dr who 11

A lengthier discussion of Dr Who s05e04

There are spoilers in this reaction post.

One of the things I liked about "The Time of Angels" was how SFnal it was. It was jam-packed with SF ideas-- not particularly original ones, but they were there, overflowing. Too many ideas for the space. Ideas that were just there as world-building, and not there to be explored. Though some of them might yet be clues to the solution. Moffat has made his rules for storytelling clear to us, in "The Belly of the Beast", when the Doctor told Amy to look around and observe.

In the context of this messy world, which is larger than the story itself, we see River Song, another mystery. We know where she ends, but we don't know where she begins. We're seeing the Doctor's timeline with her, but not her timeline with the Doctor. We're getting that backwards. She's confident and informed. The Doctor is off-balance and ignorant. This is a reversal of roles for him, and delicious to watch. (Too much strutting and the Doctor becomes obnoxious.) Watching them together is like watching Four and Romana bicker over which one of them is better at flying the TARDIS. She is, and she proves it.

We don't know yet how River reaches this point. We're probably going to see her story out of order. Moffat has always liked the time-travel part of the Who universe, and here's another timey-wimey SF puzzle. I love it. We watch her regress, we watch him progress, somewhere they meet. Sometime after the Doctor tosses her into prison? Just guessing it's the Doctor who does that. And what a mystery that is, eh? What's her game? What's the Bishop's game? Who is she, really? I think we have no idea yet, though the clues are likely there.

Older, confident, educated, smart. She's in the Doctor's weight class, and when they meet in the ring it'll be a fair fight.

As for the baddy of the week, do I have to talk about why they're creepier than last time? Something about those worn down statues with the hollow eye sockets is worse than the clean statues with the sharp teeth. They're like the corpses of angels, reanimated.

Amy Pond is shaping up to be my favorite companion since Ace. Irreverent, clever, quick on her feet, not overly impressed by her Raggedy Doctor, but completely willing to have fun. She gets herself out of that mess with the angel on video, using the clues given her.

Then there's the scene where she thinks she's turning to stone and can't run from the angels. What would, under the previous producer, have been soppiness ("oh, I won't leave you behind!") was instead clear-headed behavior from both of them. She tells him to just go and leave her, he says no, and then he bites her hand. He bit her! How awesome was that moment? I won't miss Ten's sentimentality even for a second.

Last week's script was just filler. Dalek set up. Boring. They should have tossed it. This week was the real thing. I had no sense of time passing. When the episode ended with a cliff-hanger I was shocked and so was Mr Pedia. What? Over already? You didn't warn me it was a two-parter! And so I wait eagerly for next Saturday.
Upon reflection, I'm struck by just how many elements of Romana I see in River. Maybe it's just finally seeing a companion who is really, as you say, in the Doctor's weight class. But I want to know how she learned to read Gallifreyan and fly the TARDIS. People are talking about whether she might be a fobwatched Time Lord, in which case, my money's on Romana. But I think Moffat is cleverer than that, and it's going to be a much bigger surprise. *bounces in anticipation*
Not going to be Romana-- consider how SitL/FotD ends. Probably not a fobwatched Time Lord. But it'll be interesting.
Yeah, that was the one thing I couldn't make work when I was thinking about that theory. But I agree, it's going to very interesting indeed.
This has seriously got to be one of my favourites.

I didn't think I'd rate Matt Smith - and he's surprised me at every turn.

I have issues with Moffat - whilst I loved Blink...I hated Girl in the Fireplace with a vengeance.

This one however? It's one of the few...the VERY few NewWho stories that I watched twice in quick succession. And will no doubt watch again.

That's what I usually get with Classic Who. I can watch again and again and again and not get bored. NewWho I usually find is a one bite meal. Watched once...rarely watched again.

How great this is!
I think Matt Smith is the New Who Doctor for Old School fans. I'm having a blast. Really cruddy eps about Winston Churchill aside, that is.
I think you're right.

And yes - the Dalek ep was the clunker so far.

Even "11th Hour" was one of the best post regeneration eps I've seen.
"I think Matt Smith is the New Who Doctor for Old School fans."

Totally. He's the only one of the new Doctors thus far whom I can actually picture as a "genuine" part of the lineup of the old ones.
Loved, loved, loved the latest episode. Couldn't believe we'd reached the end already. Loud shouts of "Arrrgghh! Two-parter!" in my house. Interested to see how River's story plays out. She's shaping up to be one of my favourite characters. I'm not sure if I'll be happy or disappointed if she turns out to be a companion sonewhere along the line. I'm not expecting to find out this season. Kids enjoyed watching the behind the scenes ep on BBC Three. It took away their fear of the stone angels.

..... Romana/Four? I was only a kid when I watched those first time around. It was a long time before I realised they weren't supposed to be boyfriend and girlfriend. ;) (As a sidenote, I have to point out there is a bit of a resemblance between Lalla Ward, Mary Tam and Alex Kingston.) Going back to River, maybe she's a time traveller similar to Captain Jack Harkness.
She's not what she appears to be now, is all I can think. Whatever it is that we think we know, it's not quite that way. Though we know how she ends: we know she's a good guy at core.

Ooh, ooh, two reluctant marriage plots moving long-term: Amy Pond is fleeing her wedding day, about which she is ambivalent. What's the Doctor doing right now, eh?
I was thinking River might turn out to be Romana, too. Although, from what I gather she ended her stint with the Doctor by staying in another dimension or some such? I haven't seen that series yet, although I do have it on my Netflix queue. I still don't think that would rule her out because of the crack thing that hasn't fully been explained.

I still think the Doctor slid through the crack into a different universe when he regenerated. Can't wait to find out the answers to everything!
It would be fanservice of the highest degree if she turned out to be Romana. Wouldn't surprise me if she's met Romana, though! She might have learned how to fly the TARDIS from Romana, who's actually read the manual :)
Hee, it would be nice if she is or has met Romana, wouldn't it? I also thought maybe she might be the Rani since we were told the Rani would make an appearance in this series.
Word.

I loved every minute of it. The contrast with the quality of last week's storytelling was just...well, think of two things that are really contrasty. It's them.

Amy rocks. She is turning out to be everything I was hoping for with Martha, but which got lost in that ocean of infatuation.

I said to Mr Zircon, ten minutes into the episode: "Is it me, or is this guy a really good Doctor? Like, top three good?"

Mr Zircon (also an afficianado of the Old Skool) said that indeed he was.

I just believe in him. I believe he is an ancient alien from Gallifrey. I believe that a century or two back, he was My Beloved Seven.

And I can't wait for the second part of the story. Hoozah!
I am also eager for this Saturday and finding out What Happens Next(tm). I'm also really really curious what the real scoop is with River Song. What's she up to? When do they hook up, and what does hooking up entail for them? Eleven is so deliciously sulky about it!