Reviewed By: Mercury
Review Date: 12/29/18 12:39 am
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This is the first part of a two part story written by showrunner Steven Moffatt. It is a really excellent story in terms of excitement, scares, action, interesting ideas and good performances. As with a lot of Moffatt era stories it sadly features some ideas he let run away with him, thankfully not so much that it totally ruins this otherwise brilliant story but it overall drops this first part down from a certain 10/10 to 8/10 for me.
The story involves River Song bringing the Doctor and Amy into a situation where they are excavating a crashed spacecraft containing a Weeping Angel, one of the scariest and most threatening foes the Doctor has encountered (first meeting them on screen as the Tenth Doctor in the awesome Moffatt written Blink) but discovering far more Weeping Angels are around as well as the crack in time which has been cropping up since the Doctor first met Amy.
First the negatives of this episode: As is often the case Moffatt has exciting ideas but does not moderate them all to keep internal logic or character believability. So first of all River is meant to have left the Doctor co-ordinates in a coded message on an artefact that the doctor discovers thousands of years later. This leads the Doctor to arrive at the correct time and place to rescue River as she leaps into the vacuum of space from an airlock to escape capture. Anyone who sees this and rates this episode as great whilst criticising the scene in Star Wars: The Last Jedi when Leia rescues herself from the vacuum of space needs to compare the two and consider which is more plausible. I do think this is an excellent episode still but this scene is one of Moffatt's many badly thought through 'timey-wimey' events. How did River know the exact time and position in advance and know she could execute it perfectly to schedule? What would have happened if that artefact had never been found by the Doctor due to it being destroyed or hidden or whatever in all the ensuing years? What would have happened if the Doctor had found the artefact whilst in an incarnation prior to meeting River? Surely the message would then be unlikely to bring him running. to her rescue. River says she knew he'd find the artefact because he always visits museums but he is a time traveller and could have found the artefact at any point of the 12,000 years in any of the 9 earlier incarnations who never met River. In all of time and space he manages to find the artefact intact after thousands of years whilst in the first incarnation who would want to rescue her and so arrives correctly to save her as she leaps through space with no support! If the TARDIS had not arrived at that second she would be dead and she leaps out without a care in the world or any doubt her unlikely plan will work then lands in the TARDIS (via an air corridor miraculously set up perfectly the second they arrive) without even being remotely bothered by her leap of faith. Cool idea until you think it through then it all appears just silly.
Another negative is Amy's behaviour. She mutters and half heartedly calls for the Doctor when she sees the Weeping Angel has moved several times and does not make enough of a believable effort to get him to come to her assistance. He meanwhile is happily distracted while the girl he supposedly cares for and wants to protect is calling him because she never calls to say what is happening or showing enough urgency. Then when she gets the image of the angel in her eye and feels something in her eye and rubs it causing stone dust to fall from her eye she just says to the Doctor and River that there is nothing wrong! Would you not just say something odd happened to your eye?!
Normally these things would drop an episode several points in my rating but to be fair there is a lot to enjoy and love in this episode so I drop it a couple of marks but still rate it 8/10. The Angels are great. Smith acts well. River is intriguing. Guest cast such as Iain Glen (later Jorah in Game of Thrones) are great and the script and action are very entertaining. Moffatt continued to do the same thing of taking ideas too far in numerous later stories which for me often drops potentially great episodes down to pretty unexceptional levels. The second part of this story thankfully has fewer issues and is an excellent conclusion to the adventure apart from an embarrassing scene where Amy tries to seduce the Doctor!