Here are some thoughts about The Time of Angels:
- Was that Whatshisname from The Streets? Yes, apparently it was. Crikey, I'm amazed - not because he was in it, but because I actually recognized a pop star of the 21st century. Still, at least he proved that if you must have cameos by non-acting celebs, having them gawp uselessly at the camera for plot reasons is as good an approach as any.
- River's got hallucinogenic lipstick: she must shop at the same 51st-century beauty boutique as Captain John Hart. Although as I recall, his was a more subtle shade.
- I don't believe the Doctor spends a lot of time hanging around museums keeping score. If he hangs around museums at all, I reckon that it's because he's trying to spend quality time with his One Great True Lurve That Is Truer Than All Other Lurves. Yes, you guessed it: the Little Shop! Sadly, person/shop relationships are outlawed in many places in the galaxy, even in the 51st century, but a frisson of the forbidden is always good for keeping romance alive.
- Either Old High Gallifreyan is a rather longwinded language to formulate endearments in, or River's message was a bit longer than the Doctor claimed. I'm thinking something along the lines: "Hello sweetie, here are a few of my favourite Time Lord sexual practices. P.S. Don't forget your loom."
- The Doctor opens the TARDIS door and gets hit by a flying redhead, but is mildly disappointed that it's River, and not Donna. Nonetheless, I was relatively pleased to see River, even if he wasn't. The "Spoilers!"-style cockiness wears thin rather quickly, though: I warm to her more when she's playing some vulnerability and depth, and the way she and Eleven were interacting suggested "sitcom henpecker and henpeckee" rather than "soulmates and intergalactic shagbunnies". Still, it seems Jackie Tyler was totally right when she said that the Doctor hates it when people know more than him.
- I did laugh at the Doctor's impersonation of the TARDIS vworp-vworp noise, and at River's failure to be impressed by it. I do hope the noises he makes under other circumstances sound a little less anaemic.
- "I've got pictures of all your faces", says River. She neglects to say what she does when she runs into one of the less appealing ones: hop back through the airlock and keep her fingers crossed for next time, perhaps?
- Coming soon to cable TV, The Angel Channel! A strange mixture of monotonous and scary, and somehow yet you cannot tear your eyes away. Any resemblance to Men & Motors is purely coincidental, of course.
- Well done to Amy for realizing she could wink one eye at a time. Every six-year-old in the country was shouting that one at the telly during Blink, but somehow Sally Sparrow never caught on. Anyway, this fit of sensibleness from Ms Pond slightly excuses the fact that she bothered to pop her head out to ask River about the video but didn't do the same thing two seconds later to shout "ARGH! IT'S MOVING!" Of course, then there'd have been no jeopardy, but what can I say. I'm picky.
- "River, hug Amy." Why? Cause
I'm a bit grumpy but watching some hot two-girl action would definitely cheer me upI'm busy. Eleven's femmeslash agenda: you heard it here first.
- So who and what is River, then? An ex-con, we're told, but I'm hoping there's more to it than "I was roguishly stealing shiny artifacts and got nicked, whoops". If she turns out to be the future version of Christina "Planet of the Boringly Dead" de Souza, I'll be most peeved.
- "It would be good if we could all remain calm in the presence of décor." - Try telling that to the crazed shoppers at the Habitat sale, Father Octavian. I think Iain Glen must be either a) a big Who fan, b) in need of money, or c) going to do something really interesting in the next episode, because his part in this one was barely worth turning up for, barring this one line.
- "Never short of a snog with a second head." - What with this and the oppressive laws against self-marrying, is this the advent of the DW pro-masturbation agenda? Call me cynical, but the phrase "taking coals to Newcastle" comes to mind. After all, we're on the internet here...
- "Some kind of perception filter, or maybe we're thick." - I suppose this is what you might call climbing out of a plot hole with a postmodern meta-ladder. More amusing, at least to me, was the fact that I had just asked the TV (out loud, yes) why the statues didn't have two heads, and then the characters immediately started to wonder the same thing.
- I frowned deeply when Father Octavian mentioned checking his troops' data pads for vital signs. Are those going to become a get-out-of-death-free clause, like the data ghost gadgets in Silence In The Library? Oh, Mr Moffat, why so keen on reusing gizmos from your earlier outings? There's a fine line between "clever" self-referentiality and people thinking you have only two ideas. (Looking back, I see that I said pretty much the same thing in my SITL review, so the thought goes double now!)
- Oh no, Amy's turning to stone, except she isn't and it's all in her head. The line about being "not that clingy" made me pull a face, though. The "space teeth" bit was funnier: let's hope the shot that River gave her also worked for rabies, tetanus, and the Gallifreyan Emo Blues.
- Slightly odd cliffhanger in that it wasn't a proper cliffhanger at all, just a "let's do a speech and stop here" point. I fear the speech would have been more interesting if we hadn't already heard the gist of it in the series trailer, but hey, I guess that serves me right for watching the trailers this year, doesn't it.
- I'm glad to see that the nasty interruption caused by the BBC's little animated cartoon sting popping on screen before the end of the episode is already causing a huge internet hoohah. So it should! If the BBC are so bloody proud of this show, they shouldn't be cluttering it up with rubbish as if nobody cares. Have a bit of class, why don't you!! *takes a deep breath and a large swig of G and T, feels a bit better about the whole thing*
- Overall: I came into this week with low expectations, and thus found myself fairly entertained. I was never the world's biggest Blink fan, but the half-dead versions of the Weeping Angels were pretty creepy, especially their hollow eyes and zombified crawling poses. Although River was fine, it's a shame that her return also had to involve a close re-run of her previous story (poorly defined supporting cast in identical costumes wandering around in the dark, check), and I'm sad that we still haven't had an episode where the minor characters really shine. Still, decent enough fare, but the proof of a two-part pudding is in the bottom of the custard jug (as the mixed-metaphor-loving Eleventh Doctor might say), so proper judgment should wait until next week.
In other, slightly related news, mini-icons for The Sarah Jane Adventures are imminent. So if you have a particular yearning for an SJA-related character or quote that I might not have thought to include, now might be a good time to tell me about it. I do try to give the public what they want, albeit rather more slowly than they expect...