There’s one thing you never put in a trap, if you’re smart. If you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow, there’s one thing you never, ever put in a trap… Me.
There we are again, on the lovely planet Alfava Metraxis in the Dundra galaxy. Precisely: The Maze of the Dead, underneath the wreck of the Byzantium. Where the Doctor has just shot the gravity globe, thus, turning gravity upside down; the only instruction left: jump! Well, at least that’s a change from “Don’t even blink!” — though Amy seems to have preferred that over “If you open your eyes now for more than a second, you will die.” Well. As you can see above, the statues from the maze have absorbed enough energy that was made available by the Byzantium’s crash and subsequent radiation leak. The formerly degenerated and weakened Angels are back in action, creeping their way through the forest, all the while messing with Amy’s mind. Absolutely the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen: when Amy’s crawling about on the ground, we actually see the Angels moving, literally moving, for the first time; and they almost got here, were already nearly touching her shoulder — and just then the teleport finally works, thanks to River. My pulse got all racy and I nearly moved to hide myself under my jumper. Seriously, Moffat! Were you trying to give honest people heart attacks? Speaking of which: “Why am I not dead?” Well, Doctor, maybe your jacket just felt so lovely, they wanted to keep you there a little longer. In fact, of course, they were just scared as hell of the crack.
I told them it’s the end of the universe.
— And what is it?
The end of the universe.
The Angels’ profile has been enhanced over the course of these two episodes. First, we learnt that there couldn’t be any drawings of a Weeping Angel, since “the image of an Angel becomes itself an Angel”. Another new ‘feature’ are their eyes — “the eyes are not the windows of the soul, they are the doors”, which enables them to play tricks on their victims’ perceptions. Preferably, making the people who looked them in the eye think they were turning to stone themselves, letting themselves become easy prey. Also, they seem to have various methods of killing, which wasn’t illuminated in Blink: the Angel from the ship’s belly actually snapped Bob’s neck and removed his cerebral cortex to do some ghosting. So, what were they ultimately up to this time? — Turns out, they want to consume everything, they want to feast off the entire universe. Now, that’s a plan! And, as the Doctor puts it:
“We’re being attacked by Angels in a crashed ship, there isn’t a manual for this!”
On top of it, time is literally running out — how long until you noticed that Amy was actually counting down? “Doctor, I’m five!” — Right, and if we lie to her, she’ll get all better! So, because Amy has got the image of an Angel in the vision centre of her brain, her mind herself will turn into that of an Angel. And the Angels are scaring the crap out of her for fun. The Doctor’s very eloquent reaction: “Aargh!”
Cue the most intense moment between the Doctor and Amy until that point: Not only does he actually threaten Amy’s guardians to punish them for possibly endangering her with using the TARDIS to go back in time and punch them in the face TWICE, he also gets physically affectionate with Amy in a way he’s never been, desperate to soothe her pain and fear. Random facts thrown in: Amy was seven years old when the two of them first met, and it’s not the point to be told what once happened, she has to remember. (Speaking of remembering: Mind the poll!)
Because time can actually run out, because time can be re- and unwritten. And that’s what the crack is, it’s Time Running Out. The Doctor realizes that everything that happened on Earth before and that the humans just seemed to forget, like Cybermen walking through the middle of London; all that is caused by the crack. It made people not noticing (something Nine complained about once: “You’re happy to believe in something if it’s invisible, but if it’s staring you in the face — nope, can’t see it! There’s a scientific explanation for that: you’re thick!” — well, it might not be the being thick anymore, though), it made Amy forget the Daleks. And if you get too close, “you will never have lived!” (As the Doctor explains at the end, Amy’s not affected as soon as the cleric soldier is because she’s a time traveller now, she’s got a different perspective on things — she literally knows too much.) And the Doctor has just figured that out and decides that, now, Angels aren’t their biggest problem when an Angel sneaks up and holds Father Octavian in a headlock. Thus, the latter begs to differ. But before Octavian dies, he explains why River was in prison.
“She killed a man, a good man, a hero to many.”
What the hell? Anyway, the Doctor’s too freaked out about Amy to be really concerned with that particular event in River’s history, but still annoyed something fierce, hence all the yelling. What I categorized as pre-marital arguing last time now shapes up as the Doctor really flying off the handle. He wants to feed himself to the crack? Holy shit. Good thing he had a better idea, though: re-reversing the gravity of the situation, er, place, thus flinging the Angels into the crack and quenching the crack’s hunger for complicated timey-whimey stuff for a while. Get. A. GRIP! Speaking of the consoles: was that an eye flicking around in the teleport monitors? There was the Atraxi eye behind the crack last time. Another echo of The Eleventh Hour was voiced by the Doctor himself:
“The Doctor in his TARDIS hasn’t noticed.” — Remember what Prisoner Zero said to taunt the Doctor in the hospital: “The Doctor in his TARDIS doesn’t know, doesn’t knoo-ow!”
Well, that seems to mark things pertaining to the prophecy given: “The Pandorica will open. Silence will fall.” The Doctor knows that there must be an explosion causing that crack, “happening right now, somewhere out there” — and he missed it. Travelling through time, through history, and he missed it. What’s the deal with runaway brides nowadays anyway? Donna was “the most important woman in the whole of creation,” now, it is “the single most important thing in the history of the universe that I get you sorted out right now.” Donna had to turn left in order to save the universe from the Reality Bomb, now Amy must prevent reality as it exists from vanishing. Oh, dear. The Doctor’s great epiphany tonight: “Time can be rewritten.” Well, yes. Doctor? There’s not some weird, life-changing scheme in that head of yours, is there? ’cause, last time you tried to rewrite history, in Father’s Day, there were Reapers trying to eliminate the time paradox. Last time a bride questioned him about going back in personal timelines, Ten changed the subject. Now, what does Eleven’s smug statement imply? By way of fixing things, however, the basecode of the universe reveals that the exposure of the crack starts on: 26th June, 2010. The day of Amy’s wedding. As the Den of Geek has pointed out in their review of Flesh and Stone, the 26th of June might most likely also be the original airing date of the series finale, which then would be the day the Pandorica opens. Oh, dear. So, did they actually sort it out, and then Amy scattered the crack across the universe, as Rose did with the words “Bad Wolf”, to serve as a warning to her kind-of-past self? UPDATE: Apart from the Den of Geek review — FlickFilosopher.com blogging Doctor Who: Further comments on the theory that there are actually two Doctors when Amy is left behind in the forest. Clues: the jacket, of course, but also: Did you notice how the Doctor not only suddenly had a different tone, much more desperate and softer (as pointed out in of the comments in ff.com), but also — my own observation — sounded as if he had a head cold caught on some icy planet his future self just visited or, well, as if he’d been crying? He sounded distinctly different, I’m sure of that.
Anyway: River doesn’t feature as prominently in this as she did, for example, in The Library of Silence/The Forest of the Dead, doesn’t have as much control and knowledge of the situation as when the Doctor last/first met her, but at least we know now when we’ll see her again: Soon, when the Pandorica opens.
“Ha! That’s a fairy tale!” (The Doctor) — “Aren’t we all?” (River Song)
The Doctor also tries to find out whom exactly his lovely murderess killed, but she won’t tell him yet. Is it the Doctor? Hell, if it is, she’ll better have a very good reason. Or two. Maybe even three.
As it is, Amy realizes that she has to tell the Doctor about her wedding, since now they’re both running from their respective spouses. But somehow, the tell-him-about-the-wedding-thing transformed into a thing that Steven Moffat described as “well, we’ve got some time, you’re kinda hot and I’ve had a bad night; and I think, Okay, why not?” — Oh, dear Time Lord. Amy’s getting frisky and the Doctor’s tripping over himself while fending her off. (Look at Blogtor Who’s clip of the follow-up Confidential, exploring the, ah, smoochy-smoochy time. Matt and Karen together: awesome!) I mean, what exactly brought that on? She clearly has had impure thoughts when the Doctor stripped stark naked in The Eleventh Hour, but.. you know. Was that just over-compensating for going through the most recent worst day of her life, nearly dying and having a bloody Weeping Angel messing around with her brain, combined with hero-worship and last minute panic? Well, it’s bad enough to make the Doctor bust Rory’s stag party right after, dragging the fiancée-who-just-tried-to-have-a-one-night-stand-with-the-resident-Time-Lord behind him. Oh, she’ll love to show her face just then. (Great celebratory t-shirts, by the way.) Leaving aside the rather disturbing connotations of that kind of invasion of personal space/complete disregard for consent. The Doctor’s a bloke and it’s been a long time, so he’s got to be randy? No. Just no.
- Amy just keeps repeating this phrase, “Explain!”, when the Doctor’s fussing about and she doesn’t understand; and it’s starting to throw me off. Has it got to do with the fact that the Daleks’ reappearance were the first thing that alerted the Doctor to Amy’s reality problem? Or am I just hearing things?
- I loved how River avoided the “or is he just some mad man” question by just repeating her “I absolutely trust him” — I mean, he is a mad man with a box, but you can only tell the truth so often before a bishop starts spanking you. (Oops.. bad example.)
- The Doctor can still have fun in the most inappropriate of times and places: “I made him say ‘comfy chairs’!” Yeah, you did alright, and Queen Victoria actually wasn’t amused last time you paid her a visit in Tooth and Claw.
A GREAT episode, full of breathtaking and fear-inspiring moments; and setting up coming twists and turns in the Doctor’s and Amy’s story quite nicely!
Next episode: Vampires of Venice.