The Time of Angels (2010)

The first two parter of the series sees the return of two familiar characters from the Tennant era. The first being River Song who appeared in the Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead two parter in 2008 and also the Weeping Angels who appeared in Blink back in 2007. Both were creations of Steven Moffat and as he is now sitting in the big chair its only right that he puts two of his best creations together. After all the furore of the new looking Daleks and Spitfires in Space, it was time for the series to see what a two-part story would be like.

The story centres about a ship called the Byzantium which crashed on the planet Alfava Metraxis. River Song has joined the Doctor and Amy where they are trying to find the Weeping Angel that was being hidden in the vault. There was some wonderful imagery. The four second clip that the Doctor, River and Amy were watching seemed to be eerie enough but soon when Amy was on her own every time she looked away the Angel moved and got to the stage where it came out of the screen. This was a brilliant moment in the series so far. Another great moment was the idea that the Weeping Angels were using the consciousness of dead soldiers to speak to the Doctor, in one part the Angel irritates the Doctor by saying that their doomed.

Matt Smith puts in another good performance. I did find him funny when he was trying to copy the sound of the TARDIS landing. It showed that Smith can do both funny and serious acting. His speech at the end was one that we had heard on the trailers for the entire series but in the context of this story it’s a fine speech. Karen Gillan was perhaps not as strong as she has been in previous episodes but she was still good. The moment with the Angel on the screen was a brilliant piece of acting from her. She also seemed to revel in the discomfort of the Doctor in a way that reminded me of Donna. Alex Kingston’s return was a welcome one. There was a lot of mystery in her two episodes back in 2008 and whilst I was hoping some of it would be clarified in this episode I am glad that they didn’t do much clarifying because it opens the way for her to return in the future. Then again we’ll have to wait and see what happens in the next episode. The character of River Song is a feisty one who isn’t afraid of embarrassing the Doctor in front of friends. Of the ‘minor’ characters I was particularly impressed with Father Octavian. He is a proper father but there was something about how was with the Doctor that really stood out for me. When the Doctor made a comment which wasn’t nice about the church and the Doctor said “No offence”, normally the person in question wouldn’t have time to react or be offended but Octavian did take offence and this makes him different from ‘minor’ characters in the past.

I have to say as an opening episode it’s very good, it has a lot of drama and tension that we didn’t get in Victory of the Daleks. The Weeping Angels are perhaps the best creation of the new series and when the story concludes next week it has the potential to be one of the best stories of the season.

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