Monday, May 17, 2010

Doctor Who - The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone

I think I'd call this story The Time of Angels as a whole. That's one change I'd have liked The Moff to have made is having a story title instead of two separate episode titles. I think its less confusing that way and call me "old school" but I just like it better.

This was the strongest story of the season so far in my opinion and I think having two episodes to give the story time to breathe really worked. Both The Beast Below and Victory of the Daleks where very enjoyable but probably would have been even stronger if they had more time to build the mysteries behind the events and to allow for more character development between the supporting characters.

The Weeping Angels are very cool monsters but I thought going into the episode "What more can you really do with them without repeating yourself after Blink?" The Moff managed to take these one-note monsters and turn them into much more and make them even scarier.

The mystery of River Song also deepened with some rather surprising tidbits revealed. Although we still don't know much specifics about who or what she is to the Doctor, she is quickly becoming one of the most fascinating characters in all of Doctor Who history. I consider myself to now be a River Song "shipper".

Unlike previous series this year the running story arcs are much more prevalent and also much more interesting than any since "Bad Wolf". This story added a lot to the ongoing plot lines of the crack and Amy's impending wedding.

Speaking of the wedding; I was quite shocked and a bit put off when I heard what was to happen between the Doctor and Amy in this story. This was quite a change from the Doctor Who I grew up with. My main issue not so much being the idea that the companion tries to seduce the Doctor but rather that she was doing so on the night before her wedding. If she had just been trying to seduce the Doctor, it would have just been a very funny scene but the infidelity part of it made it a bit less funny to me. Seeing as how the companions are the heroes of the story along with the Doctor this was quite a surprising turn of events to have a character doing something that I felt was not moralistic at all and seeming to not have any qualms or thoughts about her husband-to-be's feelings at all. Even worse I discovered on my message board haunts that most (about 3/4 I'd say) had absolutely no issue with someone cheating on their fiance on the day before their wedding. It seems as if infidelity has become such an everyday practice in our society that its no longer even a big deal. I find that both disturbing and disappointing. I realize people make mistakes and certainly Amy's character can be forgiven for her actions but it did make me a little less sympathetic to her character. Part of it is I think I identify a bit more to Rory's position in the "triangle" as it were as opposed to Amy's. And also my personality type is predisposed to being a bit judgmental and a stickler when it comes to our morals.

However, it was a very funny scene and the Doctor behaved perfectly in it. And kudos to The Moff for handling a potentially controversial scene so very well. The fact that he was able to drum up such strong emotions in someone (me) who rarely has any real emotional reaction to characters or events in a story (other than enjoyment and excitement) is a real testament to his abilities as a writer. I really look forward to seeing how all of this plays out.

Here is my now traditional list of comparing stories for every Doctor. These are from best to worst the fourth stories for every Doctor.

1) Genesis of the Daleks by Terry Nation
2) Inferno by Don Houghton
3) The Time of Angels by Steven Moffat
4) Marco Polo by John Lucarotti
5) School Reunion by Toby Whithouse
6) The Visitation by Eric Saward
7) The Mark of the Rani by Pip Baker and Jane Baker
8) The Moonbase by Kit Pedler
9) Aliens of London by Russell T. Davies
10) Dragonfire by Ian Briggs

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