Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Time of Angels, Flesh and Stone & Vampires in Venice

Allow me to start by apologising. I had meant to follow the worst stories of all by the best, but I have decided to reserve judgement until I have got through every single episode. Sorry for the break as well, it's been the anniversary week so a lot has been going on. For now, I return to the marathon where I left off, early in Series 5...

Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone

Alex Kingston is back!

Amy looks at a recording of an angel.
River Song (Alex Kingston) returns in this two-part story featuring the return of the Weeping Angels. It’s a strong story, well-paced full of suspense and in most ways living up to the promise of the Angels returning, although you’d have to say they are not the Daleks and if they bring them back again we are talking about the law of diminishing returns. But they worked well in this story.
Instead of River Song becoming clearer, Moffat (the writer) appears to have gone down the track of
making her more mysterious and confusing, deliberately posing the question ‘who is she’? to the audience. I’m not sure how this will all play out, and I still think she was best as a one off character. It’s straight away confusing because she is obviously younger than ‘Silence in the Library’ – where she died, and yet she not only recognised the tenth Doctor, but was surprised he didn’t know who she was.
And she lets us know she’s coming back later in the series at the end. She’s a prisoner, she killed ‘a good man’, who it is strongly hinted at was the Doctor. So waters are murkier still.
Still darn creepy on their second outing.
The story is shot in some caves and with the addition of a bit of CGI they look stunning, Moffat creates some amazing and gripping moments, like when Amy is stuck in a trailer with a video of an angel and she can’t get out. The time crack from episode one is back – although we’ve seen it reappear at the end of the previous two episodes two, which is the series theme it seems. On the other side of the cracks lives the vortex, and when you get sucked out, you are erased from time.
This leads to some great scenes with Amy when some of the soldiers disappear through it and they can’t remember, but Amy does as she’s a time traveller. The ending is great too, when the ship’s gravity is powered down and all the angels fall through the crack. It was a clever twist, and a very effecting ending to a strong tale.
And of course, we also have Ser Jorah Mormont himself (Iain Glen) in this one. What more could you want. Good to see the show back on its feet after two wobbly weeks.

Vampires of Venice

Redesigned console room.

The Doctor is confronted with some interesting ladies.
The previous episode ended on a strange note, with the Doctor and Amy returning to England, the Doctor finding out Amy is about to get married and then Amy throwing herself at the Doctor. So when this story opens on Rory’s stag party (Amy is marrying Rory by the way), the weirdness continues and the Doctor pops out of a cake (instead of a stripper).
The Doctor is being portrayed by Matt Smith as someone who really doesn’t have much idea about
Helen McCrory guest stars.
people. It’s strange that the Doctor can regress in such a way after regeneration, but I have to say it works nicely and provides some great comic moments. The Doctor takes Amy and Rory on a getaway to Venice back a few hundred years.
Turns out there are vampires there – ok fish from another planet, but for want of a better word. It looks beautiful, they did a great job in recreating Venice. We get a somewhat stock-standard story with
The Doctor does what he does best - he saves the day!
lots of running around and danger, and the Doctor winning through in the end. It’s all very competent without being a stand-out episode, the creatures look rather good, the plot is not complicated, there’s a healthy dose of humour mixed with the sci-fi and historical elements. I liked it.


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