Doctor Who – Flesh and Stone (S05E05) -Episode review

Well, if Blink was the episode that established those Weeping Angels, [[Flesh And Stone (Doctor Who episode)|Flesh And Stone]] was the episode that left us thoroughly confused about the menacing statues. After running around yelling “Don’t blink!” to everyone who’d listen, it turns out that you can survive the angels simply by keeping your eyes closed.

But more on that later.

Quick recap

Tonight is the second part of Doctor Who’s Blink-inspired adventure with the Weeping Angels, following on from [[The Time Of Angels (Doctor Who episode)|The Time Of Angels]]. The Doctor and his companions are trapped underground with Angels advancing from all sides when he makes a seemingly reckless move – he shoots out the lights.

However, their problems increase as Amy falls under the thrall of an Angel which is living inside her mind. And then there’s the issue of a rather large crack inside the ship that threatens to engulf them all.

I think we can all agree, Flesh And Stone was a particularly busy episode. In fact, rather than a two-parter, it felt like a one and a half parter, with a joyously funny Amy/Doctor moment tacked onto the end.

Angel Inconsistencies

I’ve got to grumble about this bit – the Weeping Angels just became utterly confusing. Up until tonight, you looked at the Angels and they froze. Now, I think you’ll agree, a big part of looking at something is having your eyes open. But Amy avoids death at the hands of the stony critters by keeping her eyes closed and pretending to look at them.

Even when your eyes are open and the lights are off, these creatures can move. So, someone please explain how they’re so stupid as to be fooled by closed eyes?

Come on! While this series devoted an entire episode to generating an original strain of Daleks, it’s got Moffat bastardizing his own creations beyond recognition. These series five Angels break necks. They run away from cracks in the universe, then inexplicably return to threaten The Doctor some more. None of it felt convincing.

Cracks in the Universe

Perhaps the most surprising development tonight was Amy working out that the cracks in the universe are following her. Given that neither she nor The Doctor have seen the other cracks (Starship UK and in the Cabinet War Rooms), this is the first time they’ve seen the cracks since Leadworth. But they both correctly deduced that the crack activity centered around Amy.

Bloody redheads and their reality altering events in space-time. There’s about 15 gingers in our street. D’you think we’re in danger of a paradox during the school run?

Still, I was kind of glad when the story left behind the Angels. Their creepiest moment was when we saw one of them moving for the first time. But after an episode and a half of strobing and jerky movements, I was happy to see an entire army of statues getting sucked through the space-crack.

One of the big questions about the cracks is why they always take the same pattern? Why is the universe cracking to a template? Or is there just one crack with multiple entry points to various points in space and time? Is it really following Amy Pond.

Aside: By the way, is the duck pond a subtle reference to Amy’s madness? You know, one duck short of a duck pond. Amy Pond?

River Song

Moffat’s clearly at home with the notion of River Song popping up at different points in The Doctor’s timeline. Much to-ing and fro-ing about when they’ll meet next and a clear reference to the Pandorica. He’s thrown in a reason to distrust Song, by having Bishop Octavian telling him that she killed a man and was in custody for the crime.

I thought The Doctor was a little more authoritative with Song this week. After being a somewhat cowed husband to her overbearing wife, [[Matt Smith]] definitely played the part of fiery, grumpy Doctor with aplomb.


  • The Doctor: Found a crack in the wall and told them it was the end of the universe. River Song:What was it? Doctor: The end of the universe.
  • The Doctor: Anyway, that’s not the plan. River Song: There’s a plan? The Doctor: I don’t know, I haven’t finished talking yet.
  • The Doctor: You’re a time traveler now Amy. It changes the way you see the universe.
  • River Song: You’ll see me again quite soon, when the Pandorica opens. The Doctor: The Pandorica, ha! That’s a fairytale. River Song: Doctor (laughs)…aren’t we all?
  • Amy tries to seduce The Doctor. The Doctor: Amy I am 907 years old, do you know what that means? Amy Pond: It’s been a while? The Doctor: No no no. I’m 907, and look at me. I don’t get older, I just change. You get older and this can’t work.
  • The Doctor: Amy Pond. Mad, impossible Amy Pond. I don’t know why I have no idea, but thesingle most important thing in the history of the universe is that I get you sorted out right now. Amy (reclining seductively on the bed): That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.

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  1. Rosie-Lee

    I heard a voice saying “I say, steady on” when Amy was trying to get the Doc’s braces off.  It was my voice.   Why did she suddenly turn into a snog snatcher when they got back to hers?  The episode was OK, but the angels have lost the element of sinister surprise now.  Let’s have something a bit more menacing like a Predator.  The kids would love it!

    1. Gerard McGarry

      No comment until I’ve watched it a second time, Rosie-Lee! I kind of felt this was a tiny bit rushed, and I’m struggling with extreme cynicism for this new series. It’s just not what I expected it to be.

      So, while the initial reaction is “damn, what a waste of time”, I want to give it another viewing, perhaps without laptop in front of me typing notes, and see if it was better than my first viewing suggests.

  2. Rosie-Lee

    It is often the case that when something is viewed a second time round it can be enjoyed more, and our brains pick up the little nuances they missed initially.  I agree with your word “rushed”, Gerard.  I felt that about the Daleks in WW2 adventure, which would have been better served in a few episodes with cliffhangers.  Let’s hope it all gets better and better, because I have taken quite a liking to Matt Smith.  Perhaps it is heresy to say that I am not sure about Amy Pond now.  Her character seems to have become childish.

  3. do me a melon

    Hope this is the last we’ll see of the Weeping Angels.  An awesome idea, killed by overexposure that’s ensured that their details are now fully smudged and confused.  As is the cracks plot arc.  As is Amy’s characterisation.

    However, I did enjoy the development of River Song as potentially a dark Captain Jack type of character, and the duck pond/Amy Pond reference.

    Pick up the pace please, Mr Moffat.  The promise of the first two episodes has now been undone by three disappointing ones.

  4. WelshSinger

    do me a melon. what a brill username!!

    and i agree.. i love the development of river song.. and i think she could become a key character in forthcoming series. from her i see promise… but the writing of this series hasnt quite got up to that russel t davies standard yet. lets hope moffat can deliver next week.

  5. glovelover

    The weeping angels turned out to be quite menacing. Despite the persistent grumbling about ‘confused plot’ and ‘script inconsistencies’ ( which are irrelavent ) there was a certain ambiguity about the angels that was far more sinister than the functional aspect or blinking or keeping your eyes shut to save yourself from them. they exist yet don’t with respect to being static when seen and mobile when not which makes them the essential Doctor nemesis, even more persistently nasty than the daleks who I feel after so many returns from the dead are becoming a little jaded as a villain but they are sadly an indespensible dr. who institution..Matt Smith continues to construct a version of the doctor which is pure genius. his doctor is chaotic, unpredictable, secretive, slightly unhinged and aware of his fallibility but simultaneously aware of his ability to blag his way of jams and terrified at the burden of responsibility he knows he carries. Matt builds a doctor who his still learning how to be a doctor and hence is a doctor as amy has found out, that can be a thrilling yet reckless roller coaster ride or a roller coaster ride that could kill her. for her its survive or die, but its fun all the same. in fact amy could well be as insane as the doctor, after all, he fucked off and left her hanging for 12 years, wouldn’t that leave you a little batty?….riversong has similarly been transformed into a darker and threatning character from the tennent days. is she saint or demon? has she killed a future doctor out of malice or to save him? its also nice to see russel t davies gone as writer. His operatic writing style found its way into too many of his episodes. some were brilliant, others were campy. I was often convinced I was watching T Davies version of Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet or a Disney movie with the addition of a sonic screwdriver and the Tardis. the new doctor who is cool and with better writers its gonna kick some arse.

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