It’s a really effective, and really quite creepy device, not least because once more it allows Amy to show herself to be one of the finest problem-solvers that the Doctor has ever travelled with. If you’re really looking for signs of massive progress in the world of Doctor Who, then just compare the savvyness of Karen Gillen’s Amy Pond to the likes of Bonnie Langford’s ever-screeching Mel from the 80s.
It’s not, of course, just the angels that Moffat is bringing back here. He also re-introduces another of his creations, River Song. Back when we first met her, in the Silence In The Library/Forest Of The Dead two-parter (and just as we explored the universe’s biggest library in Silence, we get the biggest museum at the start of this episode), it was heavily implied that she was the Doctor’s wife. Here, it’s once more implied that may be the case, and Amy gets the job of quizzing the Doctor on the matter. Just when we think we might get a clue, though, Moffat pulls back, and we’re left to consider what’s said of River Song later.
For what is the truth about her? Why was she in prison? And why, if the Doctor works out who she is, will he not help her? Is she going to turn out to be The Rani or something? Why has she got a book on the angels and who wrote it? How come the homebox she sent back had Gallifreyan writing on it? Maybe we’ll get some answers next week, and find out what some of those “spoilers” actually are.
Eventually, River, the Doctor, Amy and a gang of clerics with big guns find themselves in a massive chamber, which seemingly looks set up for a big game of hide and seek. The problem? It’s full of stone statues, and one of them is an angel. That said, it didn’t take too long to twig that there was more to the other stone statues than originally met the eye, and sure enough, the fit truly hit the shan.
The sequences in this chamber, while they looked stunning, weren’t quite as tense and gripping at first as we might have hoped. That’s no slight on director Adam Smith, who does some fine work here, but perhaps another by-product of meeting the angels before. They only really become sinister again in this segment when the statues around are revealed for what they truly are.
Which brings us to the one logic gap that niggles slightly. The idea is that if you don’t blink, and are always looking at the angels, then they won’t move. But surely, in a chamber that big, there’s always going to be an angel in the dark somewhere, or one that can’t be seen? Or is that just us being a little picky?
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