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Doctor Who 5×05 “Flesh and Stone” Review

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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.

This episode, despite one humungous, almost-unforgivable fault, is one of the best of the series.

After an entire episode set in caves underneath the ship, the good guys jump onto the ship, and are pursued through its depths by the evil Angels.

This makes for a great, tense episode. The fact that the setting changes so completely really works for me. Not only do we leave those dank caves for the bowels of a ship, we get to go into a forest inside the ship. That is just an awesome bit of set work that I can’t get enough of.

The forest, while a great set, also really drives home the themes of the season. We’ve gotten a sense of a space fairytale being played out on an epic scale since the beginning of series 5. And this episode, a fantastical forest, Amy’s red sweater, and her peril at the hands of nefarious bad guys, really serves to drive that theme home. It could feel heavy-handed, but just the right amount of emphasis is put on it.

Since Amy spends most of the episode with her eyes firmly shut, she is damsel-fied a bit. After she spent the previous episode being kick-ass, it’s unfortunate seeing her being used in this way. Yet, at the same time, it’s important she goes through this.

It’s an important bit of character development that she’s forced to trust The Doctor so completely that she must allow him to basically control one of her senses. It also sets up a scene that won’t see a payoff until the final episode of the series, which really speaks to the amount of thought that went into constructing series 5 as a whole.

Series 5 is a magical, layered, mash-up of character work and thematic entanglement that Moffat never quite pulls off quite as successfully ever again.

Even so, it’s great to see everything come together this series. This two-parter does a great job of integrating the overarching plot that Amy is so rightfully confounded and scared of.

Rating: A+

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