The Doctor, Amy, Dr. Song and the remaining soldiers manage to escape from the crashed ship and into the forest. The Angels attempt to create a rift in time and space much as the Doctor had...
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The Doctor, Amy, Dr. Song and the remaining soldiers manage to escape from the crashed ship and into the forest. The Angels attempt to create a rift in time and space much as the Doctor had found in Amy's room when they first met. Amy meanwhile is counting down from 10 minutes and the Doctor has determined that an Angel has taken over her mind. Written by
After the astonishing and sublime première episode to Steven Moffats first two part story after his promotion from regular script writer to executive producer. It is without any fear of contradiction that he was going to have to seriously raise the bar if not at least attempt to equal the standard of the previous weeks splendid "The Time of Angels". It's safe to say then that "Flesh and Stone" not only upped the ante in Moffats imaginative stakes. It's safe to say that Moffat is a visionary and while the return of The Weeping Angels could have been a potential bore seeing as I had seen them as only a one off alien threat given that I felt any return of the inspired monstrosities would lack anything new that we hadn't already seen. How wrong I was and FAS continued to prove me wrong where TTOA had proceeded to. An unquestionable forerunner to events that undoubtedly take place in the series upcoming finale. Moffat expands on the crack in time that was first witnessed in The Eleventh Hour". Neatly weaving in it's inclusion to the story and incorporating the involvement of the Weeping Angels in such a fashion that it doesn't provoke feelings of contrivance and doesn't detract from the story.
From FAS opening Moffat increases the fear factor and concocts the most ominous and unsettling of scenarios that would leave even the most stout-hearted eight quivering behind the nearest living room sofa in fear. And yet it is occasionally in the episodes more subtle, uncomplicated moments of sustained tension that the screen scribe provokes the most potent moments of fear. The Doctor's latest companion Amy proceeding to randomly countdown from the number ten as she speaks or effectively being blinded as the tenacious Time Lord orders her to cut off her most basic and utilised sense. The reasoning being so unsettling to any child that would be watching that they would wish to tear their eyes from the screen if they even dared to glance at a Weeping Angel. It also here that Moffat attempts to make amends on Russell T. Davies behalf for some of the glaring plot holes that he left gaping in the likes of "The Next Doctor" for example. Although never really rationalised or deciphered it is without a shadow of a doubt that all the loose ends will be left tied up within the series finale.
Plot wise River Song here once again portrayed by Alex Kingston who was reintroduced in TTOA is given little to do but her presence is hardly unwarranted and never feels gratuitous as she drops potential hints as to what the future might bring for her future time travelling spouse. Not to mention that she seemingly clarifies the justification of the Time Lords presence although if what we further learn from the Bishop is potentially true about certain hints you may question why the Doctors presence needed to be justified. But this is never the less a minor quibble which in it self may not be a fault depending on what the future may bring. And as for the eerie present voice of the deceased Private Bob first heard after his demise towards the climax of the previous week TTOA. It's once skilfully exploited to chilling effect once more as it is a ominous and crafty tool utilised to give the Weeping Angels a voice and a way to communicate which is effectively unnerving. One used as well to invoke dread in their intended victims and by Moffat to send chills down the spine on the younger viewing members of the audience.
The performances on hand are some of the best seen thus far since Steven Moffat took over the reigns. Matt Smith is seriously beginning to come to his won and seems to be more at east than ever. Ultimately having proceeded to finally fine tune some of his more emotive acting skills. A problem that forever plagued former late eighties "Doctor Who" star Sylvester McCoy who never got quite grips to areas of an episodes script that required heightened emotional acting. The more see Karen Gillans Amy Pond the more I warm to her and although a scene towards the episodes climax feels a little unwarranted and arguably a tad near the knuckle for what is meant to be a family show, that is clearly not her fault. Although in fairness it is in peril of potentially making her protagonist some what callous and unlike-able within the context of events. Alex Kingston effortlessly manages to continue her emergence back in to the role of River Song with complete ease. And while she is given little to do it's full the skill of the writing as well as her well honed portrayal that she never feels too trapped in the background. While once more Iain Glenn ultimately is effortlessly courageous with a beautifully understated nobility and a sense of unyielding duty. A combination which is beautifully presented with the requisite balance required.
Slight faults aside "Flesh and Stone" ultimately is a fitting conclusion to one of Steven Moffats best stories thus far and unlike the previous work of Russell T. Davies never feels as if it hammers plot points and character behaviour in without any finesse or discipline. Practically every plot detail is accounted for. And I can only pray that if the preview for this coming Saturday's "Vampires in Venice" is anything to go by and given the last scene of FAS and the possible Doctor, Amy, Rory love triangle. Things are going to become that little bit more complicated and interesting...not to say thrilling!
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