Red Scharlach (redscharlach) wrote,
Red Scharlach

Where angels' feet are red

Doctor Who, part two of two: I've now watched it, how about you?

Some thoughts on Flesh and Stone:

  • So last week's not-very-cliffy cliffhanger culminates in the discovery of... a Corridor! And we all know what to do with corridors, don't we, viewers? Yep, stand around in them, making long-winded speeches. Tch, plus ça change.

  • This episode is brought to you by gratuitous Star Trek references:
    • The "standing upside down on the bottom of a spaceship" bit was rather like that scene from the ST: First Contact movie where they spacewalk outside and fight the Borg.
    • It's a Galaxy Class ship! Fortunately, this one doesn't have beige carpeting and a pointless counsellor hanging around and stating the bleeding obvious.
    • The Doctor swivelling around in the chair while talking into a communicator, Kirk-stylee.
    • The Tree-Borg! Although I have a feeling that those would have made an excruciatingly dull Trek episode. "You will be photosynthesized. Resistance is fertile."

  • "We have no need of comfy chairs." - Ha! Despite the fact that I won't be drawing more new icons for this series until it gets nearer the end, I couldn't resist a quick reworking of an oldie:

    What with Daleks giving out cups of tea and the Weeping Angels shunning a nice sit-down, whatever next? Cybermen refusing a chocolate-coated Digestive? Silurians who are tired of being cold and damp and need to borrow a warm cardigan?

  • When Amy started counting down, I feared for one terrible moment that she might be turning into Carol Vorderman. Or that she might be going to explode. I'm not sure which would have been worse.

  • Oooh, hello, it's the crack in the universe again. It's still not gripping me as it ought to, but at least it's a smiley-shaped crack, so it always looks like it's pleased to see us.

  • Amy's in the forest and suddenly I can see the point of her rather unflattering red hoodie. Fairytale SYMBOLIZMS: we can has them.

  • This season I'm breaking away from my usual tradition and watching the next-episode trailers, so I ended up being peeved at how long it took the Doctor to tell Amy to close her eyes, when we all knew from the trailer that this was the solution. Maybe I should rethink my tradition in the opposite direction.

  • The Doctor saying bye-bye to Amy in the woods was very sweet: I love the way he plays their relationship. I'm less enamoured with the way she plays it, but more on that later.

  • "Time can be rewritten. Ooh!" - I liked the fact that the issue of the big stompy Cyber-King has actually been raised, although I'd assumed the reason that no one remembered it was that it was Christmas and everyone was drunk (hey, that's always MY excuse for not remembering stuff from the Christmas specials). But it also makes me wonder whether the big Time-Crack is going to turn into a get-out-of-jail-free card for overwriting any tricky bits of canon that the Moffmeister wishes to brush under the carpet.

  • After not doing a lot last week, Father Octavian did at least manage a stoic demise this week (not everybody lives!). But I rather wish we'd seen more interaction between him and River: I'd like to imagine them having one of those cop/criminal wisecracky one-step-ahead relationships, if only to justify the "engaged... in a manner of speaking" line.

  • When Amy was wandering through the woods with her eyes closed, was anyone else reminded of Knightmare? No, just me, then. This sequence was big on striking imagery (especially the moving angels) but not huge on making sense: if Amy really did have to move as if she could see, she wasn't doing a very good job of it, and yet at the same time, she was falling over a lot less than you'd expect in a forest full of roots and other things to trip on. And I haven't even started on the dropped communicator that she couldn't find, even though it was BEEPING and right in front of her. Never mind the logistics, think of the ten minutes of drama that the episode needed to pad out the running time.

  • "I could bloody kiss you." / "Maybe when you're older." - Ha! I guess this means I ought to stop singing "Here's to you, Mrs River Song" every time she comes on screen. Hmm, if River goes for the older man and has time-travelled a lot, maybe she's actually One's main squeeze and Susan's grandma?

  • The turning-off-the-gravity was rather good: the falling angels were a rare example of an effects-heavy scene that looked properly atmospheric, but maybe that was just because angels look symbolic when you throw them around, rather than Daleks or Cybermen which tend to look a bit silly.

  • So, who did River kill? I suppose we're meant to think it's the Doctor, since who else could it be? But on the other hand, it's not as if he's going to die, nor is he even going to regenerate again in the near future, so either it's a preventable event, or it's not ACTUALLY killing (cf. "This is the story of how I died LOLZ NOT REALLY"), or it's not him. Or it's all a big tease and we'll never know. Whichever way it is, I find myself not hugely interested. I'm also a bit disappointed that River did even less this week than she did last week, and thus remains a teasing cypher rather than a fully rounded character. Hmph.

  • Okay, so now we come to the snog scene. I'm sure this has already prompted a wealth of reactions, but my own can best be summed up as "???". What was it supposed to say about Amy, the Doctor and their relationship? Does it mean that you can't just wander up to the Doctor and snog him, because all you'll get as a reaction is "Err, what are you doing?"? (Unless you're French and in the Intergalactic Spotter's Guide to Courtesans, in which case, go for it.)

    On the one hand, it's sort of refreshing to see a young woman who's not afraid of potential embarrassment in this arena, and is just after a quick shag rather than True Lurve Forever (TM). But on the other hand, she's not drunk, so why is she behaving in a giggly-stupid way as if she is? And doesn't she have any concept of faithfulness to Rory? (Moffat, is this your Bringing Polyamory To Family Television agenda??) And on the other other hand, it's a bit rich to have the Doctor play the "you're human, I'm an ancient alien" card in an episode that involved his future WIFE, who, lest we forget, seems to be human. And on the fourth and final hand, it might just be some sort of arch meta-statement about keeping TV shows going with sexual tension, while at the same time, gratuitously adding some more sexual tension to the mix. So on the whole, it mainly struck me as awkward, especially the gung-ho "obviously you fancy me!" way that Amy was playing it.

    However, I can process it better if I think back to the goodbye-in-the-woods scene. It's as if the Doctor gets what his relationship with Amy is, and what it means, without really having to try, but Amy herself is failing to get it - she keeps trying to interpret it in terms of relationships she'd have with other men, when it's actually different to that. This could be an interesting idea, but I will have to wait and see how it plays itself out: if it all ends up as "scared man running away from amorous woman" comedy, I'll be a bit peeved.

  • Nonetheless, Amy is apparently Important in the Fabric of the Universe. So, a bit like Donna, then? And what's more, Amy's time period IS the present day, so confounding all those conspiracy theorists that thought she was from the 1990s. Bad luck, guys. Why don't you all squeeze into this comfy chair for a sit-down. I'm assured that the Weeping Angels don't want it...

  • Overall: Some nice set pieces, but suffered from two-parter padding and an overall lack of oomph. There were plenty of teasing promises, but all answers seem to have been deferred to a later date. Could do worse, could do a lot better, I feel.

  • Coming up next week: Rory and a lot of fake pointy teeth. Didn't we have those things in the first episode? Let's hope they make a bit more of an impression second time around.
Tags: doctor who
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