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Doctor Who 5×04 “The Time of Angels” Review

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The Doctor and Amy emerge from the TARDIS to find the wreck of the Byzantium spaceship. Down below the Weeping Angels are stirring, but the Doctor has someone else to contend with; none other than the mysterious Professor River Song.

Okay, so far we’ve had an excellent premiere and two so-so episodes that haven’t really lived up to the promise of this new era. Then, finally, we get an episode featuring the Weeping Angels.

One of Moffat’s best creations from one of his best episodes (pre-showrunning duties), the Angels manage to single-handedly save this run-off episode from complete and total average-ness (Is that a word? It is now, bitches!… I’m so sorry for calling you all bitches.)

This episode could easily be broken into two parts. Pre-maze and post-maze. And for that reason, this episode hurts a bit.

The first part of the episode is great. We not only get the return of the Angels, but a second appearance by future wife River Song (Alex Kingston). She’s responsible for getting The Doctor to investigate the Byzantium in the first place.

We’re finally getting a taste of the chemistry between Matt Smith and Alex Kingston, and it’s just the right mix of sexual innuendo, mystery, and Mrs. Robinson puns. It’s no wonder that there are now shipping wars between Doctor/River and Eleven/Clara fans.

This first part also features the creepy scene between a video screen Angel and Amy. It does a great job of showing Amy’s resourcefulness while The Doctor is in a position of complete uselessness.

Then we transition over to the Angel maze that eats up about twenty minutes of plot. The issue I have with this part is, once again, pacing.

The plot seems to be spinning its wheels at this point, waiting for that big “to be continued” moment. A trek through a maze of Angels could have been played as scary and awe-inducing, but it’s mostly just played as… a trek through a forest of statues.

I guess this works well as a late-episode twist, but it doesn’t make for anything compelling in the moment.

The other issue with this section of the episode is the role of the Angels. They bide their time in the background and kill as they please. Instead of stealing the timelines of their victims, they’re simply killing. This takes away some of their power as interesting scary creatures.

Still, it’s a small quibble in an overall great episode (and it seems like small potatoes in the ever-expanding saga of “Let’s ruin the Angels!”)

Rating: A-

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