picture

I think she is the above person Wink

Troy Baker's picture

This must be further back in her life than we realize - she doesn't have her sonic screwdriver yet. In "Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead" she had a sonic screwdriver of her own. It was also mentioned that the Doctor gave her the screwdriver, but his attitude towards her in this story makes me think its too early for him to give her one.

This looks like their metings it could be a very convoluted time-line - you never know when exactly when in the time-line they are in.


Of course, he could give her a sonic screwdriver at the end of this story, but I don't see that happening - YET.

Dr. Solar's picture

great to see them back. 

they're one of the few Doctor Who monsters that creep me out.

Man Of The Atom

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

New Doctor Who Podshock schwag

Podcast Feeds

Subscribe to
the Doctor Who podcast
Doctor Who: Podshock

iTunes users click here
Gallifreyan Embassy - Doctor Who: Podshock - Doctor Who: Podshock

Direct podcast feeds:

Doctor Who: Podshock

MP3 Format Podcast:
Doctor Who: Podshock MP3

  More feeds and info

  Supporting Subscribers

Syndicate (RSS Feed)

Syndicate content


How do you rate Doctor Who: Thin Ice? (5=Fantastic)
5 TARDIS Groans
4 TARDIS Groans
3 TARDIS Groans
2 TARDIS Groans
1 TARDIS Groan
0 TARDIS Groans
Total votes: 1

Amazon US Store

Amazon UK Store

Latest image

DW Podshock 341 Cover